Writing a novel is sometimes like going on a trip: you have a rough idea of what to pack and what you're going to see, but you never know for sure.
In a few weeks, Necessary Evil will launch and I cannot wait for you to read it! It's got romance, danger, buried treasure, Modern-day mixing with the Civil War (side note: the war was anything but Civil - I prefer the wordier War Between the States title), and just a dash of darkness. I figured I'd like writing this book (I did) and I knew I'd learn alot (I did), but what I didn't expect was how much the research for this book would effect me.
In preparing to write, I studied New Hampshire's involvement in the Civil War, especially the town of Chester, where the book is based, and I even learned a little about the origins of the statue that stands so proudly in the center of my town. Mostly I read letters - lots of letters, letters to and from soldiers and their wives, sisters, brothers, fathers, mothers, and other loved ones. They ranged from heartbreaking to hilarious, and spoke of everything from problems on the farm and on the battlefield to declarations of love and prayers for a safe return. Men worried about their families, women worried about their husbands, and children grew up missing one or both parents - and sometimes the other way around.
Reading those letters made the participants feel real and present, and I was amazed at how modern their words seemed to be. Some of them could have been written today, with almost no alterations, and sent from Afghanistan or Iraq. The sentiments were the same. While some of the soldiers boasted of this or that feat, most of them just wanted the killing to end and peace to return. It put a human heart, so to speak, into the granite Chester soldier, and a story behind all those veterans laying quietly buried in my hometown.
Times and wars and places change - but humans and families are still very much the same.