The process of creating historical fiction will be explored at the January meeting of the History and Heritage Book Club.
South Dakota native Steve Linstrom will be the guest speaker when the book club meets at 7 p.m. CST on Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015, at the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre.
Linstrom will present the process of creating his historical fiction novels “The Last Ram” and “The Murder Trial of the Last Lakota Warrior.” Both novels are set in South Dakota and are based in varying degrees on real-life events. “The Last Ram” is set in 1903 in the Badlands. In “The Murder Trial of the Last Lakota Warrior,” the young Lakota warrior Plenty Horses stands trial for shooting an Army lieutenant in the aftermath of Wounded Knee.
The presentation will include images to bring to life the Badlands, Sioux Falls as the Divorce Capital of America, the history of the Audubon Bighorn Sheep, the Plenty Horses murder trial, the Wounded Knee battle, the history of the Lakota, politics and racism of the West and the challenges facing Lakota boys sent to Indian schools.
“Writers of historical fiction have the research challenges of a historian and the entertainment challenges of a storyteller. Linstrom will show how historical facts are woven together to entertain readers while maintaining the integrity of history,” said Michael Lewis, president of the South Dakota Historical Society Foundation. The foundation is the nonprofit partner of the South Dakota State Historical Society and a sponsor of the History and Heritage Book Club.
Linstrom was raised in Rapid City, attended South Dakota State University in Brookings and then lived in Pierre from 1979 to 1996. He was a fiscal analyst for the Legislative Research Council, director of research for the South Dakota Board of Regents and the State Director of Information Services. He served on the executive committee of the South Dakota Library Network and in 1994 received the Friend of the Library Award from the South Dakota Library Association.
The Linstroms then moved to Marshall, Minn., where the family still lives and Linstrom is now a full-time writer.
Everyone is welcome to attend the free program, made possible by the South Dakota Humanities Council, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Those unable to attend the program in person may be able to join the program by telephone or through a video conferencing network. For more information about how to join the presentation from another site, please call (605) 773-6006.
“The Last Ram” and “The Murder Trial of the Last Lakota Warrior” will be available at the Heritage Stores at the Cultural Heritage Center and the Capitol. Book club members receive a 10 percent discount, and SDSHS member receive an additional 5 percent discount when they purchase book club selections at either Heritage Store.
For more information about the History and Heritage Book Club, call (605) 773-6006.