As a teenager I went to Niagara Falls on an outing. We were a group of girls in Guiding, connecting with similar groups there. We slept in the gym of Battlefield Elementary which was a school built on the site of the Battle of Lundy’s Lane during the War of 1812. A cemetery bordered the school and being curious teens we investigated it and found monuments and graves dedicated to soldiers of the war.
Years later, I was taking a writing course and brainstorming some setting for a story. The school, the battlefield and the cemetery came to mind and so the story began. The assignment was for a short story but when I handed it in the teacher suggested I develop it further as she thought it would make a good book.
Over the years, as a stay at home mom, I worked on the story here and there. I finished the story, or what I felt was a complete story and tucked it away on my shelf. Although I had hoped to continue writing I got busy with my children and their schooling.
About 15 years later someone was talking about the War of 1812. I mentioned that I had done quite a bit of research on it for my book. She then wondered where she might find my book. I explained how it was unfinished on a shelf which is when she suggested that maybe she might read the manuscript and offer some comment. (Apparently she used to be an editor for Oxford University Press.) Susan took a hold of my manuscript and brought a resurgence of passion for writing to me. She commented, encouraged and inspired me to continue to finish the book. About the same time my sister-in-law, Kathryn was graduating from art school with the dream of being a picture book artist. She then offered to draw the front cover of the book. My father, who was the biggest supporter of my writing career offered to front the money to self-publish the book. I found a printing company at the university that would not only print my book but give experience to the students that worked there (a win win situation).
And so, Ghosts on the Soccer Field, my first book, was born.
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You Are Not Alone: stories of hope, by Lisa Browning