This project has been a labor of love since I ran across Fannie Sellins on the internet more than ten years ago! As with any important undertaking, I stumbled through many challenges on the way.
Fannie Sellins entered my life via a Google search on American labor history back in 2007. I was working on a teacher's guide for my novel, Fire in the Hole! And here is an entry that turned up: In the Midst of Terror She went out to Her Work.
Who could pass on that? Not me. The article by Mary Lou Hawse started: "Fannie Sellins was a labor organizer -- and from all accounts, she was an exceptional one. But she paid with her life."
I soon discovered much about Fannie's courage and compassion. When immigrant women earning poverty wages in St. Louis sweatshops voted to strike, Fannie Sellins was there. When destitute coal miners dared to unionize in West Virginia, Fannie was there.
When hired gunmen threatened, beat and shot miners walking the picket line in Pennsylvania, Fannie was there. Mine operators would have paid any price to get rid of Fannie. They threatened to kill her, but Fannie refused to go away.
The United Mine Workers Journal called her an "Angel of Mercy," who went into the miners' homes, encouraging their wives and caring for the sick and dying. "Whenever there was a strike, with its inevitable suffering, Mrs. Sellins was found, caring for the women and children through the dark days of the struggle."
I'm so proud and happy to share the story of this courageous women who has inspired me so. By the way, you can pre-order the book now.
As always, thanks for your support! We authors are nothing without readers.