What They Listened To: 1865

As many of you know MY NOVELS are set in Civil War and post-Civil War America. I thought it would be fun each week to focus on a different year of music from 1860-1900. Maybe my characters were listening to these songs back in the day. ENJOY.

Novel Inspiration (1):The Addict

CHARACTER: Morphine addict Lieutenant John Weldon INSPIRATION: Katherine McCullough needed a husband in the military. I was listening to a lot of Americana music and crushing on a young Robbie Robertson from The Band while collecting Civil War era prosthetic limbs and morphine kits. Having just recovered from a life threatening blood clot and feeling …

COVER DESIGN: Interview With Samantha Hennessy (part one)

One of the joys of independent publishing is finding a cover designer who “gets” your work. Samantha Hennessy at SAMANTHA HENNESSY DESIGN is the IT GIRL for me. Her  cover for my latest novel THE DEW THAT GOES EARLY AWAY is a lush, velvety dream (I’ve had people at book fairs gush over it). A…

Dog Day Afternoon

The computer is over there. The dogs are over here. It’s raining. Need I say more?

Can You Write Stories for These Pictures?

Under the Lilacs book illustration. I’d never heard the term domestic genre stories but I LOVE it. These are the great stories of the late 19th century that spoke to the trials and travails of ordinary life and often with beautiful illustrations. I assume they’re the works that some people deem “of no literary merit”…

Books I’ve Known and Loved

Can we all agree that men polish up quite nicely in uniform? Why else would we have cop groupies? My father had a charming charisma, but the uniform brought the groupies. Anyway, men look good in uniform–especially late 19th century military uniform–I happened to notice this at all the Civil war re-enactments–when the weekend was…

Books I’ve Known and Loved

Okay, don’t be disturbed by the man’s weird stare and ugly hat. While On the Border with Crook is about the Indian fighter General Crook it’s more about the erudite and humorous John Gregory Bourke— the dashing military man and entertaining writer. Invariably the military men of the late 19th century had such enthusiasm, intellectual…

Books I’ve Known and Loved

My heart beats a little quicker for this extremely fun and informative gem, The Look of the Old West Lieutenant John Weldon in The House on Tenafly Road took his family to a western military outpost after the Civil War and this book helped make that possible. Scholarly research is a great thing but Foster…

Books I’ve Known And Loved

When you write about post-Civil War America it’s impossible not to bump up against war wounds. John Weldon in The House on Tenafly Road is addicted to morphine, given his first dose in a Civil War hospital by well-meaning doctors trying to keep him comfortable before his eventual death–which never happens. He escapes in his…

The 19th Century Women Responsible for Questions about Womanhood

I’m traveling over to England today to talk about one of my favorite subjects–women– on Helen Hollick’s blog Let us Talk of Many Things; of Books and Queens and Pirates, of History and Kings . . . Helen has written a ton of historical fiction and pirate-based adventure fantasy novels. She’s been traditionally and independently…

A Christmas Card For A Soldier

“A green wrinkled sheet of thick card in his empty money pouch caught John Weldon’s eye. He pulled it out between his two long fingers. Hand-drawn timorous trees in black ink dressed the card’s message from the only care package he had ever received that first Christmas of the war . . . Christmas ….

In the Beginning . . .

Chapter One: John Weldon’s head throbbed as he focused in on the strange man standing above him. “Sergeant Weldon, one day soon you will be free of all pain and medication,” the doctor said as he gave his patient a little more morphine through a new British syringe in the bright, garland-trimmed soldiers’ hospital in…