Friday, July 24, 2015

Family Inspires

I just returned from my family's 60th reunion. I am the only first generation survivor of my parent's children. I am the youngest of fourteen children. My family gathered with the grandchildren and great grandchildren of my siblings at a luncheon in Saratoga Springs, New York. The photo below is my immediate family of children grandchildren and great grandchildren, with six not present!You can easily spot the only white- haired person in the group,standing with hands folded and sandwiched between husband Tom, and my eldest, daughter, Monica. All of the cousins who attended  with their children and grandchildren made for a very large group. Hold that thought as I tell you how this family inspired my writing.

Flashback to an old blog interview I posted three years ago called "Family Inspired Writing", which said that family inspired writing started  with my first novel, Four Summers Waiting,  published by Five Star and awarded  Editor's Choice. That novel is a Civil War epic which chronicled the hopes and struggles of true ancestors of my children.The book  was inspired by a genealogical search for ancestors completed by  my youngest son.
The seed for the contemporary series I wrote next was inspired by a lithograph,circa 1845, that I viewed in a mill town in coastal Maine. It pictured a woman tending a spinning frame in a cotton mill. In my mind's eye the woman metamorphosed into my grandmother who actually came from Canada  to a mill town in Maine with her family in 1890.The characters in my series were a mix of my heritage; the stories set in a real mill town steeped in ethnicity and tradition. The series, Maine Shore Chronicles, first editions published by Five Star, as well as  Four Summers Waiting, were all given Large print second editions by Thorndike Press.
Rights reverted to me for my four books published by Five Star, and I  published them as Ebooks with Smashwords on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
 It was time to publish the book of my heart, The Red Cockade. This story of a young teen living in a Dutch colony on Long Island New York during the American Revolution, was another family inspired story. Many incidents were true, and although Joseph was an ancestor, I fictionalized his life during a year of the Patriots struggle against King's rule.  The Red Cockade is available as an ebook on Amazon and B&N.

I began this post by telling you about my family reunion. It included a journey from Florida to New York state, an emotional and happy time, but an exhausting time. I waited to post  this after my return, hoping to give you a live view  of how my writing  was Family Inspired.


Jacqueline Seewald said...


Amazing to be the youngest of 14 children! I guess you never got a chance to be lonely. As an only child, I spent more time with adults than other children except in school. How great that you have such huge family reunions. Sorry that your generation is no longer with you, but you can enjoy the younger generations, and I'm certain you do. How great to have a family so inspiring and rich in history!

Mary F. Schoenecker Writes said...

Thank you for your comments, Jacquie. I spent most of my "growing up" years with the five siblings still living at home. Older sisters and brothers were starting their own families and one brother entered a seminary to become a priest.

Mary F. Schoenecker Writes said...

Thank you for your comments, Jacquie. I spent most of my "growing up" years with the five siblings still living at home. Older sisters and brothers were starting their own families and one brother entered a seminary to become a priest.

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