Sulari Gentill is the author of ten published novels, including the Rowland Sinclair Mysteries, a series of historical crime novels chronicling the life and adventures of her 1930s Australian gentleman artist, and the Hero Trilogy, based on the myths and epics of the ancient world. Sulari’s first novel was shortlisted for the 2011 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize – Best First Book. Her latest publication, A Murder Unmentioned, was shortlisted for two 2015 ABIA Awards.
What inspired you to write about the 1930s?
To be honest it was a pragmatic decision. My husband is an historian, and the extreme political movements of the 1930s in NSW are within his particular area of expertise. Living with an expert in the era has all sorts of advantages.
What surprises have you encountered in your research?
I have been both surprised and alarmed by the extent to which the events of the 1930s mirror what is happening today.
What’s one key tip for writers starting a historical fiction project?
Dialogue with an historian or other expert is often more valuable than all the textbooks in the world. If you can find someone to talk to about the era, do so.
Join Sulari and explore the techniques, tricks, ideas and pitfalls of bringing history into a narrative in Reliving the Past: Writing Historical Fiction on Sunday 23 October, 10am-4pm at the NSW Writers’ Centre.