For many reenactors, military and civilian, one of the pleasures of a weekend spent in the field is that elusive moment when everything works. Ive heard the sensation called the bubble, or simply the magic. Theres no way to predict exactly when it will happen. The feeling may last only seconds. But once youve experienced a moment that suddenly looks, smells, sounds, and feels so real that you completely forget your modern existence, youll be hungry for more.
I know I am. After a decade of reenacting, Im not able to participate much any more. Instead I read, disappearing into the magic of good historical novels. And I write historical fiction as well, a hobby-turned-career that lets me spend time in imaginary scenes of my own creation. My most recent novel, Hearts of Stone, grew out of a Civil War refugee camp scenario at an event in Tennessee. And one of those bubble moments provided the kernel of raw inspiration.
Is there a novel in your future? If, like a number of reenactors I know, youre interested in trying your hand at fiction, why wait until someday?
Reenactors are well poised to write historical fictionmuch more so than many of the beginning writers...