Today I welcome author Beth Trissel to Terry's Place. She shares her love of history triggered by a deeply rooted family tree. Welcome, Beth.
What it means to be a Virginian to the core. Not only have I lived in the Old Dominion for most of my life, but also several previous centuries in the sense that my family were among the earliest settlers of the Shenandoah Valley (1730’s/1740’s). My Scots-Irish forebears settled Augusta County in the southern valley with names like Houston, Patterson, Finley, Moffett and McLeod. These clannish people frequently intermarried, so I can tie in with many other early families depending on how I swing through the ancestral tree.
Initially, Augusta County, named for Princess Augusta wife of Frederick Prince of Wales, stretched northward from the present day county of Rockingham to include part of Page; to the South it extended the full length of Virginia’s border, and to the northwest it included the present day states of Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and part of western Pennsylvania, all the territory claimed by Great Britain at that time.
Virginia is the site of the earliest successful English colony and rich in history. We’re steeped in it, especially in the Shenandoah Valley. How could I not be drawn to this wealth of stories? If the earth could speak what tales it would tell, some of them horrific; Virginia is also the site of more battles than any other state in the union, encompassing the Indian Wars, the Revolution and that most uncivil of wars, the Civil War.
One account I came across in my studies of the early Scots-Irish influenced my writing more than any other, the tragic story of a captive woman who fell in love with the son of a chief. As the result of a treaty, she was taken from her warrior husband and forced back to her white family where she gave birth to a baby girl and grieved herself to death. Heart wrenching, it haunts me to this day.
I wondered what happened to her daughter when she grew up and if there were some way those young lovers could have been spared such anguish. I neglected to mention that the young woman’s warrior husband did the unthinkable and actually left the tribe to go and live among the whites, but such was their hatred of Indians that before he reached his beloved her brothers intercepted and killed him. I couldn’t let this happen to my young lovers, but how could I spare them? I schemed and dreamed and hatched more stories in the fertile ground of Virginia.
The most prominent tale that sprung from this account is Beth's new release, Daughter of the Wind, a light paranormal romance with strong American historical roots. Set among the clannish Scots-Irish in the mist-shrouded Alleghenies, it's a tale of the clash between peoples and young lovers caught in the middle.
For more on this and Beth's other releases please visit her website at: www.bethtrissel.com