July 7, 2021

How Do You Manage to Write a Historical Novel and Make it Feel Fresh?

Leslie Hachtel

History is about people. Every time you tell a story about someone and the events that shaped their life, through your own voice, set in whatever period of history, that’s always fresh. 

I find readers respond to an old story told from a different perspective and also a story they haven’t heard before.

I have always been fascinated with the idea of having a part of yourself remain when you leave a place. I was also intrigued with the thought that someone with a similar experience in the past could reach across time and offer help. This is how the idea for the book, Stay With Me came about.

Many authors use the "What If?" questions as they write. Here are some of my "What If?" questions.  "If you are damaged by a past experience, can you heal and make your life better? (yes) And what if we’re not really ever alone? What if there is always someone there to offer comfort if we know how to accept it?"

The twist was creating this story about two women who share similar lives and can communicate across the years and I chose to focus on survivors, both in the past and the present.

I love history, so I don’t like to limit myself to any specific eras. All time periods have their challenges and after I create the characters, the time period offers the background, the influences and sometimes the goals for the protagonists. The setting definitely influences the characters: the rulers, the environment, the possibilities, and the limitations.

When writing about history, there are always those who influence life and those people are the people who create the settings for me. When asked for advice on writing historical fictions I always tell writers . . ."Do your research"!!!! Making a mistake will take the reader right out of the story.

Leslie Hachtel has been working since she was fifteen and her various jobs have included licensed veterinary technician, caterer, horseback riding instructor for the disabled and advertising media buyer, which have all given her a wealth of experiences.

However, it has been writing that has consistently been her passion. She is an Amazon bestselling author who has written fifteen romance novels, including eleven

historicals and four romantic suspense

Leslie now lives in Florida with her very supportive husband, and her new writing buddy, Josie, the poodle mix.

She loves to hear from readers!



Twitter:  @lesliehachtel





  1. I am amazed at how authors write historicals. As I look back on my childhood, memories of the ways my grandparents washed clothes in a cast iron pot over an open flame helps explain some of my inquisitiveness of historical writing. I write romantic suspense, but I'm especially intrigued by historical authors and the research involved to make their stories authentic. Thank you Leslie.

  2. Thank you Leslie. I love to read historical novels. Reading how they weave their characters and dialogue into the piece of history makes the book come alive.

  3. I'm always amazed at how much research goes into writing historicals! And I love the idea of someone from them past helping someone in the present.

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