"I hired Emily as a coach to help me complete my first novel. It was in its draft state and I needed help in figuring out a complex story line. Thanks to Emily's probing and meaningful insights, I experienced the joy of seeing myself evolve as a writer. I now have a completed novel that is far beyond my wildest expectations!" ~ Jackie Bennett
The first thing I tell all my students is this: To write historical fiction, follow your characters, trust them, become them and see their worlds through their eyes!
Research is fascinating when writing historical fiction, but it can also become addictive to the point of controlling your story. It's your imagination that brings the past to life!
While the details of a specific time period are important, it's the writer's ability to immerse his or her readers in the characters' lives that is the most important element of writing historical fiction.
I learned this firsthand while writing my bestselling novel, Petersburg, set against the revolution of 1904 in Russia. But as you can see, it was the people and their dramas that made the novel so successful.
"Emily Hanlon's "Petersburg" is brilliant...an exciting, tightly plotted story of murder, heroism and treachery built around the Russian revolution..." — Los Angeles Times
The sweep of "Petersburg" is grand... Hanlon's characters do not simply walk through the pages but live the story, as does the reader..." — United Press International