A few years ago, I started learning about the part of my family history that is rooted in the anthracite coal fields of northeastern Pennsylvania. I discovered an old coal town, Eckley, that was preserved because it was used as the location of a historical movie (“The Molly Maguires”) in the late 1960s. It’s a … More Broken breaker, broken heart
Somehow, with no idea of what I was doing, I was able to get a military marker for a Civil War veteran who had none. A cousin of mine (four times removed) was in the 4th Pennsylvania Cavalry during the Civil War and became a prisoner of war at Libby Prison in Richmond, from which … More How I was able to honor a hero with the help of a few good people
A bloody Civil War battle engaging 40,000 soldiers and resulting in 1,500 casualties. A field hospital full of wounded men, 2,500 of whom would be left behind to the enemy as night fell, thunderstorms rolled in, and the battle front shifted. Two historic locomotives—one that would come slowly down the track pushing an armored big … More “Remember me is all I ask…”
I never thought I’d write about history. I’ve always liked to write, sure, and I tried my hand at writing novels years ago. But when my grandmother died a few years ago and we found a little autograph album in her records, I unexpectedly found my reason to write. The autograph/friendship album was filled with … More When the present blocks you from the past: one of the challenges of writing about the past
When I published “This, Their Friendship’s Monument” in September 2020 on Amazon, I didn’t think an index for it was necessary. Probably because I’d spent literally years writing it and could locate anything in it in a matter of seconds. It’s been a few months since the writing dust settled, and I recently went back … More “This, Their Friendship’s Monument” now has an index
A few years ago, I began writing a book. It’s about the lives of the people who signed my great-times-three Aunt Mary’s autograph/friendship album. Aunt Mary was the daughter of Scots-Irish immigrants and lived in a coal town in northeastern Pennsylvania. The Civil War, massive coal mine strikes and disasters, and the 1918 flu pandemic … More If You Self-Publish on Amazon, Are you Considered a “real” Author?
I wrote a book and recently published it on Amazon. And trust me, if I can do it, you can too. Seriously. See my previous posts about formatting my manuscript for the Kindle version and the paperback (print-on-demand). Here are some things I’ve figured out since I hit “publish”. First of all, it’s exhilarating to … More Self Publication Anxieties…Who Knew?
Don’t get me wrong, it feels great to have finally finished my book and published it on Amazon. Yay! But there’s something that comes with publishing a book that I’ve found difficult: “I want a signed copy of your book!” If I could just sign my name and be done with it, that would be … More You want witty?!? One of the Pressures of Publishing a Book
Years ago, I tried my hand at writing fiction, and bought just about every book I could find on the subject, including one by Stephen King called “On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft”. In it, King says “Write with the door closed, rewrite with the door open. Your stuff starts out being just for … More When You Open the Writing Room Door
As you can see in my post from a few days ago, I recently accomplished what seemed like the impossible–I successfully uploaded my book to KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing), the self-publishing arm of Amazon.com. With the final click of a button, I became a (self) published author of a Kindle book. But I didn’t just … More Formatting your own book for print-on-demand on Amazon…I’m proof that anyone can do it