If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

WWK's May interviews will be: 5/2--indie author Bobbi Holmes, 5/9--TG Wolff (aka--Anita Devito), 5/16--Chocolate Bonbon author Dorothy St. James, 5/23--Lida Sideris, 5/30--Food Lovers' Village (and multiple Agatha winner) Leslie Budwitz. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.

Our May Saturday Guest Blogger Schedule: 5/5--John Carenen, 5/12--Judy Penz Sheluk, 5/19--Margaret S. Hamilton, 5/26--Kait Carson.

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Tina Whittle's sixth Tai Randolph mystery, Necessary Ends, debuts on April 3, 2018. Look for it here. Tina was nominated for a Derringer Award for her novelette, "Trouble Like A Freight Train Coming." We're all crossing our fingers for her.

James M. Jackson's Empty Promises, the next in the Seamus McCree mystery series (5th), will be available on April 3, 2018. Purchase links are here.

Dark Sister, a poetry collection, is Linda Rodriguez's tenth published book. It's available for sale here:

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Look for E. B. Davis's interview with the authors in this anthology on 4/14! Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.

Shari Randall's second Lobster Shack Mystery, Against the Claw, will be available in August, 2018.

In addition, our prolific KM has had the following shorts published as well: "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017 and "Turkey Underfoot," appears in the anthology The Killer Wore Cranberry: A Fifth Course of Chaos.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

July 4th may be when we celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence, but since I moved from New England to the Mid-Atlantic I have discovered it is the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg.
The shift from an emphasis on Colonial and Revolutionary War history to Civil War history has been culture shock for me.

I now live less than an hour from the prison camp where the Confederate prisoners were sent after Gettysburg. Fort Delaware is on an island in the Delaware River. It secured access to Philadelphia by water from the War of 1812 until it was decommissioned after WWII.

As a writer, I intended to walk in the footsteps of my protagonists: that included attending re-enactments and dressing like my protagonists whenever possible. On the ferry ride to the fort for Garrison Day years ago, I met a woman in a hoop skirt, trying to keep her hat in place with one hand while battling the bottom part of her attire with the other. That hoop skirt could have powered a small boat. I decided right then I would never wear such a garment.

I went home and made my first piece of period clothing from a fawn colored bed sheet, a Quaker farm wife’s dress. It may not be entirely accurate, but it has served me well for years.

Delaware was an important stop on the Underground Railroad. Freedom was on the other side of the Delaware State Line until the Fugitive Slave Act was passed. We were one of three slave holding states that remained loyal to the Union. Since the Emancipation Proclamation freed only slaves living in Confederate territory, the 1800 Delaware slaves had to wait for a constitutional amendment to free them.

Very little of my writing is set During the Civil War, but one unpublished YA novel bears witness to my fascination with Fort Delaware. Ruth meets an escaped prisoner, a Yankee guard, and learns her family secret, their involvement in the Underground Railroad.


E. B. Davis said...

Perhaps because of movies, I had only heard of Andersonville, the Confederate prison--which has been characterized as being brutal. What were the conditions at Fort Delaware?

I grew up in PA. We were always very aware of the Civil War. Our school field trips included the Gettysburg Battlefield.

James Montgomery Jackson said...

One thing I have learned about reading and writing historical material is you need to have your facts correct -- because someone out there will tell you when you're wrong.

For example, the Battle of Gettysburg started on July 1, 1863. The famous Pickett's charge was on July 3rd. On July 4th, after awaiting a counter-attack from the Feds that never came, Lee's army began its retreat back to Virginia.

Coincidentally, the Confederates surrendered the army at Vicksburg on July 4, 1863, sealing the fate of the Confederacy in the west.

Although the Andersonville prison is known to many from the Pulitzer Prize winning book by MacKinlay Kantor (and later movie), the Union had some terrible prisons as well; Elmira, NY being a particularly gruesome example.

I would think even worse than wearing the hoop skirts and multiple layers of fabric from the upper class mid-1800s would have been the bone corsets that needed someone else to cinch them tight.

I think you made a good decision to stick to stick with the practical Quakers.

~ Jim

Pat Marinelli said...

Although I write contemporary romance, I’ve studied Fort Delaware for a time travel romance. Conditions at Fort Delaware weren’t great either due to lack of funds, lack of preparations for prisoners of war on either side, and overcrowding. Fort Delaware was known in the South as the Andersonville of the North. Many prisoners and guards died from smallpox and lack of medical care and food and are buried in NJ on Finns Point.

Here are some books and booklets on the subject.

Fort Delaware, Unlikely Allies--Fort Delaware's Prison Community in the Civil War by Dale Fetzer & Bruce Mowday
Fort Delaware, A Journal (Diary of a Yankee Private) by Fort Delaware Society
Jeff Thompson at Fort Delaware by Fort Delaware Society
Fort Delaware Living History Coloring Book by E. Jean Lanyon
The Story of Fort Delaware by W. Emerson Wilson
Fort Delaware, They Died (1861-1865) by Jocelyn P. Jamison

Warren Bull said...

It is always instructive and emotional to walk the actual ground of history. Not far from where I live you can still see the ruts in the ground created by wagon train headed west.

Pauline Alldred said...

There have to be personal stories from Fort Delaware that would make interesting reading. I can't imagine imprisonment could ever be good.

I've never worn a hoop skirt but I'd guess, if you sit down in one, you provide an arc to show place your underwear.

Kara Cerise said...

I hope that you YA novel is published. It sounds interesting and a good story to teach kids about the history of Ft. Delaware.