West of the Divide
A few years ago, I started a journal for my granddaughter and discovered I’m a writer at heart. Expressing my thoughts and feelings to her allowed myself to be open to a new world of imagination that began to influence my writing. A story was created from it, about a fictional family who settled in the West during the nineteenth and early twentieth century. That family, the Stewarts, soon became people I knew, loved, and understood. A series was born.
My first published novel, Yavapai County Line, continues the Stewart family saga; a story of life at home during World War Two while their loved ones are overseas. Yavapai County Line introduces new characters into the family, shares their struggles on and off the battlefield and how war impacts those around us. This work immediately led to a sequel, People of the Sun, a novel of healing, set during the nineteen fifties and early sixties.
There was a shift with the fourth novel, A Dance at Sunrise, which takes place between the nineteen eighties and early twenty-first century. A Dance at Sunrise is the story of the children and grandchildren of my original characters. Their experiences, desires, and goals are certainly different than their predecessors, but common threads run through their lives as each character is influenced by the events of the time in which they live.
I’ve considered moving on from the Stewarts and writing about something entirely different but the truth is these characters fascinate me. The stories are simple slices of life, similar in many ways to our own, but despite any difficulty these people face, there is a sense of hopefulness which carry and sustain them. It is that hopefulness I hope the reader will walk away with once each book is closed.