Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Posted by Kaylea Cross
No one's really sure how it happened, but sometime around my 11th birthday, I got hooked on the war. I can't remember if I read or saw something on TV, but I became ravenous in my quest to find everything I could get my hands on about the Civil War. This is really weird, since a) I'm Canadian, and b) I was a young girl, with not even an ancestor to link me to the conflict.
Luckily my dad thought it was amusing, and fanned the flames of my curiosity by buying me books on the subject and watching documentaries with me. My favorite is the Ken Burns series. I remember racing home from ball practice at the age of 14 to watch every episode with my heart pounding. And then the best thing ever happened. My dad let me pick the destination for our annual family summer holiday. I picked Gettysburg, of course.
In the weeks leading up to the holiday, I spent countless hours planning our itinerary, so we could see as many battlefields as possible. The trip was amazing, and my favorite family holiday of all time. Not so sure the others loved it that much. My father patiently stopped at every marker and graveyard I asked him to, and my mother and little sister bore it all with admirable patience. Since then, I've dragged my hubby to a major reenactment and all sorts of other battlefields back east, despite my fear of flying. He even proposed to me on the hill at Fredericksburg, VA, and we had a Civil War wedding. He proudly wore the Yankee cavalry uniform I bought for him, and we cut the cake with one of my sabers. Just one of the antique weapons I've collected from the war.
Is this over the top? Probably. I can't even tell you why I love the Civil War so much; I just do. I mention all this because yesterday, in honor of the 150th anniversary, I submitted the novel of my heart to my new editor. A single title Civil War romance that I started way back at the age of 16. I've researched it to the nth degree, and rewritten it countless times. I've visited every single battlefield mentioned in the manuscript, and studied all the medical procedures involved, using medical texts from the period. I grew up with this book living inside of me, and in a lot of ways, it means more to me than anything else I've ever written.
In short, it was very scary to hit SEND this time. I'll be holding my breath on this one, so please send out good thoughts for me!