Monday, September 21, 2015

#227 : Historical Fiction by Vincent B. "Chip" LoCoco

A Song for Bellafortuna is a Historical Fiction novel. I am often asked why I write for

that genre. My easy answer is that I always loved history and was a history major in 

college at Loyola in New Orleans.  I remember vividly one of my professors who brought 

history to life for us students. No longer were we just reading facts on a page, but instead 

history was brought to life. 

When he taught about the Civil War, muskets, bugles and swords were brought in to class 

as our professor would go into character and we were back in 1861.  Or when we studied 

about the D-Day landings, and he gave a class along the levee of Lake Pontchartrain 

where the Higgins boats (which were built in New Orleans) were used in 1944 to practice 

for the landings.  History came alive.

So what is historical fiction? The academic definition is historical fiction is a literary 

genre in which the plot takes place in a setting located in the past.  

A great historical fiction novel should tell a story, but, and here is the key, place the 

reader in a time and place from a long time ago. 

Sir Walter Scott’s novel Waverly is often recognized as the first historical fiction novel.  

After Waverly, many authors begin writing historical fiction works.

My contribution to this genre, A Song for Bellafortuna, takes place around the year 1900 

in Sicily.  As one reviewer put it, “The author paints a picture of the era before motorcars, 

when agriculture provided the most employment. One gets the feeling of the slower pace 

of life. Journeys take longer. Distances feel greater.

What I love about this genre is historical fiction can also have elements of romance, 

mystery, coming of age, or a thriller. It really cuts across all genres and incorporates all 

these genres together, and at that same time, teaching us something about the period. 

As for me, my two novels are regarded as Italian Historical Fiction. Hopefully, for a few 

hours while reading, you will be transported to Italy, and see and feel the sights and 

sounds of that culture and time.

Chip LoCoco

Author of A Song for Bellafortuna and Tempesta’s Dream


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