Tuesday, May 05, 2009

The Rich History of Virginia

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.

Keep Reading...
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

33 comments:

Beth Trissel said...

I am delighted to be on Terry's beautiful site. Thanks so much for having me here.

Mona Risk said...

Beth, I love going to VA where I spent many beautiful months at my daughter's. From now on I will always think about your books set in the Shenandoah Valley. I can't wait to read Daughter of the Wind and Enemy of the King. Any book by Beth Trissel is a must-read.

Barbara Monajem said...

When I drive through Virginia on my way to RWA National this year, I'll be thinking about your books and the settlers from way back when!

Judy said...

I loved reading about the history of Virginia, knowing how much a part of it your family was. Can't wait to read the book! Good luck with it!

Diane Goff said...

What beautiful commentary on a beautiful state. Wonderfully rich history, lovely.

Beth Trissel said...

Thanks ladies. Love of Virginia runs deep in my spirit. I'm also a fan of the Carolinas where Enemy of the King is set. And I used to live in the lovely state of Tennessee.
But the Shenandoah Valley is HOME.

debjulienne said...

Oh Beth, those pictures are gorgeous, I love that gate and all the grass, just breathtaking....sure do wish I was there with you, I'd have you give me one heck of a history less as I made you walk me over every inch of the place...can't wait for the books...must reads!

Kathy Otten said...

Hi Beth,
I haven't been around much lately because I've been trying to finish my WIP. Your story of the young lovers reminds me of the famous story of Cynthia Parker. I've never lived in Virginia, but did go to college there. It's a beautiful state.

Kaylea Cross said...

I love VA! I'd move there if I could, because I'm a Civil War nut. It's a little odd, since I'm Canadian, but there it is. My Civil War romance is set in the Shenandoah, where I dragged my hubby (then boyfriend, but he proposed during the trip at a reenactment) around all the battlefields so I could do research for the book. Isn't that sweet?

Beth Trissel said...

Wonderful the shared passion for VA. Yes, indeed, we are saturated in Civil War history as well.
My family has letters, pics, old journals from that time period.
And the old family homeplace was here long before that most uncivil war. It's burned deep in our psyche in the valley because we were invaded and burned.

Kelly Carr said...

With all of your novels being released in such a short period of time how do you keep them all straight???

Kelly Carr said...

Have you always used locations that you have visited or do you research your locals and wing it??

Kelly Carr said...

Iloved Beths first novel "Somewhere My Love" and greatly anticipate all of her future novels. She has a clever way of pulling the reader in to her world..which is a gift few authors possess. Reading her books is a way to escape the world and journey to places unknown...a rare gift!

Beth Trissel said...

Hi Kelly! Good questions all, and who says I'm keeping them all straight?
Actually, I am because each novel took ages to write, so even though the release date is bang, bang, bang, writing them was an invaluable journey I will never forget.
Thus far I have visited or already intimately know each location I've depicted in every novel. But that may have to change with some future work.

Anonymous said...

You make Virginia sound exactly as I see it..it's beautiful. Thanks Beth!!!!
Semet Torres

Beth Trissel said...

Thanks Semet. Maybe because I love it so.

RobinRenee said...

I see why the history behind your family and the beautiful land that you've lived on, has inspired your drive, Beth. Thank you so much for sharing, and thank you Terry! I have truly enjoyed your site!!!

Terry Odell said...

Robin, thanks for coming. I hope you'll visit regularly. I try to keep things varied.

Amanda Brice said...

Fellow Virginian here! I haven't always lived here, but I have for the past 5 years. But going back in my family tree, we first came to Virginia in the 1600s. :)

I love Virginia, and you know what they say...Virginia is for lovers!

Beth Trissel said...

Wooo hoooo, fellow Virginian.
Thanks for stopping by Amanda.

Susan Macatee said...

Wow, Beth! What a chilling story! I've traveled many times to Virginia. Beautiful state!

Daughter of the Wind sounds like something I definitely want to read!

Ana said...

Hi Beth, I used to live in North Carolina and I only stayed in Virginia once, it is a beautiful state. I also went with my family to King's Dominion Park to ride the famous roller coasters.
Thanks for sharing your family history and your books sure sound like great stories to read.

Beth Trissel said...

Thanks! Love of Virginia is contagious.

Debra St. John said...

I've been to and through Virginia once, and it was absolutely wonderful. I can't wait to go back. Someday my husband and I want to tour the Civil War battlefields there.

queenofmean said...

Beth - your love of Virginia is obvious in how you speak of it. It's wonderful when you have a place that you love and feel totally at home. I have a place like that in PA. It's not my home, but when I visit, I can feel the tension leave.
Good luck with your new release.

Beth said...

Hi Beth,

It's the other Beth :)

How could I not stop by and say Hello. :)

I have been through your neck of the woods but it was so long ago that I think I should visit again.
I would see it with so much more appreciation for it's history.

How wonderful it must be to know that your family was a part of that history.

You already know that I love your books and for anyone who hasn't read them yet...They are well worth your time :)

Congrats again my friend.

Hugs

Beth Trissel said...

Thanks dear ladies. And if you do come through the valley, tour the back roads and drive up along the skyline drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Big Meadows Lodge is a wonderful stop too.
And give me a holler!

Kathy said...

Beth I love your passion for Virginia and also all the wonderful comments and photo's you display. Daughter of the Wind is definitely on my list of 'must buy' books.

Hywela Lyn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hywela Lyn said...

What lovely pictures, Beth. The one of the field through the open gate looks very much like the British countryside, in fact, the track with the mountains in the distance, is very much like the Welsh countryside I used to ride over.

I see Daughter Of The Wind is No One in the WRP bestseller lists - Congratulations, I'm really pleased for you. It sounds like a wonderful story - and one I will get around to reading as soon as I get some 'me' time!

Hywela Lyn said...

Sorry, that's a bit ambiguous. I meant Daughter of the Wind is Number One, of course!

Beth Trissel said...

Thanks so much, Hywela. I'm sure your countryside is beautiful too.

Ray said...

I'm going to have to buy a copy of Daughter of The Wind. My wife grew up in Galax VA. Her sister went to school in Staunton.

I listened to an inverview on NPR with a professor who told the story of the Scots Irish in Wise VA. The story was fascinating.

Ray