Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Featured Author: Diane Gladow

It's a pleasure to have Diane Gladow here today to talk about her non-ficton book, A Journey of Voices: Stewards of the Land.

About the book:

Experience American History once again through the personal letters and accounts of the people who lived it. In Mrs. Gladow’s second book in her A Journey of Voices series, seven generations of the Crume family interact with two hundred years of American History. This book tells the story of the Crume family by interweaving old letters, pictures, land documents, Bible records, and historical references with an account of the family’s life and movement through seven generations. Whether it be flatboating down the Ohio River, building homes in the wilderness, fighting in the American Revolution, enduring the Civil War in a border state, dealing with Indians in Texas, surviving the Great Depression and Dust Bowl, or experiencing two World Wars, this family will continue to surprise and challenge readers to look at history in a completely new way. This book presents a rare opportunity for the ordinary people who lived history to tell their own story.

Author Interview

Diane, how long have you been writing, and how did you start?

I have always been a good expository writer and enjoyed writing and research. My career was in teaching expository writing to adults along with other essential skills, but I did not become interested in writing full-length books until I saw the amount of family research material that I had and I was able to develop an interesting way to present it. 

What do you like best about writing?

Engaging my reader's interest.

What’s your least favorite thing? 

Finding mistakes because I never find them all.

How did you come up with the title of your book?

The A Journey of Voices title came from my ancestors’ journey through time, my own personal journey to find more information about them, and their voices as revealed through their personal letters.

What will others learn from reading your book?

So many of the stories in my books are not common just to my family. Everyone’s family members were a part of the history in the time in which they lived. Often I get the comment from readers that their family experienced some of the same things that mine did.  I want my readers to see American history as the lives of their ancestors.

Did you have any say in your cover art?

The cover is a picture taken by my husband of the land of the first Crume man in the line in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.

Tell us about your favorite scene in the book.

A.  The first Crume man in the line moving his family from Virginia to Kentucky by wagon over the mountains and by flatboat down the Ohio River in the winter of 1795.

B.  A Crume man taking a trip by horseback to the small town of St. Louis in 1799 and seeing the frontier and its inhabitants, both Indian and white.

C.  President Lincoln's boyhood move to Indiana and visit with his aunt and family in Breckinridge County, Kentucky.

D. Modern day finding the old Crume Cemetery where the President's Aunt Mary is buried.

E.  Farmers choking on dust and trying to survive the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression.
F.  An elderly Crume woman traveling by troop train to California during WWII.

Do you have a routine for writing? Do you work better at night, in the afternoon, or in the morning?

I have a rather strict writing process that I follow. I first try to get an initial draft completed which includes as much research material as possible in a logical order in a story format. This is followed by a very preliminary edit to remove obvious errors and add any new material. I then give copies of the draft to readers--sometimes two people, sometimes as many as four or five. I try to choose people with a broad variety of interests and skills but who are good writers. Some of them edit for content only, some edit for grammar, some are interested in my subject, and some are not. This way I get a lot of different feedback, but I don’t feel that I necessarily have to take their suggestions. I then make changes and additions or deletions based upon their comments. As I do this, I edit based upon what I may find in the book as well, and I am open during this entire process to adding new research material if it presents itself. I then put the book in final layout form and add the pictures and illustrations which I have previously prepared. By this time I have been through the book seven or eight times. Once the book is submitted, layout difficulties have to be worked out which requires more reading of the book and spotting mistakes.

Where’s home for you?

I live in the heart of the Flint Hills in Kansas--a region where history happened on a regular basis--early Indian, Spanish explorers, westward emigration, farmers and ranchers, large cattle drives, Civil War "bleeding Kansas," WWI Emporia became the founding city of Veteran's Day, WWII Medal of Honor winner, etc. Where I live stimulates my interest in history.

What’s one of your favorite quotes?

"Some men see things that are and ask 'why?' but others dream things that never were and ask 'why not?'" -George Bernard Shaw

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Travel and research, read, be with family, sports fan (football, basketball, Olympics).

About the author:

Diane McAdams Gladow is a former English Composition instructor at Emporia State University in Emporia, Kansas. During her nine years at the University, she also served as a director of the Writing Center on campus and was the voice of the Grammar Hotline, a telephone service from which the public could obtain answers to English grammar questions. After leaving the University, she taught adult basic skills at the Adult Education Center in Emporia. For almost twenty years, she was a coordinator for the Emporia Literacy Program. She has authored two other books, one a memoir of her husband’s family, Rich Heritage and the other the first book in the A Journey of Voices series, Chasing the Frontier. She enjoys family research, traveling, and reading among her collection of hobbies. She was born and raised in New Mexico, graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso, and obtained a Master’s Degree from the University of New Mexico. She and her husband live in Emporia, Kansas, and have three grown children and five grandchildren. She is currently working on the next volume in the A Journey of Voices series.

Website / Amazon