Hello all. My name is Jessica James and Brett has kindly invited me to join TOCWOC as a fiction reviewer. I love to read good, solidly written historical fiction that entertains while being informative and educational. I know many historians turn their noses up at fiction, but I think it’s a great way to draw people into history that otherwise would not be interested. (“The Killer Angels” did it for me).
My background is in PR/Journalism (uggh, I know) but I left an 18-year career as a newspaper editor to finish and publish my novel “Shades of Gray.” I’m an “old-school” type journalist that remembers the days when reporting was objective, so had no second thoughts about leaving the newsroom of today behind.
Though I spent most of my life in the Gettysburg area, a five-year stint in northern Virginia is where I really got the Civil War bug. I will have to blame the hours and hours I spent on the back roads of Loudoun and Fauquier counties on Col. Mosby, whose exploits I just could not get enough of. Every home or landmark written in any book about him, I just had to see for myself.
I am really lucky now to live in a pre-Civil War house on 10+ acres in Gettysburg that I bought almost 15 years ago. Everyone called me crazy when I bought it, (OK, so it didn’t have any indoor plumbing back then) but it is my writing retreat now. The outhouse still stands as a reminder of my pioneer days.
That’s my background in a nutshell. I am extremely pleased to be here, and though my time is limited, am looking forward to reading and reviewing some great books!