I thought about that when we went for a walk at a local garden and I saw this pretty tree. (A beech - fagus sylvatica, in case you are interested). It has kept all its leaves from the previous summer. It stood there in the bright spring sunshine, coppery and golden and beautiful.
In a way it was like a history book. It told of seasons past, each leaf once alive and breathing. And now we could look at it, see its history. Soon it would push out new green leaves, and continue from where it left off.
The tree reminded me of a historical novel. All those leaves were like the fascinating details of the past we could look closer. Books, writings, archaeological remains, legends, religions. The more leaves, the more details a writer could make alive. The further back in history we go, the more time and wind have stripped the tree of its leaves, and the more the writer has to fill the gaps with his / her own imagination.
Which makes writing about ancient history all the more demanding. And rewarding.
I suppose my choice of making the Nephilim Quest series happen in ancient Egypt has to do with my love for research. (And well, all my other stories too are tied to ancient Egypt somehow)
Taking the few details we know (and whose context we still cannot be quite certain about - like Tutankhamun's parentage) and see if I could weave a story around those those details, making history alive not only for my readers but for myself. And also because this way I have to keep on reading and researching ancient Egypt. My eyes glaze over when I read a purely academic research, but if I manage to see it as a story... Well, suddenly it is the most interesting story imaginable.
After five years of Egyptology studies at the Manchester University I learned how little I really know about ancient Egypt. There is always something new to learn. And that makes life and writing so fascinating.
So I could imagine my writing historical novels is bit like this tree - I look at the past era, collect the details through research and make it come alive, push out the new green leaves, through my writing. And hopefully make history interesting to the reader in the process.