Today I have the great pleasure to introduce author Elaine Cougler to you. She is penning a new series set in the United States during the American Revolution (my favorite time period to read about!). She has taken a few minutes today to tell us about where he ideas for the series came from. Enjoy!
My Writer’s Idea Well
Guest Post by Elaine Cougler, author of
The Loyalist’s Wife
Is there some inner force which sends us to the right place to find our destiny? Are writers made from birth or do we ‘make’ ourselves? Readers sometimes ask where we get our ideas as though writers just need to send the right email to the right place and wait to holler “Eureka!”
From my earliest years I knew that I was descended from someone in Butler’s Rangers, a force created to fight alongside the British in the American Revolutionary War. In the days before computer searches and online documents, my cousin took a lot of time and considerable trouble to establish that we were indeed descended from a member of Butler’s Rangers.
A few years ago my son brought me a gift. It was Cruickshank’s book about Butler’s Rangers, and listed in the back were two soldiers with my very own maiden name. This book is one long rambling account of the amazing Butler’s Rangers, but it is very hard to read because of the lack of chapters or separations of any kind. I took to underlining, writing dates and notes in the margins--two practices I generally abhor-- and using sticky notes to organize the exciting accounts detailed there.
But I persevered. And fell in love with the idea forming in my brain.
A young Loyalist couple, John and Lucinda Garner, farming in the wilds of New York State in 1778, face a bitter separation when he joins Butler’s Rangers to fight for the King and leaves her all alone to care for their isolated farm.
The Loyalist’s Wife came from that idea. And more ideas for books two and three in the series came from research with family members and another unique book which not only tells the details of what is known to be true about the real John Garner but also adds anecdotal tales of from elderly family members of what might have happened during the times mentioned. These last have taken my imagination on a number of fanciful flights as I write the sequels to The Loyalist’s Wife.
That’s not to say that my books are autobiographical or ‘true’ in any way. Knowing a little of my own history, however, has provided the jumping off point for my imagination and perhaps has given an added dimension to my writing. You may be sure I am very glad of that gift long ago.
Photo by Paula Tizzard
The Loyalist’s Wife:
When American colonists resort to war against Britain and her colonial attitudes, a young couple caught in the crossfire must find a way to survive. Pioneers in the wilds of New York State, John and Lucy face a bitter separation and the fear of losing everything, even their lives, when he joins Butler’s Rangers to fight for the King and leaves her to care for their isolated farm. As the war in the Americas ramps up, ruffians roam the colonies looking to snap up Loyalist land. Alone, pregnant, and fearing John is dead, Lucy must fight with every weapon she has.
With vivid scenes of desperation, heroism, and personal angst, Elaine Cougler takes us back to the beginnings of one great country and the planting of Loyalist seeds for another. The Loyalist’s Wife transcends the fighting between nations to show us the individual cost of such battles.
Thanks Elaine for stopping by! I can’t wait to read the book – stay tuned for a review in July!
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