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Monday, April 25, 2011

FALSE BELIEFS DISPELLED

If this is your image of today's Native American woman, you will find that belief quickly dispelled in Deerskin Daughters: True Stories of Native American Women. The manuscript is under contract with Mountain Press and will be illustrated by my friend and colleague, Carolyn Flores. Unfortunately, publishing moves rather slowly these days, and the book is not scheduled for the market until sometime in 2013. I hope you will put it on your future reading list so that you can learn about Maria Tallchief, Wilma Mankiller, Nancy Ward, Mary Musgrove, Emily Pauline Johnson, Rosebud Yellow Robe, Susette La Flesche, Mountain Wolf Woman, and Annie Dodge Wauneka--all highly accomplished Native American women.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Monday, April 11, 2011

APPRECIATION FOR COUNTRY AND STATE

This past week I had the privilege of reviewing my book Petticoat Spies: Six Women Spies of the Civil War to members of the Bexar County chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. One of the things that especially impressed me about this group of ladies was their deep respect for our nation and for our state of Texas. You could tell, as they recited pledges to both flags, that they truly meant what what they were saying.

The DAR website explains the background and purpose of this group: 
The DAR, founded in 1890 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., is a
non-profit, non-political volunteer women's service organization dedicated
to promoting patriotism, preserving American history, and securing America's future through better education for children.

DAR members volunteer more than 60,000 hours annually to veteran patients,
award over $150,000 in scholarships and financial aid each year to students, and
support schools for the underprivileged with annual donations exceeding one
million dollars.

Friday, April 1, 2011

WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR IDEAS?

I frequently have people ask me where I get the ideas for my nonfiction books. Sometimes I start out with a definite idea for research, but often it's more of a serendipitous trail. For example, my first published book, Petticoat Spies: Six Women Spies of the Civil War, started with research on nurses, a topic that has fascinated me since childhood when I read all the Sue Barton nurse stories. When I discovered Sarah Emma Edmonds, I learned that she disguised herself as a man during the Civil War in order to be a battlefield nurse. Later, using a variety of disguises she became a spy for the North and infiltrated the Confederate lines. She suddenly disappeared as a spy after contracting malaria. Knowing that her gender would be discovered in a hospital, she returned to civilian life. After hearing her story, I decided that spies were more exciting than nurses and proceeded to look for other female spies during that same war.