At my book signings, I’ve met many people who are interested in writing about the Civil War—also known as the War Between the States, The Recent Unpleasantness, The War of Northern Aggression, and other titles. You may have your own reasons for your desire to center your writing on this conflict, but here is a list of reasons more writers should address the Civil War:
1. This war forever and permanently changed America. This conflict is a reference point, a turning point in our culture, in politics, and in our history.
2. Many of the issues of the war are still relevant and interesting to thinking people. Remember that most of this generation have been fed misinformation and stereotypes and don’t know that the generic, oversimplified and dumbed down historical facts in the textbooks doesn’t tell the real story of the Civil War. So, as a diligent writer of the Civil War, you will become an instructor.
3. You will have a specifically targeted and huge audience. Avid Civil War readers have several things in common. They tend to be literate, well-read, they enjoy learning new facts, they love hearing facts and stories they already know if they are told from an interesting and unique perspective, and most important of all for a writer—they buy tons of books.
4. You will grow from your writing.
5. Your reading audience will grow as a result of your research, insights, and prose.
Writers do shape society. Think of how Stephen King and other writers have influenced our ideas of horrors. Strong writers today are shaping the consciousness of the Civil War too.
6. This is an opportune time. Never, at least since the generation of actual combatants, have we had such rich and thorough resources.