So what this blog hop is all about is authors answering four questions about their current project.
What are you working on right now?
Right now I am working on a YA historical novel set in 1660 Boston about Mary Dyer, a woman who challenged the towns religious persecution of Quakers. Some Quakers suffered whippings, had their ears cut off and were dragged out of town behind a horse and cart. But others, like Mary who would not stay away from Boston and refused to refused to renounce their faith, went to the gallows. Before her hanging, Mary said, “My live not availeth me in comparison to the liberty of the truth.”
How does it differ from other works in it’s genre?
My novel will differ from other YA fiction based on American history because the main character actually lives in present-day Boston. Her witnessing the hanging of Mary Dyer is not magic, this book isn’t fantasy, but it is mysterious. Religion becomes a place of exploration for many teens. Sometimes what they have taken for granted all their lives, suddenly doesn’t make sense. This book delves into that religious space that is very difficult to quantify.
Why do you write what you do?
I have a passion for stories about people facing great adversity with courage. Writing stories like the one about Mary Dyer and my upcoming book PURE GRIT: HOW AMERICAN WWII NURSES SURVIVED BATTLE AND PRISON CAMP IN THE PACIFIC has been my way of exploring courage. What it is, and where it comes from. One thing I see again and again is that in their darkest moments people have the opportunity to discover their true identity, and that gives them the courage to follow an inner compass toward some good greater than themselves.
What’s the hardest part about writing?
For me, the hardest part about writing for kids is the integrity it demands. I want to tell kids the truth, whether it’s the true story of American women in WWII, or a novel composed of events I’ve imagined. Writing the truth about war means you have to get very close to war. If you don’t experience it yourself, you listen to other people’s accounts of it, and you don’t turn away from the ugliness, the horrific loss of life. You let it move through you onto the page. Writing fiction, requires an honesty about your own life experience. What moves through you onto the page of a novel is the emotional truth of living in this world. I find the honesty of the writing process to be very difficult at times.
Now if I’ve taken you down a path that is too serious and dark, I urge you to check out Author Stacy McAnulty.