Monday, January 16, 2012

“Faith is taking the first step...

... even when you can't see the whole staircase.” 
Martin Luther King, Jr.

       Once upon a time I interested Lerner Publishing/Carolrhoda Books in COME MORNING, my Underground Railroad mystery set in the mid-1860s. I wrote about Liza, a 12 year old Delaware Quaker, helping her neighbor Freedom Newcastle. Free, the son of a former slave, thinks he must pull clues from  a Bible passage  left by his kidnapped father, to figure out where he is, only to realize the quote is meant as directions for moving a runaway slave family out of his own barn  & over the line into Pennsylvania.

My editor told me it was Free's story and should be told from his point of view. 

       Despite being a white, middle class woman, she had faith I could do it. The challenge pulled me out of my comfort zone, as we say. It sent me deeper into archives, research  and my own imagination, determined to weave the best tale I could, influenced by the very real work of Harriet Tubman & Abolitionist  Thomas Garrett. It's a better book and I'm a better writer as a result.

     Augusta Scattergood has just written GLORY BE, set in the mid-1960s in the Mississippi Delta. She's on firm ground, having written from experience. It's her protagonist Gloriana Hemphill, daughter of the local preacher, who's out of that comfort zone. It's Glory she has researching, imagining, stretching~~finding the faith in herself to stand up for what she believes and ultimately become an even better sister, friend, neighbor~~member of her community.

The more that you read, the more you will know.
The more you learn, the more places you'll go.
Dr. Seuss           I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!

Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.

 Frederick Douglass

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