Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Guest Blog--Day two with Darlene Franklin

The question I’ve been asked the most often about the process of writing The Prodigal Patriot is “What did you learn that you didn’t know before?” Something about the Revolutionary War period fascinates people. I answered with minor things, such as the two battles for Fort Ticonderoga or Ethan Allen’s famous quote, “In the name of the Great Jehovah and the Continental Congress!”

In all of that I forgot the big thing I didn’t know.

Vermont wasn’t one of the thirteen original colonies. (I did know that.) It became the fourteenth state, officially admitted into the Union on March 4, 1791.

Vermont had been part of another colony, two of them, in fact: Connecticut and New York. When the two parents couldn’t reach a custody agreement, Vermont took a step towards a long history of independent thought. When the 13 colonies split from England, Vermont formed a republic all of its own, formed under the name of New Connecticut, or Vermont.

The tension with New York plays a role in The Prodigal Patriot. Although an independent republic, Vermont’s Green Mountain Boys played a heroic part in the battle for America’s freedom.

The more I learned about Vermont, the more eager I was to write stories about its history. The Prodigal Patriot introduces us to Josiah Tuttle and Sally Reid, founders of a proud Vermont family.

Question of the day:
Vermont brings to mind images of snow and skiing and making maple syrup. I remember first reading about tapping trees and boiling sap to make syrup in Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Do you remember reading that? How old were you when you discovered Laura and the Ingalls family?


  1. Mmm, maple sugar candy. The maple syrup industry was the focus of the contemporary Vermont romances from Heartsong, so I chose another iconic Vermont image as my theme: covered bridges.

    I couldn't say how old I was when I first discovered Laura Ingalls Wilder. Probably in high school.

  2. My third grade teacher read all the Little House books to us an hour a day right after lunch all through the school year.

    In fourth grade, I checked out Farmer Boy from the school library at least once a month. :)

  3. I didn't discover these books until I was in college--when the pilot film for the Little House on the Prairie series came out. They became favorites, and I read them to all of my children.

  4. I don't remember how old I was, but I do remember loving the Laura Ingalls Wilder stories! Then enjoyed them again when my daughters were old enough to read them. We still have the complete set on one of our bookshelves. Maybe our grandkids will pick them up one of these days.