Carolyn Reeder talks about her Books . . . .
Books set in the past never go out of date. That’s one reason I like writing historical fiction. I also enjoy the challenge of finding out really interesting things that happened in the past and working them into my stories about ordinary people. So many things that happened were recorded in diaries rather than newspapers. So much information is hidden away in local historical societies rather than written in history books. So many memories have been almost forgotten until the right questions bring them to mind. . . .
I’ll just quickly introduce my books in the order they were published, telling where and when they are set, and you can click on the titles to see what they’re about. The first four are set in VirginiaShades of Gray just after the Civil War, Grandpa’s Mountain during the Depression, Moonshiner's Son during Prohibition, and Across the Lines during the last year of the Civil War. San Diego is the setting for Foster's War, my World War II home-front story that starts on Pearl Harbor Day, but I’m back in the east for Captain Kate, which takes place along the C&O Canalon the very edge of Marylandin 1863. The books in my Before the Creeks Ran Red trilogy are set in the early months of 1861 as the Civil War begins. Most of Timothy Donovan’s Story is set at Fort Sumter, in Charleston Harbor, before and during the bombardment; Joseph Schwartz’s Story takes place in Baltimore at the time of the Pratt Street Riot; and Gregory Howard’s Story is set in Alexandria, Virginia, as undisciplined Union troops occupy the city. A remote mesa in New Mexico is the setting for The Secret Project Notebook, a different kind of home-front story set during last year of World War II.
My readers often ask me, “Why do you always write about wars?” I used to remind them that two of my books are Blue Ridge Mountain stories and one is about canal boaters. But then I realized that none of my books is about war. They are all about young people who are facing challenges in their lives. Often, though, their challenges are caused by warwhether the fighting is going on near where they live or on the other side of the world.
A question I often hear from adults is, “What do you want young people to learn from your books?” My answer is, “Nothing.” That’s because I just want kids to lose themselves in the story and enjoy “a good read."