Silent Legacy: Discovering Family Secrets

Silent Legacy: Discovering Family Secrets

by Diana Church

Paperback

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781500538910
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 09/26/2014
Pages: 306
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.64(d)

About the Author

I have been most interested in the challenge of writing biographies that rediscover individuals. My first published article identified the unknown history of a young girl who created a rare stenciled quilt. The next article featured Mrs. E. P. Turner, a progressive reformer; my M.A. thesis focused on Edward G. Eisenlohr, an artist who achieved national recognition in his lifetime but was usually ignored after the 1960s. My first book, Guide To Dallas Artists, 1890-1917, included brief sketches of a forgotten group of artists. The second book, Zion in the Fields, presented the social history of a kinship group along with biographies of seventeen German immigrant families who established Zion Lutheran Church in 1874.

In my latest book, Silent Legacy - Discovering Family Secrets, Ellen O'Donnell reconstructs the life of a German immigrant family. Using genealogy records, she discovers clues and answers to family events that were never discussed. Although this novel involves a hidden family mystery and incorporates actual historical events, essentially it is the biography of a young woman who emigrated from Germany, lived in New York City, then moved to Nebraska, Oklahoma and San Francisco.

When writing biographies, the discipline and perseverance to complete tedious research is essential; in fact, the number of preliminary research hours is often equal to the number of hours spent writing and revising the narrative. My habit of creating a story after researching historical details has developed from studies that required an interdisciplinary concentration on art, literature and history. Over the years, I have kept that focus by collecting a wide variety of books about architecture, frontier history, homesteading on the Great Plains, the artists of Santa Fe and Taos, quilting, lace-making, 19th century religious and cultural history, Impressionist artists and biographies of artists who were exhibiting prior to WWI. Themes and subjects evolve as new interests are developed, although an emphasis on art, literature and history has continuously guided my reading and writing topics.

In turn, the books have influenced travel decisions. When not working on my next project, I am puttering in the garden, doing cross-stitch, reading or traveling to a new destination-to meet people, to experience sites that I wouldn't have a chance to see otherwise and to gather ideas for another novel.

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