Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Caddy Rowland: Writing Historical Fiction In Spite of Myself

I didn’t set out to write historical fiction when I started writing Gastien.  I have never thought of myself as a history buff. I also always thought historical fiction must be stuffy and formal, or maybe about battles. It wasn’t until I had finished my book that I realized that not only had I written the first book in a family saga, but it was historical fiction as well!

I think as much research about the bohemian artists in nineteenth century Paris happened as writing did.  In fact, I would wager there was more time spent on research.  Not only did I want the era accurate in regard to how the artists lived and acted, I wanted to make sure that I didn’t use terms or items that would not have been in existence during that time period.  Boy, did I learn a lot!
To my surprise, I thoroughly enjoyed the learning experience.  Like I hinted in the beginning, I was never much interested in history growing up. But this, well, this was different.  I am a painter and I love anything having to do with art and painting.  I thought I knew quite a bit about the Impressionist period, but I was sure wrong. What a wild, decadent bunch of people these folks were. Stuffy and formal? Ha! I doubt there was ever been a time in human history where people were less so.

I wanted to transfer that information in a way that would engage the reader and make them feel the raunchiness and freedom of that time period.  I hoped to garner some of that excitement into my work and show readers that “historical” does not have to bring about a yawn.  I believe I have done that.
In the third book I moved the main character to the United States and the Roaring Twenties happened. Need I remind anyone that the Roaring Twenties were anything but a yawn? What a blast it was to write about that particular period in history. Again, I hoped to make readers enjoy the period without it being a “period piece”.  My books are not about the history of the era, they are about the Beauchamp family and their struggles and successes. I hope I struck a good balance so that people are transported back in time without getting bogged down with too many historical details that take away from the drama of the Beauchamp story.

Writing – and reading – historical fiction does not have to be ponderous and dull.  In fact, depending upon the era it can be downright sexy and exciting! I hope more readers decide to take a chance with books that are historical fiction. Some of the wildest characters ever are waiting to meet them.
Gastien Part 1: The Cost of the Dream (The Gastien Series)In this first book of the Gastien series, young Gastien Beauchamp begins his journey from the farm to Paris with two goals in life. The first is to become an artist with his own studio, following his own rules. That is an almost impossible dream for a peasant with no money or formal training. Paris spits out talented men into the gutters every day. “Good” gets you nowhere. “Great” maybe gets you a bowl of soup.

The second is to become the greatest lover in France. That should be easy. With his stunning looks and willingness to learn, the women of Paris are about to be awakened in a way they have only dreamt about in the nineteenth century!

Gastien also has focus, drive, and raw, natural talent. With the dream burning inside of him, he is determined to succeed at any cost. Poor Gastien. If he could only know in advance what brutal struggles await him, he might turn around and go back home.

Sometimes the “impossible” is possible. But the cost can be extremely high.
Adult fiction for men and women over age 18
Buy links for Gastien Part 1: The Cost of the Dream: For Kindle readers For NOOK readers (Part 1  To order paperback (Part 1)
Author Blog (Writer of Fiction, Painter of Life & Energy:
Twitter: @caddyorpims
Additional books in the Gastien Series so far:
Gastien Part 2: From Dream to Destiny (The Gastien Series)Tristan Michel: Bloodline of Passion (The Gastien Series)


  1. Thank for you having me on your blog the last couple of days. It was great fun!

  2. It has been a pleasure to have you appearing. Good luck with your next release! I shall drop by and check it out.