About my writing
My books are set in small towns because thatís what I know best. Except for Sophieís Lies, they are historical fiction in nature. Other than learning about the logging industry and the nineteenth century as a whole, the
Family Saga Series
required little research. Herseyís history was passed down to me by parents, grandparents and people I knew and listened to as a child.
was different, and I needed to learn through research. I found few real historical documents about Idlewild but a great deal concerning events of the 1920ís in Michigan and in the nation. It was a time of tribulation for our country, and I used what I learned to describe what could Ė or likely did Ė occur in the nationís largest African American resort prior to the civil rights acts.
came about as a result of conversations with many women over a couple of decades. They wanted to hear their voices in my work. They wanted to see the complex arguments they had with themselves in print on the pages of a book. I complied.
takes place in several small towns in northern lower Michigan: Pere Cheney, Burt Lake, Cross Village and Harbor Springs. The tales take place during the late nineteenth century when attitudes about morality tore lives apart, when medical knowledge consisted of bloodletting, when injustice toward Native Americans slept with greed, and ignorance became institutionalized. Research breaks my heart with terrible truths I sometimes wish I hadnít learned.
I am often asked how I create characters and events, and I donít have a clear response. I make detailed lists describing new characters and refer to it frequently throughout the writing process, but the people in my books donít always stay where or who I want them to be. They get pushy and go off on their own Ė do their own things. Many such people live in my books, but Harley in the Saga Series is the best example of a man who materialized and wouldnít go away or die off. And I love him. Heís as real to me as someone with flesh and blood. So, I donít know the answer to that question. Wish I did.
Thank you for your support and have a wonderful day!