The Cherokee Rose began with a history that began with the voice of a slave. In the late 1990s, I was a graduate student researching my dissertation on the subject of slavery in the Cherokee Nation of the nineteenth century. Some of the richest first-hand accounts on this topic were the letters and diaries penned by Christian missionaries from the Moravian Church who had traveled to Cherokee country in what is now Georgia to start a church school and mission on the land of a wealthy Cherokee slaveholder named James Vann. Continue reading
Photo credit: Black-eyed Susans in field, photo by Martin van der Grintin@USDA-NRCS PLANTS database.
The first image that flooded my mind for the novel that would eventually become The Cherokee Rose appeared unbidden. Several years ago when I was still in graduate school, I saw a young woman in my mind’s eye. She was walking through a field of flowers toward a large plantation house, missing the pageantry around her because of an unseen weight on her shoulders. That was all: a snapshot of a woman alone, slowly moving uphill through a field of beauty, but meeting resistance – an inner resistance – all along the way.