For the entire month of June, I am sharing my books in the first annual Cygnet Brown Book Club Month! All throughout the month, I will be featuring not one, but all of the books that I have written to date. Today the featured book club is: Soldiers Don’t Cry.
It Probably Started When I Ate Pizza Just Before Going to Bed
The idea for Soldiers Don’t Cry, The Locket Saga Continues started with a dream that I had one night. I dreamed that there was a young woman and a young man sitting on two ends of a puncheon log bench that was along a log cabin wall. The bench was about twelve feet long and she sat at one end of the bench and he sat at the other end. I KNEW that what I was seeing was a scene from before 1800.
He said, “Don’t I know you from somewhere.” And she said, “Yes, we knew each other as children.”
It was from this dream that I got the idea of a girl who had grown up in Western Pennsylvania before the American Revolution. I determined that however she grew up in Boston with her sister and the boy grew up in England and that something brought them back together. That something I determined was the American Revolutionary War and he came back as a British Officer. She was an American spy and smuggler. Getting them together in the same place was easy. Before the war, Boston and other parts of New England were to quarter soldiers in their homes. This infuriated patriots so much that they included “no quartering of soldiers during peacetime” as the third amendment to the Constitution. It did, however, set it up so that Phillip Randolph, the hero of the story was quartered in Elizabeth’s (the heroine) in the same home. Add to that and you have the makings of quite the twisted adventure story.
Even though it is the second book published, Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues was the first book that I started writing in the Locket Saga, but as I was writing it, I wondered what happened to the parents of Elizabeth and Rachel. This led me to write When God Turned His Head the first book which I wrote about earlier in the week. (See post)
The Original Manuscript Was Deleted!
One thing about this book that many people don’t know is that I had to write the book twice. Years ago, just after When God Turned His Head was published, I had the completed manuscript of Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues on my computer and the computer didn’t have enough memory left on it, so a friend suggested that we “wipe the data and clean out unwanted files”. He said we could save what we wanted to keep but anything that we didn’t put behind a wall would be erased forever. A agreed to let my husband and my friend wipe the files from the computer, but asked that he save all of the document files. He saved only a single file that had the Word document in it and all the books that I had on the computer were gone forever.
Rather than whining about my loss, (Okay, so I did whine a little, Okay, a lot. I am human, after all) I decided to recreate the book and I think that in a lot of ways I came up with a better book than the original. The book was rewritten in less than a year. I learned a valuable lesson. When something bad happens, don’t let it get you down, let it fire you up!
So how about you? Have you ever finished a project that you spent years on that you had to re-do because of a technical error? I would love to hear about it. Share your experience in the comment section below.