Young Adult Author, Xina Uhl, recently had the opportunity to make use of her master’s degree in history when she gave a talk to a local writers group on how to use history to spice up your fiction writing. The idea is that history is filled with stories –- millions and millions of them. Down through the ages cultures have developed, flourished, and fallen, each of them expressing a path uniquely its own. There’s little need to do extensive world-building in your story when you realize the manifold variations of government systems, religions, wars, art forms, costumes, literature, philosophy and so on that have arisen in the past. But how do you find out about such things?
Does it sound boring? Fie upon you if it does! It’s not, once you get the hang of it, and then you will find yourself lost down endless tunnels of delight, rarely to emerge, like a gopher whose treasure lies underground. Wait. Did I just compare you to a gopher? Er … a quite splendid gopher, I assure you.
Let’s get at it. You are after two things in research: primary sources and secondary sources. Both have their places and both work off one another and provide you with juicy, delectable details.
An Arizona native, Xina currently lives in sunny Southern California with her husband and a minor menagerie of dogs, cats, birds, and aquatic creatures. She’s held a number of wildly different jobs in her life, from accounting clerk to history instructor, but writing has been something she’s always done.
She utilized her BA and MA degrees in history to work as a freelance writer of various children’s nonfiction titles. The rest of the time she writes humor, fantasy, and adventure novels, short stories, screenplays, and TV pilots. Currently, she is working on Book 2 in The King’s Champion series.