Each of my stories is my favorite when I’m writing it, but there’s something special about Red Bird’s Song. Maybe because many of the events depicted in the story and the inspiration behind it are true .
Red Red Bird’s Song is based on events that happened to my early American Scots-Irish ancestors in the Virginia colonial frontier. The novel began as historical fiction with a strong romantic element but evolved into a historical romance, painstakingly researched and pulsing with emotion. The romance between Wicomechee and Charity throbs with tension, tenderness, passion and angst.
A bonus for readers, at the end of the book is the account of this Shawnee warrior I discovered in distant branches of the family tree. Yes, Wicomechee really lived and he comes vividly to life along with the others characters in this adventurous romance with a strong The Last of the Mohicans flavor.
Most importantly, the romance between Charity and Wicomechee, the hero and heroine in Red Bird’s Song, was inspired by an account I read of a Scots-Irish captive who fell in love with and wed the son of a chief and was later forced back to her white family. Her warrior husband did the unthinkable and left his people to go and live in the English world, but before he could reach his true love, her brothers intercepted and killed him. Heartbroken, she grieved herself to death soon after giving birth to their daughter, who survived and has descendants.
So affected was I by this heartrending account that it also played out as a profound influence in my historical fantasy The Bearwalker's Daughter.
I couldn’t allow this tragedy to befall my couple in either novel. Not only because that’s a big ‘no no’ when writing romance novels of any kind, but because this is my way of rewriting that sad tale I came across. I do that to stories or movies when I don’t like the ending, at least in my head. So I delved back into history, reached into the inner recesses of my heart, and pondered an alternative ending...bittersweet. But more sweet than bitter. That’s life, though.