Today the almost nine years of my writing journey with the Loyalist trilogy popped into my mind and I decided to look back, something I rarely do in my life. How many of us just keep going and going and going hoping to outdo the Energizer bunny? Do we ever take a step back and contemplate?
My first online blog was primarily about my new hobby (then) — beading and making jewelry. As my novel took hold, however, I went down the writing road. Here is a post I did during the transition. Towards the end you’ll see just where I was on my journey at that time. If you follow those posts marked writing on that site you’ll see more steps along my way.
What use is looking back at those posts? I can visit the person I was and the life I had then, but most important I can easily see how much further I’ve come. We writers need that, don’t we? The will to go on and on and on sometimes flags. Looking back helps a lot. On a small white board, I have a list of goals that I look at and update every few months and that list helps me. Just today I erased write a blog post for P.C. Zick’s blog as I did that a couple of weeks ago. It felt good to take a tissue and rub out the notation. When writing a novel we authors have to have smaller tasks to complete or the long one would just be too onerous.
My husband has reminded me often of how much I’ve learned on this journey. I tend to concentrate on what I still want to accomplish. Are you like that? One of these days I’m going to print out my blog posts and bind them somehow and then I’ll be able to easily see the amount of thinking and learning and writing behind me so far. Still I much prefer to get on with the current project and to think up new ideas or books to write. Imagination is a powerful aphrodisiac.
When I started this writing blog I tried to keep both going but that became too much, especially as I was working hard on my first novel. When I think of it now, I wonder how I managed to get that baby out the door in just over six years but all the conferences, writing groups, critique groups, rewrites and re-rewrites I did helped immensely and I had plenty of time and opportunity to revise and reshape until the book was ready. You can’t rush that.
This week a local reporter contacted me about doing an interview for a newspaper article both online and printed. That’s a new step along my journey. Usually I’m the one contacting them to get publicity for my books. Of course, then I happened to look at Sharon Kay Penman’s and Diana Gabaldon’s Facebook pages and saw the thousands of followers they have. My hubris shrunk considerably.
Tonight I’ll be speaking at a local event to which you’re all invited. It’s in Thorndale at the West Nissouri Public Library near where my third book is set and where my great great great grandparents, William and Catherine Garner, settled on 200 acres granted to Catherine through her father, John Cain, for his service fighting for the British in the American revolution. I love to drive those roads and muse how the countryside looked 200 years ago and I’m so looking forward to meeting people whose roots may be similar to mine. Just so you know, I’ve used the Garner names in my trilogy but the actual stories are the fiction part of my historical fiction.
And tonight I’ll be looking forward, too, as I talk about finishing the third book and its links to the area. With my niece whose training, job, and interests embrace the history of the area I’ll refresh my memory about my own father’s family back in the day. She is quite interested in furthering our knowledge about our family so that our personal history is not lost. Going back has allowed me to go forward with so much more insight into my own family history and our larger New World history. Who knew nine years ago where this path would lead?
For All Lovers of Historical Fiction!
The Loyalist’s Luck, Book Two in The Loyalist Trilogy!
John and Lucy escape the Revolutionary War to the unsettled British territory across the Niagara River with almost nothing. In the untamed wilderness they must fight to survive, he, off on a secret mission for Colonel Butler and she, left behind with their young son and pregnant once again. In the camp full of distrust, hunger, and poverty, word has seeped out that John has gone over to the American side and only two people will associate with Lucy–her friend, Nellie, who delights in telling her all the current gossip, and Sergeant Crawford, who refuses to set the record straight and clear John’s name. To make matters worse, the sergeant has made improper advances toward Lucy. With John’s reputation besmirched, she must walk a thin line depending as she does on the British army, and Sergeant Crawford, for her family’s very survival.
The Loyalist’s Wife, Book One in The Loyalist Trilogy!
by Elaine Cougler, winner of the WCDR 2014 Pay It Forward Scholarship
Short-listed for Inspire! Toronto International Book Fair’s Canada Self-Published Book Awards
When American colonists resort to war against Britain and her colonial attitudes, a young couple caught in the crossfire must find a way to survive. Pioneers in the wilds of New York State, John and Lucy face a bitter separation and the fear of losing everything, even their lives, when he joins Butler’s Rangers to fight for the King and leaves her to care for their isolated farm. As the war in the Americas ramps up, ruffians roam the colonies looking to snap up Loyalist land. Alone, pregnant, and fearing John is dead, Lucy must fight with every weapon she has.With vivid scenes of desperation, heroism, and personal angst, Elaine Cougler takes us back to the beginnings of one great country and the planting of Loyalist seeds for another. The Loyalist’s Wife transcends the fighting between nations to show us the individual cost of such battles.