“We must tell and retell, learn and relearn, these women’s stories, and we must make it our personal mission, in our everyday lives, to pass these stories on to our daughters and sons.”
– Hillary Rodham Clinton, speech at Seneca Falls, New York, July 16, 1998.
I’ve come to realize that while I started writing books just to tell the stories that were in my head, it’s come to mean more than that. I’ve distilled my purpose into three mission statements, one for each genre I currently write:
Historical fiction: To rescue little-known women from being lost in the pages of history. While other writers may choose to write about the famous, I tell the stories of those who are in danger of being forgotten so that their memories may live on for at least another generation. I also tell the female point of view when it is the male who has received more attention in history (i.e. Guinevere to King Arthur).
Non-fiction: In writing stories that reflect the truth, I write about women’s issues, specifically feminism and women’s roles in society. I also write about little-known women so that their lives and memories may live on.
Romance/Women’s fiction: To create strong female characters who are role models for women of all ages in stories that are fun and romantic. These women represent the modern independent female spirit and are meant to appeal to women who feel they are outside of the norm of society whether by age (my heroines are almost always over 30), race, sexuality, or natural inclinations (we all have things that make us feel like freaks, right?). I hope my readers can find something in my books that makes them think, “Oh, thank goodness, I’m not alone.”
Core Values Reflected in My Writing
- Feminism – Because I write about women’s stories, it’s perhaps not surprising that I’m a feminist. I define feminism as the belief that men and women should be treated equally. Yes, we are different, but we should also be equal in terms of rights, laws, pay, expectations, etc. Throughout history, there have been women who shared this belief, even when it was not the prevailing one in their culture. These are the stories I seek to share with the world.
- Faith – Spirituality is very important to me personally and I find the mystical aspects fascinating. No matter what the faith of my characters, you will often see the spiritual aspect of their lives in my work, which is in keeping with historical reality that religion permeated people’s lives until the last 50 years or so. I may not write inspirational fiction, but that doesn’t mean my characters can’t have a relationship with the God/gods. I don’t hold one faith above another; I simply write what my characters believe.
- Strength – Women have more physical, mental and spiritual strength than most people give us credit for. I want to show the inner fortitude of women in everyday situations in their lives and how we take action to direct our lives, even when we appear to have few options. Strength is at the essence of what it means to be female and I want to show it in its many and varied manifestations.
- Education – Part of the reason I write historical fiction – and unknown/little known stories in particular – is to educate readers about people history has forgotten. The vast majority of what I learn in my research doesn’t end up in my books, so I blog about it. I love sharing the information I learn and I hope my readers enjoy learning from it.
- Love for/respect of history – As a historical fiction author, I love history. I may not be a historian, but I have a deep love for and respect of history, and I do my best to remain accurate to the historical record, even when telling a fictional story. If I do deviate, I will explain in my authors notes, and likely in my blog posts, what I did and why. This is also why each of my books has a research list on this site. I want others to be able to consult my sources to learn more or clarify questions.