Life shapes us into what we’re meant to be—no matter how we fight it. As a baby-boomer from Saginaw, Michigan, my love of historical fiction began when I was twelve, with Gone with the Wind. After that, I devoured every historical novel my reading level would allow. But I didn’t realize I was meant to be a writer until I discovered the classic historical romances of Kathleen Woodiwiss, Patricia Mathews, Fern Micahaels, and even family saga of John Jakes’ “The Americans.”
“I can do this!” I told myself, recalling my fascination with TV westerns, and love of musty, century-old books. Then I found our old, family Bible nearly buried in our attic insulation. Ignoring bits of pink fiberglass burrowing under my skin to study invitations, newspaper clippings, obituaries, and locks of hair pressed between 1,800 pages of tiny print and frightening illustrations, I wondered about their stories. I found another treasure when I discovered a beat-up trunk in the rafters of our garage. It was filled with books dating back to 1835. I kept that trunk for decades, and now and then, plucked a book out and revisited an old friend.
The inspiration for The Langesford Legacy series came from one of those books. Seven and Nine Years Among the Comanche and Apache, written in 1873, was a first-hand account of a husband and wife separated by an attack on their wagon train. Another, an 1862 soldier’s pocket manual brought the Civil War to life for me. Mixing those with my love for Gone with the Wind created the Langesford family.
But what I didn’t know was that the story wouldn’t end with one book. Each generation of this magnificent and flawed family had their story to tell as they discovered and suffered the consequences of the sins of previous generations, created their own secrets, and their own destiny own—as well as a dynasty as lasting as our nation.
My books are about characters who reach back through time via old books, diaries, letters, postcards, and sepia-toned pictures rescued from dusty attics. And as the yellowed pages stained with faded ink lead them back in time, they discover the lies—and the truths of the past to build a better future.
It’s as close to time-travel as I can come. I hope you enjoy the journey—and return safely.