When I was writing BEGUILED and found a wonderful repository of information at a library in Austin, TX, I was delighted to learn so much about the history of 1920s Jazz Age and the intelligentsia who peopled it.
Now I’ve discovered another library that holds oral histories of people from the Federal Theater Project. George Mason University (VA) has transcripts of interviews conducted in the 1970s with all kinds of theater people who were involved in the few years in the ’30s that the Federal Theater Project was in existence.
I’ve read Free, Adult, Uncensored: Living History of the FTP and other books about the shows they performed.
But they didn’t yield just what I wanted to learn.I needed personal information about Hallie Flanagan, the director of the Project. An enigmatic person, it seems, but as I plow through all the transcripts, trying to find out what people really thought of her under different circumstances, I feel more confident about painting a picture of her that does justice to the many facets of her personality.
This is what is intriguing to me about writing historical fiction. What appeals to you as a reader of historical fiction?