Kentucky Girls Books

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              Have fun reading adventure stories about life in different times and places throughout Kentucky.
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A lifetime of reading inspired us to write

Kentucky - unbridled spirit logo

We switched from journalism to historical fiction.

As sisters growing up in a small farming community in Iowa in the 1950’s and 60’s – before globalization via television and the Internet – we had no readily available professional role models and even fewer opportunities. Our grandparents had achieved only eighth grade educations and our parents, who never finished high school, were limited to low-paying jobs.

Our outlook and our futures would have been very bleak had it not been for a school library full of exciting books that opened our minds and our eyes. Through books, we learned of real and fictional women who helped us look beyond our own beginnings and imagine a successful life beyond our seeming limitations.

And succeed we did. We paid our own ways through college and graduated with communication degrees. We both embarked on separate, time-shifted public broadcasting careers (in Kentucky and Iowa) that have garnered a wall-full of awards in the nearly 30 years each of us has been writing, editing and producing news and feature material.

In the process of raising daughters in Kentucky, we discovered the school curriculum was equally weak on state history, and women’s history. We discovered the immensely popular American Girls series of books for our girls – and ourselves! The idea of creating a similar framework for Kentucky girls books fell out of those pages.

With the encouraging support of three grants from the Kentucky Foundation for Women, we were on the Road to Pleasant Hill. We put Betsy on the 1834 stagecoach out of Eastern Kentucky, tucked her into the Shaker girls’ dorm, and learned about this “perfect” communal society right along with her.

In addition to their shared interest in writing, Rebecca and Marie
both play Appalachian Mountain lap dulcimers.

Now we want to write books about Kentucky girls.

We’ve both wanted to be writers since we were young girls. After award-winning careers as journalists who reported just the facts, we found ourselves with an active desire to write things that will affect an outcome, and possibly change how our readers see the world and their role in it, rather than just telling them what has happened.

More specifically, our goal is to write books that feature strong, young, and resourceful girls in historically accurate settings that will encourage our readers to take a greater interest in women’s history and develop their own personal appreciation of how women’s issues have evolved over time. We hope that using our stories to pique their interest in our rich Kentucky heritage we fill encourage them to be more proactive in securing their own places in today's world.

We hope our readers will identify with Betsy, Tad and the other characters in this series and in our future books. We want them to see that they face similar problems to these characters, even though they are living in a different time, culture, and place in Kentucky.

Eventually, we hope to write books about other times and places. But, we chose an 1830’s Shaker Village as the setting for our first three books because it was such a unique and lively place, especially for women. Unlike many other places in those days, a Shaker Village was a place where women’s work was highly valued and where girls were recognized and rewarded for their talents and accomplishments. Women in Shaker Villages shared in all the major decisions that affected the community because all members of the community worked together for the common good. It was probably as “perfect” as any Kentucky society will ever be.

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