What’s in Mrs. Hale’s Receipts for the Million 1857?
4095. For the Author – Give yourself as you are, what you are, and how you see it. Every man sees with his own eyes, or does not see at all. This is incontrovertibly true.
1) What are you working on?
I’m at a crossroads. I just finished up the last edits of my new novel, Timber Rose, the prequel to TreeSoldier. It’s been in workshop for over a year where it was revised and expanded. It will be out any time. I have two other manuscripts which I’d like to publish. One of them, however, needs some structural attention. It’s complete and I’m excited about it, but it needs another year. Either could go traditional or indie.
Tree Soldier continues to find new audiences. I wrote a one act play based on it and had it performed as part of the Bellingham One Act Theater Fest in Februrary. Currently, it is in production as an audiobook.
Sooo. I’m jumping in and working on a story idea that has been laying around in snippets. It’s inspired by my great-grandfather who was a Union surgeon at Gettysburg Civil War. But the novel will be set in a place most don’t think about. I finally got beyond the opening scene and some of the research I’ve uncovered has been fun. It will be a totally new work and starting from scratch, something I haven’t done in a while in long form. (I write a lot of essays and articles)
2) How does your work differ from others of its genre?
Some excellent historical fiction has been published in the last decade. Ancient Egypt, medieval times, Regency, Tutor England, and the lives of various writers, painters and architects. Perhaps mine is different as I write about the Pacific NW. The amazing cultures of the people of the Salish Sea, Hudson’s Bay Company, logging and fishing, gold rushes and the people who came to settle. Add the beautiful mountains, islands and forests and weather for a rich tapestry. The region is a character. Perhaps that is how my novels differ.
3) Why do you write what you do?
I love history. I grew up reading my great-grandfather’s Civil War journals and listening to stories about my mother’s ancestors coming to New England in the 1600s, going West, and growing up in the West in the 1930s. I guess that I’m curious about how things were. What people thought about world around them, solved problems. Tintypes, letters and artifacts handed down from the generations before me give some hint in the stories that accompany them. I like to ask why and how and then go run down the research.
Tree Soldier came out of my mom’s stories about the CCCs in Idaho when she was a teenager. Timber Rose came from two books about what young wives and young husbands should know in 1907. Recent articles and novels explore the fascinating history of the Pacific NW. It’s all good.
4) How does your writing process work?
I usually start with a scene, idea or question. My current project has been stirring for years from my interest in my great-grandfather’s experience as a Union surgeon and his life after and the question what was it like out here during that time period. How did people feel? How did they participate? Who was left behind? And what intrigues were there? I’m getting a lot of answers from the research I’ve undertaken. Just went down to see an exhibit on the Civil War in the Northwest. And learned some more. Now, I’m actually writing and feel that finally after writing snippets and scenes for several years, it’s finally going forward.