I usually tell them about the road trip my trophy husband and I took to Mississippi and the hour we sat at the foot of the grave of my 3rd great grandmother. I told him all about her life and her struggles during the Civil War, and he said, and I quote, “You should write a book.” Yes, her life was amazing, and yes, I did write the book. It became Okatibbee Creek and was followed by two sequels, An Orphan’s Heart and Elly Hays. Then I began working on a crazy Southern legend I grew up with. It became The Legend of Stuckey’s Bridge, and I am currently finishing the second in the trilogy, Stuckey’s Legacy.
But the journey started long before that. I just got a little sidetracked.
About six months before the Mississippi trip, I had a dream. There was a man and woman who were trying to get to their wedding ceremony and everything under the blue sky fell in their path to stop them…including death! But, they loved each other so much, even death couldn’t keep them apart. The dream was both frustrating and deeply emotional, and the end froze me in my tracks. I woke at 4:00 a.m. in a cold sweat with my heart pounding. I ran downstairs and wrote down the story and was still writing when the sun rose.
Often, a dream will cease to make sense in the light of day, but when I related the story to my trophy husband, he said, “That’s a good story; you should write a book.” The next day, I told the story to my daughter who said, “I just got goosebumps; you should write a book.” Later that evening at dinner, I told the story to my son who said, “Wow! You should write a book.” On the way home from dinner, we passed a billboard on the side of the freeway. It read, “PUBLISH YOUR BOOK.”
Okay, okay, I get it!!! Stop yelling at me!!!
I’ve spent the last two years navigating the self-publishing industry, and I’ve won awards for Okatibbee, Orphan, and Elly. I was best selling with Elly sitting at the #1 spot in Native American stories on Amazon for short minute. I’ve even reached #23 of the Top-100 Historical Fiction authors on Amazon, so I guess I’m doing the right thing, and I’m glad the universe yelled at me.
Long story short, the rough draft of the dream that started it all has been collecting dust in my computer for two years, and last fall I felt the need to finish it. Since I write Southern Historical Fiction, I placed my star-crossed lovers in the 1930’s in Biloxi and New Orleans. It’s the most current era I’ve ever worked in, and it was a pleasure for my cast to have telephones and automobiles for a change.
Savannah’s Bluebird will be released February 28, 2014 on Amazon Kindle. Paperback, iBook, and Nook will follow shortly after. I hope readers like Savannah and enjoy the twist the story takes. I want them to say, “Hey, wait a minute!” and feel the need to flip the pages back and re-read from a different perspective.