I’ve always loved to write, but as with most of us, daily life and work ate up my time. It took a surprise discovery to fire up my jets.
Cleaning out my parents’ garage one day, I found an old box of family papers. As I sorted through them, two immediately caught my eye. One was a parole, the other an oath of allegiance to the United States. Both were signed by my great-grandfather William in 1865, and they documented his promise to never again “bear arms against the United States of America, or give any information, or do any military duty whatsoever, or permit or counsel any act in hostility to the United States.” He also swore to “abide by and faithfully support all laws and proclamations made during the existing rebellion with reference to the emancipation of slaves” – So Help Him God.
William was an American, but he had turned against his country to fight for a new nation – a nation founded on terrible injustice: the Confederate States of America. Defeated and exhausted after four tragic, bloody years of fighting, he was giving his oath to fight no more. In return, he could go home.
I had so many questions! What was he thinking? Feeling? Was he relieved, or in despair? What would his life be now? What was left of his family, of his home in the ravaged South? Did he yearn for his old life, or seek to start a new one? What had he thought he was fighting for, and what purpose would his life have now?
The answers to those questions became my debut novel, TERMS OF SURRENDER.
When I was offered a contract, it came with so many conditions and “suggested” changes – my favorite was removing all references to the Civil War because that war “had nothing to do with the West” – I was at a crossroads. I was open to constructive criticism, but I didn’t want the novel gutted, its heart and purpose destroyed.
And so I decided to take my writing career into my own hands. I took advantage of the new opportunities available to writers today, and I became an independent author. I’ve never regretted it, not for one moment. Now I have the freedom to write what I love.
And one of the things I truly loved as a kid was The Twilight Zone. I was so strongly influenced by the fantastic, master storytellers who wrote for that show: Rod Serling, Charles Beaumont, Ray Bradbury, Richard Matheson, Earl Hamner, Jr. My time-travel/sci fi romantic adventure, TIMELAPSE, a Readers’ Favorite 5-Star novel, is my slightly belated excursion into The Twilight Zone, and I hope you’ll enjoy it! Happy time travelling!
Copyright 2014 by Lorrie Farrelly
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