Fortunately, the research for this book was far easier than scraping facts together about the twelfth century. I was able to find copies of the original correspondence of several people who’d been on the voyage to Roanoke, plus the complete passenger list.
As I researched the series, I ran across bizarre (to me) stories of how the English Christian settlers persecuted the native Americans they found. Embarrassingly horrible stories about how they killed . . . trust me, some of our forefathers were Christian in name only. I became fascinated with the stories of King Phillip, the real Pocahontas, her uncle, the slave trade, etc.
And each book had a spiritual theme that dealt with where I was in life. I used the theme of suffering in Jamestown, because that settlement truly fell upon hard times, including a smallpox epidemic. (The English gave smallpox-contaminated blankets to the Indians and entire villages were wiped out.) At the time, my church had been going through a season of suffering–two of our young people had died in unrelated accidents, and another had just been permanently paralyzed . . . an accident on a youth missions trip.
So each novel involved real, little-known history as well as a spiritual theme that came from whatever I was living through at the time.
I have a personal guideline when I write historical fiction: I feel free to create characters, but I never knowingly contradict historical fact. Fortunately, American history is rich . . . and the stories of our first colonies were too fascinating for me to pass up. I loved using them as a basis for novels.
Tomorrow: the writing

1 Comment

  1. Deborah

    i swear, the last time i read these books i had a million questions, but now that i have the chance to ask, i can only remember one. arrghh.
    anyways i always wondered, did Gilda ever know that Roberta was her real mother? and maybe i’m just remembering wrong, but if Taregon took over Daniel’s identity, do his kids ever know this b/c in Rehobath i seem to recall he’s referred to only as Daniel.
    even if i’m wrong, these were the first books of yours i ever read and to this day remain one of my favorite series ever.


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