Hearts Through History Romance Writers

The First Book I Wrote

by | August 13, 2012 | 8 comments

The first book I wrote was actually Kentucky Green.  I know a lot of writers tell about the story they wrote in the first or second grade and how they always wanted to be a writer.  But that’s not me.  I always wanted to be a history teacher and ended up with a couple of history degrees and taught US History and Western Civilization at the community college.

For me, teaching history was really story telling.  All about people and places and events.  How people lived, what was important to them.  Everyone said ‘you know all these stories, you should write a book’.  Since I’m a rotten typist (and only an average speller) writing didn’t sound like too much fun.  The thing that finally drove me to write was when my husband bought a computer/word processor (remember when they called it word processing?) which took away my excuse.

So being an academic, I took a writing class and learned about genres, and how popular the romance genre was.  The instructor said to write what you like to read (well, duh!).  I’d always read historical novel, and looking back I can see that they contained a strong romance even if they weren’t ‘romantic’.

So how did I come up with Kentucky Green?  I was lucky enough to grow up with a large extended Midwest family and knew a lot of family history and stories.  My several times great grandmother came to Illinois from Kentucky on horseback, carrying her new born baby in her arms.  And one of my favorite historical novels was The Kentuckian by Janice Holt Giles.  So Kentucky was to be the setting, and a generation later than The Kentuckians.

Being a historian I read about Kentucky in the time I’d chosen, found details, came up with characters.  I loved the research.  Some of the fun scenes to write about was when Dan teaches April about his Kentucky rifle.  At one time my husband had a black powder rifle, so I knew I wanted to include a scene with the rifle.

Book: April Williamson’s heart  calls her across the frontier – but only one man,  a handsome army scout with a tormented past – can get her to freedom.  Daniel McKenzie was an army scout – quiet, capable, handsome – and utterly unwilling to be the trail guide April needed to reach Kentucky.  The Indian attack at Blue Licks was but one bitter taste of the American Frontier, a massacre that had taken her father just as the cholera had taken her mother.   But April would not give up on her dream.  At journey’s end was independence, and nothing would stand in her way.   The young widow was beatiful and determined, but the months of travel involved in her plan would be too hard.  Without the general’s orders Dan would have told any woman no, but April especially.  His secret would destroy her — or she might destroy him.  April’s kiss was like the country itself.  Restless and sweet, it promised love that denied every boundary and looked only to freedom and the future.

Being my first book, it went through a lot of revisions and re-writing while I leaned the craft.  Now I’m lucky enough to share my stories with readers like you.  I hope my readers enjoy the story of Dan and April.


  1. Morgan

    Many people are so hard on their first books when really they are very good because of all the love and the work that went into them. Looking back, can you remember the feeling of amazement that you actually wrote a book?

  2. Ella Quinn

    Very nice blurb. Congratulations. I’m still trying to get my first book in shape.

  3. Ally Broadfield

    My first book is an unfinished mess. I love the characters and the story, but I would have to start from scratch and rewrite the entire thing to resurrect it. Thanks for sharing the story of your first book.

  4. Terry Irene Blain

    Ella, just keep at it. You learn so much by writing that frist book.

  5. Sissy Bullock

    I have several outlines for books I want to write but I am having trouble with being descriptive. I can write the love story just not all the babble in between.

  6. Terry Irene Blain

    loving the characters is half the battle. Perhaps some day you’ll come up with another story (I’d find it easier to keep the characters than the plot) for them to find their HEA

  7. Lacey Falcone

    Terry – You’re my kind of gal! I also didn’t write as a young child. I do remember asking one of my college professors (who taught English) if he thought I could write a novel – of course, he said ‘yes’. But, I do have many story ideas swirling around in my head. I also love history…and, of course, it’s natural that I would lean toward writing historicals. Kentucky Green sounds really interesting – I look forward to reading it!

  8. Terry Irene Blain

    Good luck with your writing, Lacy. The best way to learn is to actually write. I once took a workshop by an author who said you need to a million works to really hit you’re stride. I know my writing had gotten better the more I write. Hope you enjoy Dan and April’s story 🙂



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