When people ask me where I get ideas for my novels, I tell them it’s pretty easy—history is already full of fascinating characters and dramatic events. With a little imagination, new story lines come to life.
Today I’d like to share with you five real people who inspired my upcoming Civil War novel, Wedded to War. I want you to fall in love with my fictional characters, but I also hope you will grow to respect the real people in the novel, as well. I am convinced that each of them felt ordinary, like you and me, but they did extraordinary things and should be remembered for them.
1) Dorothea Dix. Social reformer Dorothea Dix went straight to Washington within a week of war breaking out and didn’t leave until she had a meeting with President Lincoln himself. Her goal: for the government to allow women to be nurses. It was a shocking suggestion, for nurses in hospitals up until that time had all been male. Proper Victorian women could not be expected to touch a strange man’s body, even if he was sick or wounded—or so society believed.
Yet the numbers alone were enough to convince Lincoln he needed help. At the start of the war, the U.S. Army Medical Department had a total of 28 surgeons, and no general hospital. Lincoln gave permission, and made Dix the Superintendent of Female Nurses. She had the authority to provide nurses to the army, and she wanted to be taken seriously. Continue reading / Leave a comment…
Lois Walfrid Johnson is a prolific writer of fiction for the young adult crowd. Her Viking Quest series contains some of Moody Publishers’ most beloved titles for children. She is the bestselling author of hundreds of shorter pieces, 38 books, and 19 updated editions. Her work has been published in English-speaking countries throughout the world. Thirty-seven of her books have even been translated into other languages.
Four of Lois’ books have received the Gold Medallion Book Award. Other awards include the C. S. Lewis Medal for Best Series, the Wisconsin State Historical Society Award of Merit for Distinguished Service to History, and five Silver Angel Awards from Excellence in Media. (See http://www.lwjbooks.com/awards.html). But Lois is most grateful when she knows the Lord has used her writing to help readers know him in a new or deeper way.
Lois has traveled to many parts of the United States (including Hawaii!) to teach writing and inspirational topics at Christian and general interest conferences for universities and writers’ groups, women’s retreats and special events, Christian and public schools, and homeschool co-ops or state conferences. And wherever she goes she continues to get requests for her Riverboat Adventure series—about a family living during the golden age of steamboats in the time of the Underground Railroad.
We’re excited to announce the upcoming Riverboat Adventures series, to be updated with study questions and reintroduced to Lois Walfrid Johnson’s fans and lovers of quality historical fiction for 3rd-8th grades. These timeless stories will be available in bookstores and online January 1, 2013. Continue reading / Leave a comment…