Why Historical Fiction?

As I complete the edit on third volume of the Shiloh Saga, I am looking on to what I may write next.  Of course, I plan to finish Mac and Laurel’s story, but after that I wonder where I will find my next story line?  I am sure it will be historical fiction.  Recently I read a devotional that confirmed for me why I find this genre so important and special.

In the tenth and eleventh chapter of the book of Deuteronomy, Moses commands the people he has brought out of Egypt to tell the children of the deeds God did to bring them safely to the Promised Land.  He reminds them they did not see these miracles and had not experienced the acts that lead them through the Red Sea and fed them in the wilderness.  He said, “Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds…Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up…”  Deut. 11:18-19

Moses was talking about the need to save their history.  That is what I love about historical fiction.  When good writers weave the past into their storylines, they are preserving bits of our story that may be lost without their telling.  That is why their research is so important.  Plot lines and good characters are the vehicle to carry the past.  Good writers of historical fiction generate interest in those places and events of times past, and the stories they weave helps their readers remember.  It is the responsibility of our generation to pass on what we know about our country, our culture, and our families to the next generation.  Without this, they will have no history to pass on to their children.

For Christian Historical Fiction writers, I believe, it is crucial to tell young people how God has impacted us.  We have an obligation to show them how faith, Christian values, the perseverance of the early church, and lives of the people who came before us have made the world we live in possible.  This is our witness to the next generation.

And we tell it in a story…because we want them to remember what the Lord has done for us.

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This is the site of preserved homestead near Dalton, in Randolph County, Arkansas.  This an example of a single pen cabin.  There were no glass paned windows.  The logs had been hewn to make them fit together more evenly.
Eli Lindsey Marker
Rita Thomison very graciously sent me this picture to include with this story. This marker is on the site of the Lindsey home place in Lawrence County about a mile from the Eli Lindsey Memorial Methodist Church.  John Stoll and his wife Elaine minister to this congregation today.

April, 2018

April has been a busy month in my world.

  The Dream of Shiloh is out, and people are asking for volume 3 of the Shiloh Saga.  I have been traveling to share stories about my books and having a wonderful time visiting with friends and family in the process.  Let me share a bit of what I’ve been doing…

April 1 was a glorious Easter Day…the weather was not glorious, but the spirit at church was beautiful and the joy of celebrating our risen Savior is always worth the excitement of the best holiday of the year, regardless of the climate.  I love Easter. It’s my favorite time of year, in case I haven’t made that clear.  This is our Easter picture…Kennedy, Tara and me.

Easter

On April 3, two of my high school classmates and I traveled across Arkansas to Winslow Arkansas to do a book chat with the book club of another high school classmate…Mind you, we celebrated out fiftieth high school class reunion last July so we’ve been friends for a long time.  Jamae Craft Fulmer invited us to her beautiful mountain home in the Boston Mountains and asked a dozen or so of her Mt. Harmony book club friends in to talk about In Search of Shiloh, which they had read together.  Such fun we all had.  They asked some of the best questions, many of which I hadn’t really thought about and had to think really quickly on my feet to come up with a good answer.  They welcomed us so warmly.   They even bought copies of The Dream of Shiloh and want me to come back later to talk about that one! Brenda Davis Thakkar and Jeanette Murray Clayton drove with me to Washington County, and another classmate, Chyrlene Hamby Noblin, who lives in Springdale drove over to join us.  We finished the evening with a “bunking party” and went the next day to Crystal Bridges to see the fabulous art display.  Don’t let anyone tell you Arkansas doesn’t have a first class Art Museum in the state!!! Fantastic exhibit.

 

Mt Harmony Book Club
The Mount Harmony Book Club In Washington County, Arkansas…Had a Great Time, Girls.

 

 

High school pals
Five happy classmates from the class of ??…Brenda Davis Thakkar, Jeanette Murray Clayton, Jamae Craft Fulmer, Chyrlene Hamby Noblin, and Patricia Clark Blake.

 

On April 8, I had another birthday, but we won’t linger on that subject…

On the 9th, I took The Dream of Shiloh over to the Greene County Library in Paragould to add to their Local Author’s section.  They had already purchased In Search of Shiloh.  I wanted to see it on the same shelf as John Grishams’ books, but it was checked out.  That was a wonderful surprise.  They treated me so special…so graciously and invited me to come back in May and do a book talk and signing for them in their library.  Librarians in our local libraries are such fine folks.  I hope you support our public libraries when they ask for those tiny mileage increases.  This is a selfie my granddaughter Kennedy took of herself on the beach at Muscle Shoals, reading her Nanna’s latest novel.

Kennedy reading my book

Two days later, I found that the Crowley’s Ridge Regional Library also had In Search of Shiloh in their collection.  I went up there to see it…but found out it was checked out too! Since that is my home county, I need to go up there and donate them a copy of the second book, too.

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At home, I’ve been editing Volume 3…Beyond Shiloh.  Today I finished chapter 19.  I think I have four chapters to go to finish the first read through.  I’ll be ready to share it with my beta readers soon.  The Lord has been good to me this year….The books are being well accepted and I love writing them.  I think I may have found my calling.

 

 

A New Interview with John Cunningham

I hope you will take a few minutes to read this interview I did with John “Jack” Cunningham.  Jack is a member of my historical fiction critique group, and he has been very helpful in reading my story and making suggestions for historical accuracy.  He was also the first person who asked me to do an author’s interview.  I hope you enjoy this.

A New Interview

An Arkansas Quiz

  1. There are five major rivers in Arkansas that have been used for commerce and navigation by steamboats.  Name three of them.

  2. Three families made up the “Family” of early Arkansas politics.  Name two of them.

  3. Arkansas is the only state in the United States where diamonds have been found.  Where can you ‘mine’ diamonds today?

  4. The world’s largest rice processing mill is in Arkansas.  Do you know where it is located?

  5. Arkansas is notorious for our nationally televised school integration of Central High School conflict in Little Rock.  This was not the first school integration in Arkansas.  Do you know where the first integration took place, much more civilized and peaceful?

  6. Was Arkansas a true son of the South and eager to enter the confederacy at the time of secession in 1861?

  7. What was the name of the first newspaper in Arkansas?

  8. What historical site is preserved in Dyess, Arkansas?

  9. Arkansas has the privilege of having the first woman in United States Senate.  Do you know who she was?

  10. What is our state bird?  (No, it is not the mosquito!)