For those who’ve read the book, it deals with slavery and abolition just prior to the Civil War. The next book, which I’m currently writing, is the continuing story of one of the characters. There is also some reference to other characters from the first book but the focus will be on Colin Garrison, a somewhat minor but pivitol character in book one.
In working on this sequel, I’ve come to realize that a major theme of my books is the difficulties and complications of passing for a white person when you are legally a black person, in the 19th Century.
This idea seems to resonate throughout both books and was not exactly planned. I created my characters and they just happened to be biracial. Why?
Well, to begin with, I believe my subconscious mind was thinking of my daughter, who is biracial. I say subconscious, because I never specifically said to myself, use your daughter as an example.
Now, in writing this continuing story of the Garrisons, I came to a decision about who my character falls in love with and the decisions he has to make in order to be with this person.
In truth, there is much more to it.
I find I am intrigued by the decisions that some black people made before and after slavery to pass as white, and what was involved in those decisions. I am intrigued also at the blurring of the color lines. By that I mean, how many white families had black ancestry and how many black families had white ancestry. Not news to me, but being one half of an inter-racial couple, would I have made the same choices had I lived in 1868.
So, I believe, for now, I have found what moves me. I have located the heart of what makes me want to write what I am in the process of writing. I could delve deeper into my psychological motivations but I’ll save that for another time.
I thought it was slavery, and that alone certainly is worthy to be written about. It should never be forgotten in the sense that it must be a reminder of how not to treat our fellow man. However, it is the human condition, the choices we make because of who and what we are, that occupy my mind as I put down my characters thoughts. I want to know what they are thinking and why.
My daughter has become a great source of information now as well as my continuing inspiration. She has become one of my most precious source materials.
Hope all are well.