by Susan Macatee, guest blogger
Thanks Keira and Love Romance Passion for having me (and the rest of the Victorians) here today! Why did I join this anthology? I guess you could say, since I already write Civil War romance and love the period, I couldn’t resist an invite to be part of a Civil War anthology with my Victorian writer friends. 🙂
Reenactment plays a big part in your time travel story.
What inspired that?
Susan Macatee: My love of the Civil War period was inspired by my ten + years spent as a Civil War reenactor for the 28th Pennsylvania Volunteer Regiment based in Philadelphia. I use a lot that I learned about history as a reenactor to craft all my stories.
But Angel of My Dreams, in particular, grew from my actual experiences at reenactments. Since I reenact as a civilian, I had to pick my husband’s brain for most of the military reenactor’s details, but I also learned a lot from just watching the men on the field and in camp and listening to their stories.
For instance, I had scene where my reenactor hero steps into a hole in the field and twists his ankle. Well, the idea for this came from when my husband was warning my son that if a man ahead of you yells, “Hole,” watch where you step. It’s a warning that a literal hole in the ground is coming up. An unaware man could not only twist his ankle, but break it. Of course, my hero is a bit distracted and doesn’t heed the warning in time.
Other details in this story came from my actual experiences at reenactments; the atmosphere, dealing with spectators, and other little things that outsiders wouldn’t know.
In truth, Angel of My Dreams, was one of the easiest stories I’ve ever written. I felt like I’d been given a gift. And surprisingly, it required no revision and minimal editing, unlike my other stories. LOL.
The writer’s advice to ‘write what you know’ surely did apply with this story.
Excerpt from Angel of My Dreams:
“Where am I?”
“Shh.” She placed a finger on his lips. The scent of lavender invaded his senses.
He frowned when he realized he was lying on a cot wearing his reenactor clothing. Had he dreamed he’d come home?
“The doctor says you’ll be fine. He dug out the bullet and stitched up your leg.”
“My leg?” Kyle reached down. His pant’s leg had been cut apart at the seam. Heavy bandages wrapped around his thigh.
“This doesn’t make any sense. I twisted my ankle. It’s fine now.”
She took his hand and stroked his forehead. Her touch sent warmth and desire through his body.
“I have to know…” He swallowed. “…your name.”
She smiled. “You haven’t forgotten me already?”
“I…you never told me.”
“Of course I did.”
She leaned away.
He held tightly to her hand, fearing she’d leave again.
“Don’t go.” Her hand dissolved. He couldn’t hold her.
Buy: Northern Roses and Southern Belles
Susan Macatee’s fascination with the Civil War period began when her husband decided to become a reenactor and pulled the whole family into the hobby. We became members of the 28th Pennsylvania Regiment, based in Philadelphia. She’s been writing ever since she can remember and started writing for publication after her youngest started kindergarten. You can find her at: www.susanmacatee.com
Caroline Clemmons: There are many reenactment groups in our area. In Hillsboro, TX the college has an outstanding Civil War Museum as part of the library. In Fort Worth, there is also a Civil War Museum. One funny thing is that when my daughter taught a fourth grader whose father was a reenactor, the kid thought the South won the Civil War because his dad took part in one of the battles the South did win.
Mary Ann Webber: Susan Macatee is our resident reenactor. She and her husband have done this for years. Some of their sons occasionally join them. Susan is a fount of knowledge for the rest of us. She sews her costumes, including corsets and underpinnings. Her complaints about the uncomfortable – even tortuous attire – have opened our eyes to what life for women was really like.
And, of course, her experiences give her own writing real depth.
Jennifer Ross I have a question, Susan Macatee. Here in Canada, we were going to have a reenactment of the battle of the Plains of Abraham (the English vs. French thing) but the very idea caused such controversy it was eventually scrapped. The French (they knew they lost that battle, that wasn’t the problem) were concerned it would either be a love-in, where our forefathers shot and killed each other, in between clasping hands and singing songs together, or it would be an “English version” where the only ‘good guys’ were the English. They distrusted the organizers of the event in telling the whole story, in other words. So my question is, how do you guys get around that problem?
Isabel Roman: I’ve been to Gettysburg a few times, and marvel at the accuracy of the reenactors! They really get into it. Makes me wonder how the Civil War caught the imagination of so many. I mean you never hear about those crazy Spanish-American War reenactors. Or the crazy folks from the Barbary Wars or Mexican War, or um…the War of 1812 even!
Jeanmarie Hamilton: I’ve never heard of a reenactment group in New Mexico, but I imagine reenacting the Civil War Battle of Glorieta Pass near Santa Fe, New Mexico, would be amazing.
Susan will give away to 1 lucky commenter: A reproduction Victorian brooch, a scented hand fan and lavender bath bead. Remember, everyone who leaves a comment on the day of the post for each of the six days will be entered into a drawing to win a copy of Northern Roses and Southern Belles signed by all six authors.
Buy: Northern Roses and Southern Belles