I love this quote from author Anita Diamant and thought it was appropriate to highlight it again for Women’s History Month. Yes, women’s stories are still undertold. All types of stories, from the farthest reaches into history like The Red Tent – 20th Anniversary Edition: A Novel, to today. I wonder if the #MeToo and #NoMore movements of 2017 and 2018 will go down in the history books.
My first novel is historical fiction centered on strong female characters, women who push the boundaries of expected female roles of the 1890s and into the first half of the twentieth century. There is a lot of material and events from that time period to provide rich experiences that will shape my story. Hello 1920 and the 19th Amendment! Hmmm… Lucretia Mott was an abolitionist – one of the founders of the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society – and a women’s rights activist – also a co-organizer of the First Woman’s Rights Convention. I’m jotting down some notes on Mott.
At the same time, as the story outline in my head unfolds, I realize that currently the sketches of many of my male characters are weak and oafish. That needs to change. I want a well-balanced book so I’m going to need to spend some more time thinking about those men to create characters that will balance and complement my female characters. After all I have strong, caring, thoughtful, smart men in my own family that I can draw on for inspiration. My husband, two sons and two brothers. Don’t worry – I’m changing names throughout the book to protect anyone’s privacy.
You’ve got four more weeks to celebrate Women’s History Month. Is there a woman that inspires you? Think about her.
For me, it’s the grandmother I never knew. She lived through an exciting and eventful time period. She took bold steps in her life – some real, some I’m imagining. I hope I can do her story justice. I don’t even know what I would have called her. My other grandmother was Nana, my step-grandmother was Nana Helen. I think Grandmama would have fit her. As her story unfolds, we’ll see if that title works.