Why historical? Why Civil War? Why Texas? Why Survivors?
I have always loved history. I love a story that makes me feel I am in that place and time. That’s one of the reason I read. When I read, I’m gone. Don’t talk to me. Knock me on the head if you want my attention.
I have been a Civil War buff since junior high or middle school. What a grand tragedy was the American Civil War. A fairly new country ripped apart. Families split, brother against brother. Romantic South versus industrial North. The slave question and so much more. Ripe for all kinds of drama and character development. Much has been written about the eastern states, less about the western theater, and little about Texas’s involvement. While researching the web I discovered the (now deleted) diaries and journals of Terry’s Texas Rangers. After reading those journals, I found my main character and only needed to flesh him out.
In researching Texas, I discovered Stephen Austin’s Three Hundred, southern families who, with the permission of Mexico, began settling along the Brazos River in 1822. I now own a copy of Austin’s Old Three Hundred, The First Anglo Colony in Texas, as written by their descendants, and edited by Wolfram M. Von-Maszewski. I’ll add a few of the more fascinating gems from this later, citing the book, of course. The two plantation families in my novel, one growing cotton, the other tobacco, are members of this dainty group.
With my husband at the time I traveled by RV to Texas and Louisiana where At What Cost, Silence takes place—beautiful country.
Recalling my childhood friend Billy, who was bullied for wearing his mom’s dresses and heels, along with my own personal experience combined with the former to motivate me to write this particular story.
Last, but definitely not least, perhaps I should have written my memoir first, in order to understand why I write at all. But Mary and I survived throughout all those years in our stories and, darn, if here with Mary’s help isn’t a story that is actually making it to publication!