Amelia's Legacy - Betty Thomason Owens
Today, Betty Thomason Owens stops by to talk about the writing and contracting of her wonderful novel, Amelia's Legacy.
Handcuffs pinched her wrists. The cold barrel of a Derringer pressed into her ribs. Nancy lifted her chin and stared down her beautiful nose at her accusers. “I will never betray my friend.”
“So, you are in collusion with the miscreant?”
Nancy wracked her brain. What did collusion mean? –Amelia’s Legacy, Legacy Series, #1
I had been writing for a couple of years when I joined American Christian Fiction Writers’ large online critique loop. Fay Lamb was the coordinator. I had sucked up the courage to submit the first chapter of a historical romance I was working on. The first responses were not good. Some didn’t like how the story started. I later added this opening to set the scene:
“Nancy Sanderson, what have you to say for yourself?”
In Grandmother’s office, Nancy endured yet another long drawn out lecture dealing with her recent behavior at school. Her back rigid, she sat on the edge of her chair. Her gaze wandered past Grandmother’s stern expression into blue sky outside the window. Grandmother’s voice receded as Nancy drifted into oblivion.
Someone objected to “Nancy…stared down her beautiful nose…”, saying that no one would think that about themselves. I argued that yes, in a wild fantasy, they just might. It fit my character. Fay agreed. It stayed in.
When I became discouraged, Fay asked if I would like to join a smaller group. I was happy to do that. Those writers worked with me until the end. I made some good friends on that loop, and two of them stuck with me over the years—Jennifer Hallmark and Nike Chillemi, who passed away a couple of years ago.
After working on the story for about a year, I wrapped it up and sent it off to Fay Lamb for editing. More changes were needed, of course. Fay recommended that I send the finished product to her publisher, Tracy Ruckman at Write Integrity Press.
By this time, we were about halfway through 2013. My husband, Bob, had predicted that this was my year. But weeks turned into months with no word. I had given up. Now what?
“It’s not the end of the year yet,” Bob said.
I hate to admit it, but he was right. Tracy Ruckman called me around noon on December 31, 2013. “I like your story. I want to publish it. Can you make it into a series?”
“Yes. Yes, I can.” And I did. Amelia’s Legacy was published in 2014. Carlotta’s Legacy and Rebecca’s Legacy followed.
I still love that first story. The tale begins in 1924 and ends in early fall, 1929, just ahead of the stock market crash. Young Nancy was always in trouble. Prone to fits of fancy—daydreams—something I understood all too well. She was only six when her parents were killed.
Amelia Sanderson was no-nonsense, straitlaced, and stern. After the death of her husband, she had stepped into his role as Chairman of the Board of a prosperous multi-faceted business. That was no easy feat in those days. Grandmother and granddaughter butted heads. Often. Nancy rebelled against every plan Grandmother had for her, including a future husband.
Robert Emerson was well-connected, but Nancy was bored by him. She preferred the wild-hearted Nate Conners. When Nate leaves her in trouble, Nancy seeks Robert’s protection. He vows to protect her. But Robert has underestimated the wily Conners. Nate is privy to hidden truths in the Sanderson’s past and is determined to get his revenge.
The underlying theme of this book is forgiveness. A theme I love because I have often been the recipient. Nancy’s faith journey brings her to the mirror, where she must learn to forgive herself. Sometimes that is the hardest one of all.
About the Author:
Betty Thomason Owens was born in an Army hospital in the Pacific Northwest but grew up in California, Tennessee, and Kentucky. She loves a grand adventure, especially when there’s humor involved.
She is a writer of historical romance and romantic suspense, stories that often feature strong women dealing with difficult life situations. She and her husband, Bob, reside in Kentucky. They have three grown sons and seven grandchildren. You can learn more about her at BettyThomasonOwens.com. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.