Wednesday, May 10, 2017

A TRUE ESCAPE!

A TRUE ESCAPE ... Anyone who knows me will tell you I am a little odd. Well, I am. And there are real benefits to my different way of seeing things. I don't have to be satisfied with unhappy endings in books or sad movies as they're presented. I simply let my mind form a new scenario and enjoy things they way they should have been, according to Valerie. When I was in school I thought everybody could do this and was shocked to learn they couldn't. I think authors are masters of it.

We stare out windows and see things that others don't even dream about. We can close our eyes and be transported to another time or place. We may even get anxious and out of breath when we're putting together a frightening scene or rescuing the helpless as only we can. This is one reason why I love writing for Love Inspired in all their lines. There is hope. Faith in action. And the kind of satisfying closure that I crave.

Curiosity drew me to explore Cherokee history before the "Trail of Tears," partly because one of the routes went right through the area where I now live. There are lots of reasons why that epic journey is often featured but I wanted to know what led up to it. When I found the true tale of the little boy who was caught in the clash between his Cherokee culture and Washington politics I was not only astounded, I was livid. How dare anybody do that to an innocent child? I had to help him. Save him! Give him a chance to live the happy, fulfilled life he deserved.

At the time my story takes place, the city of Washington had livestock roaming free and grazing on the mall. There were even water troughs provided for them there. Barges plied the Potomac and communication was by courier, letter or newspaper. There was one paper in the Cherokee language, The Cherokee Phoenix, and its editor was deeply involved in politics, too. So you see, I'm not dealing with the stereotypical Native American, at least not then. But put any man or woman in dire straits and send them fleeing into the wilderness and you will soon see beneath the veneer of civilization that we display so proudly.

As you may know I usually write for Love Inspired Suspense and  love a good mystery. Couple that with the kind of background that takes your breath away and opens a whole new world that our ancestors trod and you have my take on historical fiction. I want to visit often and try to understand how we can be so alike and yet so different.

And I want to take you with me.
Blessings,
Val



16 comments:

Christine Johnson said...

Valerie, I'm so intrigued by your story and the history you've uncovered. It sounds fascinating!

Mary Alford said...

Valerie, as a history buff, I loved reading your post. And you're right, we authors can create a happy ending to every story. I can't wait to read about yours.

Pamela Tracy said...

I love history, too. I live a mile from a Navajo reservation. Truly, the history of what many call "progress" is a trail of tears.

Lenora said...

Val, your research teaches me so much. No wonder I love your books!

Terri Reed said...

Fascinating information, Val. Makes me want to read your story even more. I love the cover!

Margaret Daley said...

The Cherokee have such a rich history. I wrote some stories about the tribe in southeast United States. Thanks for sharing why you wrote this story.

Arlene James said...

I SO share your tendency to dream the happy ending. In fact, if I have a nightmare, I often go back to sleep and dream myself a happy ending to it! Kindred spirits here, Val, and the book sounds wonderful. It's in my TBR list now.

Valerie Hansen said...

Thanks, everybody. One of my favorite reader letters came from a Navajo who appreciated the way I portrayed plains Indians, even though she wasn't from the same background. I also loved the Cherokee wedding ceremony that took place long after the Christian one in this book.

Lisa Carter said...

A few years ago in researching my suspense novel about contemporary Cherokee, I was able to spend a great deal of time in the Snowbird Mountains following the still wilderness pathways where the Cherokee who evaded the roundup hid and to also talk to the descendants of these extraordinary people. I look forward to reading your book.

Leigh Bale said...

Delightful research, Val! Thanks for sharing.

Dana R. Lynn said...

Wow, this is absolutely fascinating, Val! I can't wait to read this book!

Valerie Hansen said...

I also used antique maps and place names. That's one reason why I don't write many historicals. I'm obsessive about detail. A friend here in northern Arkansas was sure she was descended from escapees but we never got her ancestry nailed down. She would have loved this book and our discussion if she were still with us. It's Benge's Trail that passes very close to me here.

Winnie Griggs said...

Love these little insights into history - thanks for sharing!

Valerie Hansen said...

Also, some may be interested in the mention I gave the Museum of the Cherokee Indian in Cherokee, NC. They not only have a wonderful museum, there are live actors portraying their ancestors in daily life. One of the things that surprised me was the blow gun! That shooter was good, too.

It's after 8PM here so I'll bid you all good night.

Debby Giusti said...

Val, your book sounds so interesting! Thanks for sharing some of your research!

Terri Reed said...

Fascinating details, Val!