Much of my life has prepared me to be a writer. I come from a line of published authors—including my grandmother, Anya Seton, a well-known historical novelist, and my great-grandfather, Ernest Thompson Seton, a renowned naturalist and nature writer. I also have a PhD in 19th-Century American Literature. My career has been in both academe and industry, and I am published in several academic and corporate periodicals. I plan for this novel to be the first of a 4 volume series with one for each year of the Civil War released as the sesquicentennial of each year arrives: Year of Disunion (1861), Year of Atonement (1862), Year of Redemption (1863), and Year of Reunion (1864).
I actually began writing Year of Disunion on the front porch of my grandmother, Anya Seton's house, over 20 years ago. Through many other careers and activities, I have continued to work on it, but have always felt my grandmother was there, first living and then posthumously, as a guide, shepherding me through and pulling me back to the project. My mother, Anya Seton's daughter, Pamela Cottier Forcey, also has been a tremendous help. A professional editor, she has read and re-read the novel at every stage to help me keep it as polished as possible. She always says she's not the writer and that the 'historical novel genes skipped a generation.' Maybe so, but her sense of how a novel should be constructed and how words should be combined have been invaluable. It is a family project in all senses of the word.