After completing this series, I was curious to learn more about the War Between the States. I had recently moved to Centreville, Maryland and gotten to know some folks in the historical society who shared with me how divided the Eastern Shore was during that time. This was the inspiration for my next series, MY BROTHER'S FLAG. In this series I took a step back in time to better understand the issues as they related to a border state--where they were vastly different than the far North or deep South.
One element of this novel that I enjoyed was tying the characters from my two previous series into this one, as if they all live together in a parallel universe I created. When Ella Mae lives in Centreville to attend the Ladies Seminary, she boards with Jeremiah and Clara Turner (ON GROUNS OF HONOR), and when staying in Annapolis with her grandparents, she befriends the daughter of Vivian and Rob Hudson (THROUGH EVERY VALLEY) and the half-Lakota Indian daughter of Sarah Gibson (a prominent character throughout the series OF WIND AND SKY).
Ella Mae's daughter Sophie, the main character in book two of the series, comes of age during World War 1 and is part of the suffrage movement. She joins forces with Alice Paul, fighting for women to have a voice in politics. This novel explores how closely connected the passing of the 19th amendment was to the Great War. It's a love story too, and here's a spoiler alert--I always give you a happy ending.
Currently, I am writing the third book in the series, A PASSING MIST. Gloria, Sophie's daughter and Ella Mae's grand-daughter, is in her early twenties when the United States enters World War 2. With so many men needed on the battlefront, women are being called upon to enlist in the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps to fill non-combatant roles. On the Homefront, the shortage of men is changing the way the society functions and placing new obligations on women to keep things running smoothly. And once they have acquired this newfound freedom, they aren't about to let it go when the men come home!
I'm not sure how far into the timeline I will travel. Once I get into "modern" history, I begin to lose interest. However, I do have some ideas rolling around in my head for a story which ties the following generation, during the 1960s, with the earlier generation of the 1850s... I'll keep you posted as that develops.
I've found it fascinating to tie together the different generations and see how each one paves the way for the next. When studying history, we often divided into different categories without understanding how the pieces all fit together to make a larger picture. Following history from the 1860s through to the 1940s has been an exciting and educational journey for me! I hope that you will get swept up in the individual stories each novel tells, but that you too will gain a better perspective of how each generation leaves a legacy for those who follow.