Why Non-Boring History?

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Annette (r) with Gina Coleman (l) media specialist at Yulee Middle School in Florida, where Annette spoke in 2019 as an invited author for the Amelia Island Book Festival

Whether you read historical fiction, or hated high school history but watched Outlander or 12 Years a Slave, I’m here for you: A British woman who was a successful academic historian and college professor in the US, but who followed her journalistic roots and hammy personality to leave the university, and become a renegade.

I write historical novels aimed at kids and young teens but which also have a keen adult audience. I have a small but significant body of work in early American history, but gave up a tenured university job. I speak to community groups and teachers’ conferences, and also dress in silly costumes to entertain 5th graders.

You can read more about all that at AnnetteLaing.com

So it's a unique CV. For many years, I’ve been sharing my thoughts with my adult network of teachers and fans, most of them in the Deep South, in a newsletter I throw together most Thursdays. But it’s about time I went public.

I’m all about bringing history to people who aren’t buffs. People who didn't like high school history, or, if they were unlucky in their instructors, college history. Sure, I’ll be posting my very independent thoughts on history teaching, and education in general. But mostly, Non-Boring History on Substack is about reaching busy real people like you (yes, even working mothers, because if you've got time for Facebook, you've got time for this, and this is better). I want to tempt you too join the club with engaging and entertaining stories you really can use, stories that are typically buried in places that normally only academic historians can access.

I’m about bringing people together through the best meeting place I know: History. It's not an easy place to be. But the truth, even and especially when we don’t think we want to hear it, sets all of us free. And I do mean all.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could, you know, actually talk to each other? Not to argue our political views. Just to chat about stories . You're welcome no matter your views, with one very important warning: I'm not a fan of ideologies that require obedience, and that declare war on dissent and doubt. That means that I may offend you at times, no matter how you identify yourself politically, because more and more, people are basing opinions on what is considered acceptable among their friends, rather than on evidence. I ask you to hang in there with me.

Oh, and I have a sense of humor because I need it. Subscribe to get full access to the Non-Boring History newsletter and website, including often surprising material, photos, and videos from my history-focused travels in the US, past and future.

Annette Laing in Sierra Nevada Mountains, in search of the people of the Gold Rush
Annette in the Sierra Nevada mountains, California, on the trail from Independence, MO of the people of the wagon trains of the Gold Rush, and the people they met on the way. Because it’s not like it was in the old movies.

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You won’t have to worry about missing anything. Every new post goes directly to your inbox. Don’t want to read today's? No worries. I don’t hand out tests or require reports. No anxiety here. I write posts on a wide variety of themes and subjects, and love to hear what resonates with you.

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One thing I’ve learned from my other newsletter, written mostly for those who have met me in person, is that we all have a lot more in common than you might think. I’m one small voice in the middle of this mess, and you won’t always agree with me, or like what I have to tell you, but that’s ok. History is sometimes unsettling, but that's interesting, too.

To learn more about me and my work, visit AnnetteLaing.com or the very first post of this newsletter. Welcome to Non-Boring History!