I am pleased today to welcome Linda Hubalek to A Slice of Life Writing. Linda is the author of The Trail of Thread series of three books based on the lives of her pioneer ancestors. To commemmorate Linda’s visit, we are giving away e-copy of The Trail of Thread. To be eligble to win you must be a follower of this blog and have left a comment between May 11 when I first announced Linda’s visit and end-of-day today. I will draw the winning name tomorrow and post the lucky name here.
Please join with me in welcoming Linda!
When Family History Inspires You to Write Fiction
In 1990 my husband had a two-year engineering project that required us to move to the San Francisco area. I sold my wholesale horticulture business because it wasn’t something I could maintain from out of state.
Searching for what I wanted to do while in California, I decided to look into my ancestors past as a project to work on. I researched and found my family’s history, not only the important dates of their lives, but also their stories.
What I realized is that all my ancestors traveled from other places to settle in Kansas when the territory opened up in 1854, or shortly after the Civil War when land was available to homestead. They were from European countries, leaving family, community and the life they knew behind to start a new and hopefully better life In America.
The history that my family just happened into, because of the state and nation’s situation, inspired me to write the Trail of Thread series. To give them a personal feel, I wrote the stories in the form of letters sent back home to loved ones.
For example my ancestors Deborah and John Pieratt (with six children along), featured in the first book of the Trail of Thread series left Kentucky in 1854 when the Territory of Kansas was formed. They were part of the thousands of families that packed wagons and headed east for the promise of a new life. My mother, uncle and I actually drove their trip—by car in a few days—to see what they would have seen in person.
Thimble of Soil, the second book in the series, features a great aunt Margaret Ralston Kennedy. She was a widow who moved with eight of her thirteen children from Ohio to the Territory Kansas in 1855. I found out by research that she helped with the Underground Railroad in both Ohio and Kansas!
Orphaned Maggie Kennedy, my ancestor portrayed in Stitch of Courage, the last book in the series, followed her brothers to Kansas as the states fought out the history of the Civil War. She found love with Deborah Pieratt’s son and gave birth to the great grandfather I knew.
Not only did this information give me a look into my ancestors’ life and times, it inspired me to write books to give readers a “slice of life” of my ancestors, and all people that lived through this time period.
I hope you’ll read the Trail of Thread series to get an insight into your family’s history too.
Linda Hubalek graduated from Kansas State University with a degree in Agriculture/Horticulture and spent years doing agronomy research before starting her own business Prairie Flower Creations. Much like her own ancestors headed west, Linda found herself in California tending a cement garden and longing for the fields of Kansas. She was able to “visit” her beloved Kansas while writing the Trail of Thread series. Now, she is back in Kansas now (growing bison not prairie flowers!) and still writing about Kansas women. Her fourth series, The Kansas Quilter series will be released later this year.
Follow Linda on Twitter (https://twitter.com/#!/LindaHubalek)
Visit Linda’s Website (http://www.lindahubalek.com/)
Visit Linda on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/lindahubalekbooks)
Contact Linda (email@example.com)
My brother did a wonderful chronicle of the history of our family, and I’ve enjoyed it very much. He didn’t write books, though! Congratulations to Linda for finding this way to honor her ancestors.
I love the idea of writing the story of our ancestors. There is a lot of rich material to be found if we mine the documentation available to us. Kudos to you, Linda!
What a talented lady and how wonderful to have the inspiration to honor her family in book form. I find the best part of blogging is finding these treasures! Thanks for sharing…and I think she looks like she could be your sister!
Kathy, how interesting that you said that! I thought we looked kind of alike also!
I love reading stories about pioneers, and that these books are based on Linda Hubalek’s actual ancestors makes it even more fascinating. I am glad you featured this writer.
I loved reading all 3 books. Margaret Ralston Kennedy is also my ancestor and it was amazing to read her words. All my friends wish someone had taken the time to research their ancestors the way Linda has ours. Thank you !!