Tuesday, June 18, 2013

THE IDEA - VOW UNBROKEN

Ever wonder how an author gets started? This is how the idea for VOW UNBROKEN began.      


        When I first decided to write a historical Christian romance set in the 1800s, a member of the Red River Writer's Workshop and friend, Marion Butts influenced my subject matter. Marion's been writing historical non-fiction about anything and everything having to do with Red River County in far North East Texas--my new home--for years. At our workshop, we read a chapter and then critique each other. I'd so enjoyed his reads and remembered one having to do with the farmers getting together in a 'wagon train' to take their cotton to market in Jefferson, about a hundred miles south.
        I talked with my husband, also a writer, and we brainstormed a bit. I thought a widow living out on the prairie would make a good heroine. How was she widowed? Husband died in an accident along with his brother. My widow would be pregnant and also now have her nephew to raise. That all happened ten years before the book opens, known as 'back story' - important for an author to know, but the reader can discover it as they get acquainted with ...with... What would I name my heroine? Susannah, and I'll call her Sue. SO, what's my premise - - -
        She believed her young husband's death was her punishment for not honoring her father. You see, she'd married without his blessing, and so to atone for her sin, she makes a promise--a vow-- to God that she will not marry again without her Daddy's blessing. This is troublesome for all her suitors since he lives in Tennessee, a long way to travel for a man unsure of the outcome. And so, Sue remained alone on the prairie, raising her baby girl and five year old nephew, eking out a living and trusting God. As is often the case, the trials she faced drew her closer to God and taught her to trust in His faithful provision.
       But I didn't want her to go with the train, that'd be too easy. So why wouldn't she? Ah, she thought she had her crop sold close to home, to a businessman at the trading post, but on the day she delivers it, he tries to cheat her, won't pay what he said he would, bad mouths her lint. Susannah is fit to be tied! And this is where I open her story. A crisis causes her to make a decision that takes her on a journey.
        I hope you'll enjoy going with her on the Jefferson Trace in the year of our Lord, 1832 - the year before Clarksville, Texas came into existence. Texas was better known as Tejas - the Spanish word for 'friendly' - since many considered it part of Mexico. Miller County in Arkansas, claimed the Red River Valley was a part of it, but one thing had been determined. The area along the Red River was known as The Gateway To Texas as it still is today.