Read The Best Books First…
Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all…Henry David Thoreau.
Many years ago when we lived in Indiana, I was in an extraordinary book club for five years. Unfortunately, when we moved to Florida, I was not able to find such an interesting group again. I promised myself, if we ever moved, this would be a top priority to put back in my life. To be honest, I never thought it would happen twice in a lifetime.
As soon as we settled here in Texas, I was on the search! I feel like I hit the gold mine on my first visit to this book club called “The Bookworms.” They had a local author named Ann Weisgarber giving a talk on her writing process of her latest book, “The Promise.” This book is based on the true story of one of the deadliest storms in American history. Can I tell you? I sat there listening to her like a child in a candy store with my eyes wide open.
Here in her own words describing her thoughts before she wrote “The Promise.”
I was fascinated by the 1900 Storm, the worst U.S. natural disaster of the 20th Century. If Galveston’s west end was isolated in 1963, what was it like during 1900? Did people live there then? If so, who were they? Did they survive the storm?
I read every non-fiction book about the storm that I could find. To my disappointment, none mentioned people who lived outside of the city limits. St. Mary’s Orphan Asylum was down the beach and the disappearance of the buildings and the tragic deaths of the nuns and the children are still a part of the 1900 Storm lore. But was St. Mary’s completely alone without neighbors?
My question took me to the Galveston and Texas History Center at Galveston’s Rosenberg Library. With the help of the archivists, I eventually found names of people who lived outside of the city. They were fishermen, ranchers, and dairy farmers. The facts were bare and sparse, but combined with the interview with Tommy Harrison and Peggy McDermott, that was enough to trigger my imagination.
The Promise is my tribute to the women, men, and children who lived down the island on September 8, 1900.
I absolutely adore when new authors are found and recognized for their extraordinary work.
-The Promise is shortlisted for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction.
-The Promise is a finalist for the Ohioana Book Award in Fiction.
-The Promise is Spur Award Finalist for Best Historical Fiction.
When her talk was all done, she graciously autographed everyone’s book! She allowed me to photograph her and I was very pleased with the results. Here in the image…Ann Weisgarber with an admiring fan from the book club.
I wanted her to have a copy of the picture, so I sent an email to her attaching this photo. She wrote back and said she adored it and sent it off to her publisher!!!! OMG!! I wasn’t expecting that…woohoo. What a wonderful time we had with this gracious talented author.
To learn more about Ann Weisgarber… you can click here to find her website.
Are you reading such an insightful book? Please share with us, I love to hear your recommendations…