Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Genres -Historical Fiction/Westerns

Today's Genre is historical fiction with a side of Westerns.
This is a Genre that is dear to my heart, as I've always been a fan of all things cowboy.
So, what is Historical Fiction?
Again, from the ACFW Genesis Site:
Historical Fiction: Novels or sagas set in any location, in which the time frame of the majority of the story is a historical context rather than a contemporary one. The time period can be up to and including the Vietnam era.
It should be noted that this is NOT historical romance. Romances have their own set of rules and reader expectations. The love story isn't central to the story, and in fact is not a requirement at all of historical fiction.
One of my favorite sub-genres of historical fiction is the western. The western is uniquely American in literature. Such greats as Louis L'Amour and Zane Grey popularized the western, and they are still read to this day. I have many LL and ZG westerns on my shelves. One of the most compelling westerns I've ever read is Lonesome Dove. NOTHING good ever happens to those characters, and yet I couldn't put that honkin' big book down. The characters were amazingly real.
Most westerns are written by men, and the main character is a male. There is a certain code of honor that the main character must follow, even or especially at great cost to himself. Westerns often have an idealistic view, and the hero is larger than life, someone to be admired. Westerns take place in America, west of the Mississippi and between the years of 1860 and 1900 predominately.
Current writers of westerns include Al Lacy and Stephen Bly.
Are you a fan of westerns or historical fiction? Have you read any Larry McMurtry or James Michener?


  1. As long as they have no beheadings or limb stretching I think I could handle them. Seriously, you and Jody make me concerned with your interest in that stuff!! Maybe there was a reason why I didn't sleep well with Jody as a roommate!! God was watching over me...perhaps!

  2. LOL! Eileen! We do have a morbid fascination with medieval torture, don't we? I could tell we were bamboozling you with our discussion of the best ways to commit regicide.

  3. You are my favorite historical author!!!

    Per your last comment, now I have to go look up regicide....

  4. Ditto Georgiana. I've read a few Westerns. Zane Grey, Larry McMurtry, Robert Parker, but I confess I like to watch Westerns more than read them.