Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Author Discovers Guntersville's Passion for History

The brick courthouse in Guntersville, which was destroyed by Union attacks on the unarmed city.

Monday, January 23, 2017, the City of Guntersville, Alabama opened their arms to this author, thanks to a gracious and socially-connected historian Larry Smith. At the Marshall County Archives, we were joined by another historian, Keith Finley. Then, Anthony Campbell, the editor of Guntersville Advertiser-Gleam, dropped in for photos, and with plans to showcase my visit in a feature article. Next, to the Guntersville Historical Museum which was host of a meet-and-greet for regional historians, museum curators and docents. After lunching at the Courthouse among a few of Larry’s friends— the “movers, shakers, and decision makers” of Marshall County, including at least one judge— he opened the Gilbreath House Museum. They actually have an non-detonated Parrot shell from one of the Union attacks of the City during the Civil War, this one likely in 1862 and a scene found in Trapped in the Crossfire. I departed the City with three invitations for future speaking engagements with book signings, and opportunity for more. Guntersville clearly has a passion for history. I felt right at home there.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Signing Publishing Contract with Ardent Writer Press

It's official! The contract signing was a celebration held at Weeden House Museum, a fitting locale for this historical novel set in mid 19th Century, a saga which portrays the trials of the true life couple Sarah Hammett and Oliver Perry Williams, Union Loyalists who were driven from their South Carolina home by portents of war, only to become caught in the crossfire of battling armies in the North Alabama wilderness. Attending the signing were Alabama State House of Representative Phil Williams, Representative Mike Ball, Publisher Steve Gierhart, Editor Doyle Duke and others. The projected launch date of Trapped in the Crossfire is October 15, 2017. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Press Release for My Publishing Contract

Weeden House ca.1819, site of Union Occupation by Officers during Civil War

Headline: Alabama Author Gladys Sherrer Signs Contract with The Ardent Writer Press for Civil War Saga:  
Subhead: October 2017 Book Launch
Dateline: Huntsville, AL, January 17, 2017
On Tuesday, October 17, a book contract for Author Gladys Hodge Sherrer's Civil War saga, Trapped in the Crossfire, was signed with the Ardent Writer Press at the historic Weeden House in the Twickenham District of Huntsville, Alabama.
Sherrer's novel is historical fiction at its best, portraying the trials of Sarah Hammett and Oliver Perry Williams—a true life couple who migrated from Spartanburg, South Carolina in the mid 1800’s. Trapped in the Crossfire tells of this Union loyalist family, driven from their home and loved ones by portents of armed conflict, only to become caught between battling armies and the passions of war in the north Alabama wilderness. Interestingly, numerous descendants of Sarah and Oliver live in North Alabama today.
A century and a half ago, the average Southerner was caught between loyalties to his region and those to their country. By comparison, today's world would be strange, and not just for our technology but for our diversity in culture and ethnicity. Nonetheless, a case can be made that the courage required then to face the changes coming to antebellum America were in some ways like the courage and strength of character that America faces today. How did the values of those long ago Southerners withstand and adapt to the horrors of war? How do those values parallel or stand apart from those today? That is for the reader to decide, but Trapped in the Crossfire will undoubtedly arouse your emotions as the trials of war demand. However, in tweaking our fears it will also tweak our confidence, as it shows that strength of character can help us survive though chaos reigns about us.
Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird, said, “You never really understand a person until you climb into his skin and walk around in it,” the beckoning chorus for the reader of this moving Civil War saga, intertwined and made real in the author's enthusiasm for historical accuracy and down-to-earth characters. Trapped in the Crossfire plumbs the depths of the human heart during America’s most chilling era, combining drama and passion with the historical facts gleaned by the author during her eight years research in war diaries, battlegrounds, museums, archives and interviews with historians in four Southern states.

Gladys Sherrer wrote for the local newspapers, The Shelby County Reporter and The Birmingham News, as well as for regional journals. A graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, she is a literary award recipient, receiving notoriety from Southern Christian Writer Conference, National League of American Pen Women, and Alabama Writers Conclave. She is a member of the literary association, Alabama Writers Forum, and blogs regularly on her website, www.JourneyToPublishing.blogspot.com. Follow her on Facebook and stay alert for the October launch of the enjoyable and thrilling ride that is Trapped in the Crossfire: A Civil War Saga



Thursday, January 12, 2017

Wait for it! Big Announcement Coming Next Week!

19th Century Huntsville Courthouse

This morning I reflect upon the literary journey I've taken over the last eight years: the research trips to South Carolina, digging in  archives, walking the grounds of the old plantation, meeting distant relatives of my book's main characters. I traveled alone, my first time going to Upstate South Carolina, followed the migration route and imagined how it might have looked, woodsy and wild, in 1858 when perched in a covered wagon. What dangers did they encounter? My research took me to battlegrounds in Georgia and Tennessee, where I met interesting historians and learned more than I want to know about the horror of war. I placed myself "in their skin" and walked the path of a soldier, a wife and child left to fend for themselves. A bittersweet journey of a lifetime.

  The above photo is only a hint of a BIG announcement coming next week.