With Words, She Made a Difference

This week’s woman of peace is author Lydia Maria Child (1802-1880). One of the most influential American women writers from the 1820s through the 1860s she was a prolific author, a literary pioneer, and a tireless crusader and champion for America’s excluded groups. With words, she made a difference.  Early Life Born on February 11, 1802 in Medford, Massachusetts, she was the youngest of six children. Her father, Convers Francis, was stern and religiously orthodox. Susannah (Rand) Francis, her mother, was ill and distant. Her mother died when Lydia was twelve.  After her mother’s death, they sent Lydia to live with a married sister in Maine. Norridgewock, a frontier society, exposed Lydia to a small community of impoverished Abenaki and Penobscot Indians.  Lydia moved back to Massachusetts at nineteen. She lived with her brother Convers, a scholarly Unitarian minister. Her brother guided her education in literary masters such as Homer and Milton. She reportedly hated the name Lydia. So when she converted to Unitarism and was re-baptised, she gave herself the name of Maria. She chose to go by Maria  (Ma-RYE-a) from then on. Early Career Lydia read an article in the North American Review discussing the field offered to the novelist by early New England history. That […]

A Novel Announcement and the Story Behind the Story

Recently I realized I’ve never made the official novel announcement here. News I shared several weeks ago on Facebook and Twitter, but not here. (For those of you who’ve seen Facebook or Twitter you’ll like the story behind the story.) My novel, My Soul to Keep, went live as an ebook on August 21st. It is now also available as a paperback book on Amazon. Other retailers can order it from Ingram. What’s the Story? This dystopian tale takes place in 1961, but America is not the nation you know. It’s an insular land of righteousness, repression, and fear. Drawn into a maelstrom of political intrigue, familial deception, and social upheaval two women, one peaceful and the other violent, seek truth and justice. To find the truth they will have to make sacrifices. Triumph will free them and the nation. Failure will mean a face-off with the angel-assassin, Azrael. How A Nice Girl Wrote A Dystopian Novel You might wonder how “a nice girl like” me came to write a dystopian novel. I moved seventeen times before I graduated from high school. No, neither parent was in any armed service. Seventeen different homes, seventeen different schools. Can you imagine a […]

I Was Alone But Not Alone

My book, My Soul to Keep, launched yesterday. It was a special moment. But as I reflected on the hours, days, weeks, and years I worked on this book, I realized something important. I was alone but not alone. So many things go into writing a book. All the books read, the friends roped into endless conversations, writing group members who tolerated endless rewrites, beta readers, editors, proofreaders, artists, and ARC readers each contribute to the story. I’m going to take a moment to say thank you to all who had a part in this. A Little Emotional I’m a little (okay, more than a little) overwhelmed by the friends and family who celebrate this book with me. I’m delighted that my very first review was a five-star review (it’s on Goodreads if you want a peak). Now you might rightly assume that my emotional outpouring has to do with pride. Yes, I have a healthy amount of pride in accomplishing a book. But what I am most grateful for is all the people who helped me get to this place. I could not do it alone, even though I must write alone. The support, the camaraderie, the encouragement I […]