Wednesday, August 20, 2014

An Insiders’ Tour of The Storm Women

As you probably know by now if you’ve been reading the blog, The Storm Women is a companion book to the second novel in the Arrowstar series Charade. The women of the Storm family inhabit the pages of Charade, but in limited cameos. This companion novel builds on those cameos and traces the Storm women’s ancestry back to Margaretta Storm just as she begins her dancing career at the tender age of 23 in 1857. The life stories of five generations of Storm women, as told through the historical fiction of Star Lance, traverse the Civil War years of the 1860s, and chronicle the births of the Storm family’s daughters in 1859, 1861, 1888, 1890, 1915, 1935, and 1961.

Spoiler Alert: To fully savor Charade without ruining its secrets, it would be wise to save reading The Storm Women for dessert.

Just in case there is any doubt, Star Lance is the protagonist of the Arrowstar series. Star not only owns an antique store, but writes historical fiction novels as well. The Storm Women is her second novel, and I’ve chosen to give her credit with an author tag on the book’s cover that reads c. k. thomas with star lance. I hope fans of Arrowstar and Charade enjoy reading this “bonus” book just as much as the first two books in the Arrowstar series.

From my Thomas Family History on, I’ve taken the liberty of using some women’s names from my own family line. My paternal grandmother hailed from the Horton clan and among the women of the clan I discovered Almanza J. Kirkham (Stormy) and Ladoska Anna Horton-Partlow (Dusky). Fascinated with these monikers from another era, I continued to mine the gold of family given-names to round out my cast of characters for The Storm Women: Sarah Swing-Horton, Carrie Edna Horton-Thomas, Opal May Horton (who lived to be 100!), and Margaretta Belle Horton-Purvis (who sadly died at 25).

These women’s lives, whose first names I have “borrowed,” have absolutely no resemblance to the women in my story. However, using their names has reminded me of the huge debt of gratitude I own to my ancestors for surviving, so that I might have life. It makes this story feel just a bit more alive to me. While I’m sure there are traits I have that I wish they had not passed on to me, I’m equally sure I’ve benefitted more from  strengths I’m bound to have inherited from them.

The Storm women are a fierce and independent lot fueled with ambition, fortitude, conviction and some all-too-familiar failings. I hope their characters reflect what it means to be women of passion, determination and perseverance. What a romp it has been watching them live their complex lives, crying with them in the night, and smiling broadly when they triumphed.

Watch for The Storm Women coming soon in e-book and in print on

An entreaty to consider: Women, pay homage to those who have paved the way.

 Write On!


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