Yesterday the news was full of yet another shooting of innocent people, this time in San Bernardino, California. The reports are somewhat conflicting but what we do know is that fourteen people who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time–at a holiday celebration!–are now dead and a good number more are injured.
The operative word here is caught and the hearts and hopes of people across the world go out to all those affected by this tragedy. Through no fault of their own the injured and those mourning the loss of their loved ones, and all of those connected in some way have now to live with the consequences. They are all victims.
This is what interested me when I began writing my Loyalist trilogy. Here was a seemingly ordinary young couple in the wilds of revolutionary war New York State forced to fight for their very survival. John goes off to join Butler’s Rangers and fight for the British and leaves Lucy behind to hold on to their farm. They have been married for two years. Their closest neighbour is ten miles away. And they both have to fight in ways they would never have thought.
In their case the Patriots (American side) and the King (British side) made decisions which would forever change their young lives. John and Lucy thought they would be carving out of the bush a life for the two of them and their hoped-for family. Instead he is off to fight and she is left alone, trying to keep their animals fed, their crops growing, and her loneliness and well-founded fears at bay. This is not the life they had envisioned.
I carried on with this theme in the second book and readers will be thrilled with the indomitable characters of John and Lucy and their family as they fight to survive during the War of 1812. Along the way I hope readers will recognize that germ of bravery in all of us that, when challenged, often flames into a roaring fire extinguishing all that stands in its way.
Isn’t the courage of ordinary people inspiring? Read any book and you’ll most likely see that theme whether the author intended it or not. Of course sometimes you’ll see cowardice or inability to survive but those characteristics help make your story realistic. Anne Rice says make it bad for your characters and then make it worse.
All of us are affected by the events in San Bernardino and, indeed, in many other places but inherent in our human nature is the will to survive and survive we will.
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.