My roots are deep in the hills and ‘hollers’ of Tennessee where my ancestors were among the earliest settlers. Some protected the frontier during the Revolution. Others claimed Revolutionary War land grants for their service during the Revolution and settled in the Tennessee wilderness after the war. One branch of the family descended from explorer Daniel Boone. Another ancestor served with Andrew Jackson at the Battle of New Orleans. Several served in the Confederacy.
Growing up in a small Tennessee town, where everyone knew everyone and most people could claim some kinship if you went back far enough, I developed a strong connection to place and to those who came before me. My mother told us family stories and local tales she had heard over the years. A simple Sunday drive became a running dialog with a story for every point along the way. This oral history combined with a small-town, Southern upbringing molded my sense of history and fed my imagination. Add a grandfather’s extensive library (circa 1910), wall-sized maps, old photos, musical instruments, and a collection of rocks and artifacts to create a glimpse into a childhood steeped in the past.
I grew up, went off to college, married and had a family. Life took priority, while reading historical novels and watching old movies became my outlet, my escape. Years passed before the writer in me emerged. I began compiling the genealogical information gathered by my mother and I wrote down those family stories to share with the next generation. The stories and further research into our family tree provided inspiration for me to delve even deeper. Which in turn led me to create my own fictional stories and characters.
My husband and I now live in North Florida and enjoy traveling to historical sites.