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One Gal's Take on the Writing Life

Part One

Years before the advent of e-publishing or publication in June by Starlight Writers Publications of my Scottish historical romance, THE GUNN OF KILLEARNAN, I felt my college degrees were being wasted. Neither a BFA in Theatre nor an MA in English prepared me for a life teaching the English language or writing it.

When I decided to try putting pen to paper, non-fiction seemed easier, or so I thought, because the facts were already there. I set about learning the skills necessary to teach in secondary schools, report happenings in newspapers and write programmed instruction for businesses, political papers for governmental agencies and grants for those seeking funding. Once learned and accomplished, the processes palled and I searched for new, more challenging experiences.

I changed jobs. I sold real estate. I worked for businesses and governments. I opened my own retail establishment, but the hours spent enhancing it allowed no time for pleasure. I sold it and went into the horse business, riding, showing and eventually raising babies for the track. Although I stayed with the horse interests for twenty years, I went back into teaching on a part-time basis.

While substituting in the library of a nearby school, during a local history exhibit, I came across documents written about an 1826 murder. The display caught my eye since I was unaware of such intrigue in my community's past. I borrowed the books over the weekend and charged through them looking for something to add to history classes I might teach in the future.

One book, a fictionalized version of the non-fiction event and written by a former director of the New York State Historical Association, contained harsh accusations of the female, supposedly involved in the murder of her husband. The accusations were based on the confession of her lover, the murderer who was to lose his life. The cold portrait of one of the feminine gender, who in that day and age had so little control over her life, as an evil and calculating person, angered me.

Then and there, my decision was made, long before e-publishing was a gleam in my publisher's eye. I would write a fictionalized accounting, a rebuttal of sorts, taken from an entirely different perspective. Slanting the account from another woman's vantage point might remove the evil perpetrated against the female in the historian's book. I would change the viewpoint of the entire book. Ahhhhh, but what did I know then about viewpoint? Mine or anyone's…

To be continued…