As a general rule I keep a mental (and sometimes physical) barrier between my academic -
- and fiction writing worlds.
Though history itself always plays a part in the worlds and characters I build in my novels (because history inherently makes us and our societies what we are), the writing I do as a professor and that I do as a novelist run along parallel but non-intersecting roads.
I'll have a chapter in the upcoming anthology History and Twilight (Blackwell, 2010).
One of my favorite parts of teaching history is examining the role of popular culture in the creation and reimagination of historical narratives. The Twilight series is full of such examples; through my reading of all four books I mulled over the ways history is constantly invoked in the lives of its central and supporting characters.
Soon I'll be sharing those ideas with all of you.
Serendipity is alive and well.