In the comments on yesterday's post, Lynne in Georgia said " ... I miss Elizabeth and Miss Birdie. I understand times are very tough in the publishing business, but is there any possibility of a new book coming along? From earlier blog entries and the fact you haven't referenced any works in progress for some time, I'm guessing I know the answer. But I'm sure I'm not the only one who is hoping that we haven't seen the last of your characters. We'll also understand if you just don't want to address this any further. Just know that we miss having a new book."
Oh, how I hate disappointing a reader. But at the moment, Lynne, I'm finding my way into a novel with no Elizabeth. It's set in my county (Elizabeth's familiar surroundings) but in the Civil War era. Whether there will ever be another Elizabeth is a question I can't answer. I'm proud of the Elizabeth books and know there's more to her story and that of her family, but maybe for the moment she deserves a rest from all the drama.
I did a post for another blog on this subject HERE . But for Lynne, and others who might be interested, my current project is a novel based on a very real incident -- the Shelton Laurel massacre.
Originally I thought of telling the story from the point of view of a young woman in Sheldon Laurel -- but as I read more about the Massacre, I realized that I was going to need more voices -- Col. Allen's wife, whose children's deaths were one of the inciting causes of the Massacre, and a young man, a conscripted soldier who participates in the Massacre, are two and there will probably be more -- so many reasons for what happened and so many stories to tell . . .
I've been enjoying a break from the rigors of a deadline but am eager to get serious about this story. Just recently a Facebook friend whose family has lived in our county since the 1700s contacted me and offered to share some family history -- including letters written from a man held in a Union prisoner of war camp.
And a handwritten memoir . . .
Reading through this helps so much to get the feeling and the language of the era in my mind. And there are many other resources . . .
I see this as a serious, 'literary' novel; whether I'm up to it remains to be seen. But I want to try.
So that's where I am, Lynne. Struggling with the eternal problem of Good and Evil and all the shades in between, trying to explain of Man's inhumanity to Man, trying to see all the sides in the story, and writing this novel -- with no idea of when it will be finished or if it will be published. Sometime I feel like the Fool on the tarot card. But that's okay.