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#134 David Gillham

134 Gillham Headshot Webpage.jpg

I honestly think of a more intimidating character to write than Anne Frank

Not only is she an actual historical figure, she's also known and beloved by generations who've begun writing diaries -as I did- after reading hers.

David Gillham had an idea for a book based on Anne Frank but taking an alternative historical approach, one in which Anne survived the Holocaust along with her father. he set the project aside numerous times, worried it was just too difficult to complete, but the story wouldn't leave him alone. So after six years of research and immersion in Anne's life, Annelies, his novel is now out.

David spoke with me about the challenge of taking on a fictional Anne Frank, how he tried to find her voice and write a version of her story that worked on the page. If you have shied away from a big challenge in your writing, or have ever been drawn in by writing historical characters but were afraid to start, you must hear this conversation. Happy listening!

Discussed in Episode 134 with David Gillham

  • How and why we avoid certain characters in our writing

  • Leaving your work and coming back to it

  • How false starts can fuel your best work

  • How different characters form and develop

  • Communicating a character to the world that your readers may already know

  • Why you shouldn’t fear writing dialogue and what it takes to make it convincing 

  • Managing historical writing

  • How to keep track of dramatic moments within a  work of historical fiction

  • Using history to drive your plot and structure the drama

  • The importance of traveling to your historical work

  • The different ways to access your character when it is otherwise impossible

    This episode sponsored by listeners like you via the Secret Library Podcast Patreon