Eagle Designs
Ginger Garrett

Ginger Garrett is the author of the novels Chosen: The Lost Diaries of Queen Esther, In the Shadow of Lions, In the Arms of Immortals, Wolves Among Us, and the nonfiction books Beauty Secrets of the Bible and A Woman's Path to Inner Beauty. Focusing on ancient women's history, Ginger creates novels and nonfiction resources that explore the lives of historical women. A frequent media guest and television host, Ginger has been interviewed by Fox News, Billy Graham's The Hour of Decision, The Harvest Show, 104.7 The Fish Atlanta, and many other outlets. You can learn more by visiting www.gingergarrett.com.

Why I Love the Historical Fiction Genre

Edgar Allen Poe and Barbara Cartland: Could there be any two writers with less in common? As a child, when everyone else was reading books about babysitting clubs and young love, I was plowing through the entire works of these two authors. (Eventually I gave up on Cartland, who published 723 books before her death.) I loved these two writers because they took me to different places and times, without asking me to leave the galaxy, like some other writers might. I loved Poe because he showed me that normal-looking people could still be crazy (a fact that most children already deeply suspect), and I loved Cartland because she saw that everyone longs for one great epic love.

For me, the escape into story with these two writers was complete, and yet the farther away from home they led me, the closer each brought me back to the fundamental truths about the human condition. Both writers, in his and her own crazed and fervent ways, introduced me to a different time and place, and gave me characters who were nothing like myself. And in the midst of all this foreign material, I saw my own intimate fears and desires played out and played upon. In the pages of these long-ago stories, I felt an immediacy, a great sigh of relief, as if all my secrets rushed out into the open whenever I turned the cover.

This is the promise of historical fiction. Readers can shrug away the burdens of ever-changing technology and complicated family dynamics. Traveling back in time allows us to strip away the noise and confusion of our own age and listen closely to the unchanging problems and passions native to the human heart. Instead of focusing on how our lives are different from the characters’ lives, we search restlessly for the ways we are alike. And sometimes, when we find those beautiful duplications, we find renewed strength to return to our own lives.

Never was this lesson so clear to me as when I met a young reader at a recent signing. Soft-spoken, with delicate features hidden by long feathers of wispy blond hair, this young woman confessed that she had an ulterior motive for reading my books. She was a single mom, she explained, who had lost the love of her life to an affair. Broken-hearted and alone, she struggled to raise her daughter with strength and wisdom. “I read your books,” she said, “because maybe if I read about great women from the past, I can learn how to be a great woman myself.”

This precious reader, so wounded by life and love, needed a story that gave her an escape, restored her courage, but most important, she needed a story that did the delicate work of mending her broken heart from a distance. Her wounds were too raw and too painful to read a story with settings similar to her own. The power of story, which is grace made plain, worked best when she could see it happening to another woman far, far away.

That’s why I write historical fiction, and that’s why I read it still. I’ve discovered many more incredible writers since my childhood love of Poe and Cartland; I don’t even mind leaving the galaxy once in a while now. I’ve developed a taste for trolls and a fondness for mysteries, but only because I know that somewhere back on the shelves, another writer waits, one who will lead me deep into the past to find the grace made plain for the present.


Wolves Among Us