Yesterday, I tried to give you an idea of what “Henrietta’s Journal” is all about. Today, here are the answers to a couple of questions that keep popping up.
Q. Are these all new characters, or is there a connection to your other books?
A. For the most part, the Beauchenes are an entirely new family. However, it helps me to visualize the story if I can relate it to others I’ve written, so there’s at least one connection. Sharp eyes will recognize Elizabeth Dubois, whom you have met before in “Damned Yankee” and “Yankee Reconstructed.” In those books she was an old lady, the widowed mother of Susan Grenville, and grandmother to the Grenville children. In this story she is still a young woman in her thirties, and her daughter Susan appears briefly at age seven. Elizabeth befriends Henrietta early in the new book, helps her adjust to life in Charleston, and serves as godmother to Henrietta’s children.
Q. I want to know more about Henrietta’s later life as the Civil War draws nearer. Will there be a second book?
A. At the moment I am planning a second volume. Of course, I can’t promise anything, for, as Henrietta would be the first to tell you, life changes very rapidly. However, as my mother would have said, “I’ll do it, God willin’ an’ the creek don’t rise!” But here’s what I think will be coming a couple of years down the road.
The idea for “Henrietta’s Journal” came out of a rough sketch for a much larger book dealing with the beginning of the Civil War, its effect on the cotton trade, and some interesting but little-known facts about southern blockade runners, spies, and smugglers during the war. The diary Henrietta kept was originally going to hold some clues to a couple of mysterious happenings in the larger book. Then the diary took on something of a life of its own and became a stand-alone novel. The next book will take place some twenty-five years later. The main characters will be Henrietta’s children (now all grown up). They will solve some of their 1860s dilemmas by re-discovering the diary their mother wrote and uncovering the clues she left in the journal.
Eventually the two books will have close ties. I’m even considering an electronic edition for the two stories that would let the reader click back and forth between Civil War crises and the unsolved issues in the 1830’s journal. I’m as curious to know what will happen as you are!
Want to know more? Pre-order the Kindle edition at https://www.amazon.com/Henriettas-Journal-Compromise-Carolyn-Schriber-ebook/dp/B074S97SVJ and receive your copy on September 19. (You’ll also save $2.00 off the list price if you order before Tuesday.)
The Amazon print version is now functional and available at: www.amazon.com/Henriettas-Journal-Compromise-Carolyn-Schriber/dp/0990797597. With luck, you could have your copy by Monday.
Or order a trade paper edition at https://www.createspace.com/745653