Author Archives: Hana Samek Norton

About Hana Samek Norton

I am a historian who writes 'history with a story' in off-duty hours.

“But I am a Writer!” The Pestilence of Praise

Hot Takes (noun) Definition: “A quickly produced, strongly worded, and often deliberately provocative or sensational opinion or reaction (as in response to current news)” Merriam-Webster (1st use 2012) Nurturing, supportive, positive, respectful, encouraging, non-judgmental… Has anyone noticed how often these … Continue reading

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The One Thing Historical Fiction Writers Ought to Know

The Gender-Genre Wars In a recent issue of Writer’s Digest, literary agent Irene Goodman offered her advice on “16 Things All Historical Fiction Writers Need to Know.” Among them was the caution (?) that “This kind of fiction requires high … Continue reading

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Advice on How to Write Historical Fiction–Not

By the way, did anyone notice that there has been much ‘how-to’ and ‘advice’ offered lately on writing historical fiction ? A perusal of the ‘literature’—and I confess to have done my share—finds that some are more ‘creative’ than others Continue reading

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The Lusignans of Poitou

The recent developments in the Middle East revived academic and public interest in the West’s previous encounters with that part of the world. These events created something of a cottage industry of  histories and novels recounting the crusades, particularly the … Continue reading

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Starbucks, Mélusine and Me

  The ‘brew-haha’ that recently percolated over the 2015 Starbucks holiday cup reminded me of the ever-popular accusation that Starbucks’s logo depicting the legendary Mélusine is ‘in fact’ a demonic image. Historically represented as a bare-breasted woman with the lower … Continue reading

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…on to Fontevraud Abbey (Pt. III)

Fontevraud Abbey: What can one say? The tombs of Henry II, Richard, Isabelle d’Angoulême and Aliénor (dare one be on first name basis with that lady?)  It rained. The countryside is somewhat rolling hills with fields and a few forested … Continue reading

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…on to Parthenay (Pt. II)

Parthenay: We breezed past Saint Maixent-l’École to get to Parthenay, again approached via a fairly flat ground. Parthenay has a population of about 10,000 and I worried, of course, about driving down a maze of streets to find the hotel, … Continue reading

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