A Novel Way to Write a History Book

Judy Salamacha

Judy Salamacha

Sandra Mittelsteadt

Sandra Mittelsteadt

Writers of Kern is proud to present Judy Salamacha and Sandra Mittelsteadt, authors of Colonel Baker’s Field: An American Pioneer Story.

Salamacha and  Mittelsteadt’s presentation, “A Novel Way to Write a History Book,” will give writers, history buffs, and genealogists insights into adapting history to creative non-fiction by weaving family lore into documented fiction. Attendees will also glean tips on where to research facts and how to manage writing as a team.

“History is often more exciting than fiction, but fails to engage the reader when it is written like a textbook,” says Salamacha. “The facts are recorded, but with no dialogue and little description.” Colonel Thomas Baker’s great-great grandson invited Salamacha and Mittelsteadt to use his lifetime of research to write the official biography of his ancestor. After talking with them, he agreed to allow them to fictionalize portions of the story where there were gaps in the research and joined the collaboration.

Salamacha, a native of Bakersfield, and Mittelsteadt, a transplant from the mid-west and Saudi Arabia, are former teachers of English as well as writers. For the past five years, Salamacha directed the Central Coast Writers Conference at Cuesta College. She currently writes for several newspapers on the Central Coast. Mittelsteadt is president of her company, Zayn Consulting, specializing in connecting businesses to education through career academy development and project-based integrated learning. Colonel Baker’s Field is their first book as a team.

Guests are invited and welcome at Writers of Kern monthly meetings. For meeting location, time, and cost, please click here.

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