Why I Write Women’s Historical Fiction

Gail KittlesonAuthor Gail Kittleson writes:

It took a long time for me to realize my genre. When I first started writing fiction, most of the authors I “hung out with” online tended toward romance, which proved to be an ungainly fit for me. I enjoyed researching historical settings, so I tried my hand at some pioneer stories, and my agent at the time thought they’d sell.

They didn’t sell, and I think it was partially because I hadn’t yet discovered my true genre: women’s historical fiction.

That’s not to say some men haven’t read and appreciated my novels, and my heroes show incredible stamina, courage, tenderness, and faith. But the heroine’s steep character arc composes the strongest thread of the story. She must overcome so much on her journey to fulfillment and a sense of purpose in her time.

For my first four published novels and another completed one, that historical time has been the World War II era. I’m enthralled with true life stories that keep surfacing from women who gave their all for the cause, often against great odds.

Why World War II? Perhaps because that was my parents’ era…often, we realize only in retrospect how much certain historical events colored our youth. Now, I understand what it must have been like to survive the meager Depression years and WWII rationing. That kind of deprivation would alter a person’s perspective in many ways, and as Baby Boomers, our parents’ perspective had a huge impact on us.

For all these reasons, and probably a few more I have yet to realize, I’m deep into writing women’s historical fiction. But just to keep open-minded, another author and I are also working on a WWII cozy mystery – now, that’s a genre I never would have imagined I’d be writing!

About Gail Kittleson:

When Gail’s not steeped in World War II historical research, writing, or editing, you’ll find her reading for fun, gardening, or enjoying her grandchildren in Northern Iowa. She delights in interacting with readers who fall in love with her characters.

Women of the Heartland, Gail’s World War II series, highlights women of The Greatest Generation: In Times Like These, April 2016, With Each New Dawn, February, 2017 (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas), and A Purpose True, (Word Crafts Press, December, 2017).

These heroines make do with what life hands them and face great odds with integrity. No easy outs or pat answers for their struggles – it’s the thick of World War II. The same can be said of Dottie in In This Together, Gail’s first historical novel (Wild Rose Press/Vintage Line), and of the women in her memoir, Catching Up With Daylight (WhiteFire Publishing.)

Gail Kittleson taught college expository writing and ESL before writing women’s historical fiction. From northern Iowa, she facilitates writing workshops and women’s retreats, and enjoys the Arizona Ponderosa forest in winter.

Find Gail online here:


Featured Book:

Though War Breeds Cruelty and Injustice, Grace Yet Prevails.

Southern France – Spring, 1944

German panzer units crisscross the region, dealing ruthless reprisals against the French Resistance, and anyone suspected of supporting its efforts. Secret Operations Executive (SOE) agent Kate Isaacs is tasked with providing essential radio communications with the Allies, while her guide, Domingo Ibarra, a Basque shepherd-turned-Resistance fighter, dedicates himself to avenging the destruction of his home and family.

Thrown together by the vagaries of war, their shared mission, and common devotion to liberty, the last thing Kate and Domingo anticipate is the stirring of affection that threatens to blossom into love. But how can love survive in the midst of the enemy’s relentless cruelty toward innocent citizens?Everything hinges on the success of the Allied Invasion – L’Invasion.

Find all of Gail’s books on Amazon here.