GUEST POST by Kellyn Roth

Monday, January 24, 2022


Hey everyone! Today I have the privilege of sharing a guest post by Kellyn Roth in honor of her new book release, Beyond Her Calling! Thanks, Kellyn, for taking the time to share this post! 

There are a lot of fun things planned on this blog tour, so make sure to keep reading after the guest post for a scavenger hunt and some other exciting things! To catch up on what to expect, check out this post HERE before you go anywhere!

Handling Tough Topics with Respect to Historical Accuracy


Hi there! I’m Kellyn Roth, and for the release of my novel, Beyond Her Calling, I’m hopping from blog to blog … and on this blog, I get to share a guest post! Thank you, Michaela, for agreeing to host me. I really appreciate it!


I write Christian historical women’s fiction and romance, and writing historical fiction while handling tough topics means that I have to be very careful of historical accuracy. After all, the way we view practically everything has shifted year to year, decade to decade, and era to era.


So how do you handle tough topics in fiction while also respecting the historical accuracy? I mean, you can’t share toxic opinions of the past as truth, but neither can you distort history to match your modern agenda. At least, you shouldn’t.


With that cautious attitude, I research the eras I write in pretty thoroughly. I try to read a lot of nonfiction as well as fiction written during the era. Ideally, I’ll also find letters written during the era, accounts of actual peoples’ lives, or nonfiction written during the era. (Sometimes Christian nonfiction written in the 1800s, or whatever era you’re writing in, can be an invaluable resource.)


To get the most out of fiction written during the era you’re writing in, pay close attention to what the characters are saying. Not just the actual text—but the subtext, too.


Though also keep in mind that some stories are meant to be taken as satire, like most of Jane Austen’s works, so understanding the context of the story is important. If you can, find a study guide or similar analysis of the novel. Usually with classics, there is one.


The other nice thing is that often classic works will explore more than one perspective—which is nice because that’s exactly what you want to do in your novel! The more angles you explore, the better. Though, of course, you don’t want to draw from a too modern perspective. Be sure that you’re not bringing forth ideas that never would’ve existed in the era you’re writing for.


And on that thread … if a perspective is unusual, point it out. Have other characters, as well as the character themselves, think about it. Think how you react when someone has a different perspective from you, or when you have a counter-cultural thought and try to portray the way characters react to such things realistically.


One thing that I often see in historical fiction that really pulls me out of the story and annoys me is feminist ideals portrayed as normal. Sometimes only the villain will have an accurate-to-the-times perspective on marriage, women in work, et cetera, and there’s nothing more annoying than that.


Look. I get you. You don’t want to be called sexist or share something contrary to your ideals. However, remember that that’s betraying the era you’re writing! And also minimizing the issue you’re discussing in the first place by saying that it’s never really been a problem in the first place … except perhaps by a few villains.


There are lots of options here, though. Because, after all, the truth does persevere. Regardless of what era you’re writing in, God’s truths remain the same. However, keep in mind that what you think of as God’s truth may be simply a perspective brought on by your modern perspective.


So … just research everything thoroughly. One of the biggest things you can do is have your characters ALWAYS have a legitimate, easy-to-follow reason for whatever view they espouse. Besides, it’s a thousand times more powerful to have your character realize something rather having them start out with the perspective you want them to have.


If your character doesn’t learn and grow throughout the story, that’s not really a well-developed character, after all!


Another common subject I see handled in historical fiction with frequent inaccuracy is related to feminism—love and marriage. Again, though truth prevails, it can be very unrealistic for characters to share modern perspectives on these two topics when they should have been raised to believe completely different things.


Racism can be a challenging one, because it’s such a hot-button issue. A lot of publishers aren’t even accepting books discussing certain topics related to that issue right now, and a couple authors I know have lost contracts over this.


In a lot of ways, that’s kind of a good idea—it’s not going to do anyone any good to share about a topic that no one is open to at the moment. However, if you are writing a story dealing with that or something similar, stick to the facts … and again, those persevering truths will aid you. It is true that all people, regardless of their skin color, have the same amount of worth. Even if everyone claims otherwise, there will always be people who believe that.


Overall, writing about tough topics in a historical setting is a big challenge, but it’s totally doable. It just requires a lot of dedication, research, and all the tact that you’d use while portraying a tough topic in a modern era.

Now, there are TWO giveaways going on: one for the blog tour, and one for the scavenger hunt! Check out the giveaway for the tour below. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And the scavenger hunt giveaway...this one requires a bit more legwork! 
Make sure you...
  • Begin at Stop #1 and continue on to the final post. At the end of each post, you’ll find a CLUE and a LINK to the next stop. Progress to each stop in order.

  • Collect all the clues and submit the full phrase at the last blog stop via the linked form to enter the giveaway.

  • While you’re at each stop, be sure to comment, as each comment wins you another entry in the Blog Tour Giveaway.

  • Deadline for entries is Monday, January 31st, at 10 AM Pacific Standard Time.

Sound like fun? Then go get after it! Stop #1 is linked at the top of my post (see, told ya to check it out first!) 

The next stop will be found HERE. 

What's your clue, you ask? 
Maybe it would help to say...what's THE clue ;) 


  1. I love scavenger hunts!🔎 Thanks for the opportunity to participate in this one!❤️

  2. Love all these thoughts, and especially the emphasis on the importance of research! This is such a great reminder that there is just so much that goes into historical fiction. :)

  3. Great thoughts! Accuracy + modern sensitivity is a tricky line to walk, but a Christian can’t go wrong following God and truth!

  4. Great post! In almost every historical fiction book I read, the girl has to comment about how much easier it would be if she could just wear pants, haha. And I'm like, I get it 21st century authors... but I'm next to positive that most girls wouldn't have bothered to think about that and that the generations of women before them would have taught tips and tricks to make it work. Women are very resourceful, after all.

    It is a tough line to walk, past opinions vs. modern sensitivities, especially with how much views on everything have changed in the past century. But it's a treat to read when the balance is done well!


  5. Great thoughts! And this series of books has such stunning covers!!

  6. Thank you for joining the tour! I had so much fun writing this post, and I was glad of the topic!

  7. This was a great post. It can't be easy to write within a past time and keep the story authentic.