With the release of the final installment of the A More Perfect Union series, I enjoy looking back at this Throwback Thursday post from August 29, 2013 where I discussed my inspiration to write the series in the first place. Through writing the stories of each of the women of the series I have enjoyed exploring a time and a place that is in many ways foreign to us and in others, still very much a part of our daily lives.
I’m often asked where my ideas come from for my stories, so I thought I’d share the inspiration for my (as yet unpublished) historical romance trilogy, A More Perfect Union. While studying early American literature, I came across the fact that men frowned upon women writing for publication. Moreover, many men felt the female brain was not designed by nature to be educated. Indeed, that an educated woman was repugnant to nature, made her “masculine” and could in fact make her ill. In the 21st century, we know this is ludicrous. I wonder how men ever came up with this notion and if it might have been some form of fear or jealousy? I have no clue as to the reason this idea not only originated but also became accepted. Thankfully, that notion has been replaced with more sane reasoning.
Judith Sargent Murray – an author and proponent of women’s equality
Naturally, for me as an author, I thought about how women and young ladies would have felt. What if a woman who wanted to write her thoughts to share with others was told she could not? What would she do?
So in my trilogy, I have three ladies who all are creative with words but in different ways. Each is faced with resistance to that talent and must overcome the resistance. First, Emily writes essays in which she puts forth her ideas on equal education for boys and girls, as well as equal rights for woman and men. Second, Emily’s cousin Amy is a renowned storyteller, called upon to entertain at social gatherings with her fictions, but also suspected of stretching the truth as a result of her quick tongue. Finally, the cousins’ friend Samantha journals about her healing practice, though she is looked at askance for her seemingly witchy ways at times.
Each of my characters is matched with a strong man who will support and challenge them in various ways (but that’s another story). And each lady ultimately rises to their challenge and effects changes in the men as a result. To me, that’s what love does. Love opens up new ways of seeing the world around us through the eyes of those we hold most dear. Love also changes us as we learn from our significant other and he/she learns from us. This is why I write romantic fiction, to share how we affect one another even as we strive to understand each other.
Do you write? Whether poetry, fiction, in a journal, or wherever, what inspires you?