Why I Chose the Reconstruction Era
You may be wondering why I chose to set “Her Traitor’s Heart” in the Reconstruction period of our nation’s history. There aren’t many novels set during that time, but I had a personal reason for choosing that era.
One of my New England ancestors fought in the Civil War. After the war’s end, he was stationed in the South as part of the occupying forces. He developed a friendship with a Southern lady, and they carried on a correspondence after he returned home. Their letters were passed down in the family. As a child, I remember seeing his uniform in an old trunk in my grandparents’ attic. The uniform was moth-eaten, but when I saw his boots, I thought to myself, “Those boots were really on his feet. He wore those boots.” From that time on, my ancestor was a real person to me.
Her Traitor’s Heart isn’t really my Kimball ancestor’s story, but the seeds of the story were planted years ago when I saw that tattered uniform. As I researched the Reconstruction period, I discovered that the time was filled with hardship, tragedy, danger, and courage, all of which make a great story.