Posted by Elaine Marie Cooper
I have done all kinds of writing—novels, short stories, magazine and newspaper articles, poetry, blogging, devotions—you name it and my pen has likely visited that format. But this week, I participated in a brand new venture: A group anthology.
As a writer of Colonial American fiction, I belong to a group known as Colonial American Christian Writers. About two dozen writers interested in Early America participate in this group, where we share research, support, and enthusiasm for each other’s work. Our fearless leader, Carrie Fancett Pagels, has also started a blog called Colonial Quills, which features a variety of posts including virtual tea parties for book launches (sorry, you must provide your own tea!), research info, and other pieces of interesting facts with that consistent theme of Early America. I love participating with this great group of ladies. You may have even read some of their novels.
This year our creative Carrie came up with an idea that has apparently been her dream for sometime: An anthology of chapters from several different authors who are following the same central story line with recurring characters. Talk about both intriguing and challenging. At first I thought, “How fun!” but then I panicked.
How was I going to do this?
The first thing that had to be established was the year and location. It turned out to be in the South (I write about New England) and set in 1753 (a year I had not yet researched).
Gulp! What did I get myself into??
Well, it turned out to be a challenge but really enjoyable. I was already used to researching history, so I just had to search out information about the particular time and place. In doing so, I found some treasure chests of information. I, personally, learned more about the important role (then) Major George Washington had in the initiation of the French and Indian War. He was all of twenty-one years old at the time.
With Carrie setting up the central location in a fort called “Providence,” she introduced her characters that would be recurring in the chapters that each of us writers would add to the anthology. It has been a cooperative and amazing effort and I hope that this innovative work blesses our readers!
The first segment written by Carrie ran on Monday, November 5, and subsequent chapters will run every Monday through the holidays. If you’d like to read the first segment, here is the link: Part One of “A Forted Frontier Holiday.”
If you sign up for the Colonial Quills blog, the chapters will be e-mailed directly to your in-box and you will not miss a single episode.
Click here for the page at Colonial Quills with the schedule, including titles of chapters and the authors.
Hope you enjoy our group’s effort to produce Colonial Quills’ first ever Christmas anthology!