Page Length: 217 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction, Christian Historical Fiction, Historical Romance
The Across the Great Divide series is inspired by looking at the middle and late nineteenth century in America and seeing many modern parallels. For the first book, The Clouds of War, I saw a deeply divided nation in 1859, with families splitting and taking opposite sides. As foreigners flooded through portals like New York, there were immigration issues, and enslaved persons attempted to flee to the free states. Racial prejudice was everywhere. There were riots in the streets like the Pratt Street riots in Baltimore when Massachusetts troops came through town; There were tariff issues. The country was in a massive state of chaos and change. I wanted to explore these problems and expose possibilities for better solutions.
On a personal level, I was born in Lubbock, Texas. One of the founders of Lubbock and Shallowater was William Dorsey Crump. I knew his granddaughter, a friend of my grandmother when I was a small child. I heard a few stories about Will back then, and as an adult, I grew curious. As I began to research his life and times, I found it fascinating, with a story that resonates today.
Many of the people that appear in my books were real persons, though not all. For my present novel, Book 2 The Search, I had to be inventive – after the Civil War, when Will leaves a Union hospital in Virginia, he disappears from the historical record for five years. There are family indications that he went west. The period following the Civil War was the time of the great wars with Native Americans. I also was fascinated with recent scholarship on PTSD in Civil War veterans, called “soldier’s heart.” As I talked to people, even history buffs and professors, I discovered how little of these two topics, the Native American genocide, and post-Civil War PTSD, was written down. The Native Americans’ written history is mostly from a white point of view. I was sure there was a story there, and I thought Will could tell it.
Dove, the young Shoshone woman that Will falls in love with, is fictional but represents so many Native American women, then and now.
I learned a great deal during the research for the novel, particularly unwritten Native American history, by talking to members of the tribes. I was fortunate to have the assistance of Darren Parry, Chairman (“Chief”) of the Northwestern Shoshone band, to learn some Shoshone language and culture, to get a feel for the heart of Native Americans, past and present.
|Darren Parry, Chairman (“Chief”) of the Northwestern Shoshone band
Image used with permission.
Our government still fails to keep the legal treaties ratified by our Senate and promotes the theft and desecration of Native American land. Racial problems with the African American community dominate the headlines, but equally severe issues with Native Americans receive little notice.
The Search aims to show the effect of war, treachery, and avarice on individuals and Native Americans in a way that will humanize the stories of the past and point to better solutions today – as we reach Across the Great Divide between people.