In my understanding historical fiction is a genre in which you portray real life people and incidents in a fictitious setting. Here is what Wikipedia has to say about historical fiction.
That said, the topic came to my mind as I read “The Unlikely Spy” by Daniel Silva. Many of you may have read his books. He is now a well-known author of many best sellers but this is the first book by him that I am reading. It turns out by co-incidence to be the first book he wrote!
The book is set in the Second World War and his description of real life people like Hitler, Churchill and the top brass of the German military establishment make you feel as if you ( and he of course) knew them in person. I believe this is a hallmark of great writing. You are using history to re-create events, giving them your own slant and perspective while staying true to core historical facts.
In my book “It Can’t Be You” , I too have dabbled in historical fiction. I have used real life characters from Indian history to provide the setting for a story which is purely fiction.
Daniel Silva has reinforced my love for this genre and I am sure I will use this in my future writings.