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Friday, March 28, 2014

What Your Story May Inspire

For the past several days I’ve been hard at work on the edits my Wild Rose Press editor sent for historical romance novel, Traitor’s Legacy. While written to stand alone, this novel is the sequel to Enemy of the King.  Both are set at various times during the American Revolution. The hero of Traitor’s Legacy, British dragoon Captain Jacob Vaughan, was the ‘bad boy’ in Enemy of the King, but a humbler alpha male by the end of the story. His multifaceted character fascinated me, as did his illustrious lineage, so it was a no-brainer when choosing the next hero. But how this novel came to be is a story in itself, as is the unfolding buzz surrounding it.

Early summer 2012, I received an email from an ardent enthusiast of Enemy of the King, entreating me to write a sequel and set it in Historic Halifax, NC. My fan, now friend, Ann See, invited me and my husband, Dennis, to visit the historic area. She was particularly eager to have Person’s Ordinary, the oldest original stage coach stop on the east coast, featured in the story. Interestingly enough, I had begun the sequel a few years earlier and then shifted it to the back burner because the setting I’d chosen, a plantation along the James River, was too remote to incorporate the events I needed to unfold during this adventurous romance. I also wanted to include the intriguing element of espionage which played a key role in the revolution. As it turned out, all this and more awaited me in Historic Halifax as I came to learn the history of this oft overlooked ‘mini-Williamsburg’. Speaking of which, Ann was also responsible for my meeting with the head historian of Williamsburg, a godsend for what I can only describe as profound research.

Despite my renewed zeal, I got waylaid by suffering the worst writer’s block of my life when I failed to listen closely enough to the characters. Once I did, the flood gates opened and I finished the tale this fall. My editor loves the story and Ann is delighted. The good folk of Historic Halifax are rallying to organize an all-out book signing for Oct. 11th that will include tours of the old town and Person’s Ordinary, reenactors, period music, and sumptuous refreshments. Historical groups, book clubs, libraries…and enthusiastic individuals  are involved in the preparations. The Bureau of Tourism for Halifax County is on board and various media sources have been alerted, including PBS. Flyers are going out, posters going up, and a billboard contemplated. Adds for the signing are being placed in magazines and newspapers. There’s talk of inviting the state governor, senator, and congressman to the event. What will ultimately come of it all remains to be seen, but I’m wowed by how excited people are to reconnect with their colonial roots. Traitor’s Legacy has become a rallying point for this rich and vital era.

So I say, onward and upward. You never know what your story may inspire.

Traitor's Legacy will be published in August. Exact date TBD.

***Submitted by Beth Trissel. For more on me, visit


  1. Congratulations, Beth. What an honor, but well deserved. I envy your being able to visit Halifax and Williamsburg. One of my bucket list destinations.

    1. Thanks so much, Caroline, and I hope you get to visit them. Historic Halifax isn't that far from Williamsburg.

  2. Beth, That's what I love about writing historical fiction. You can find a place or event of historical significance and use it in a book with your characters. Congrats on finding the perfect setting and getting the historic community behind you. Congrats!

  3. I've never understood why some people dislike history. To me, it's fascinating to read about people in another era who are pretty much like people today. Human nature doesn't change, and it's heartening to read how people coped in the past.


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