The Road to Redway (Bonus #1)
Five Years of Redway
Five years ago, I hit the publish button on the first Redway Acres book, Helena, and became an author, a writer, an Indie author, a self-published author. However you want to say it, I had achieved something significant. I had written a book that was now available for anyone to purchase.
Back in 2016, I said, “If only ten people read and enjoy my book, I’ll be happy.” Being human, of course I now wish for more. In a recent author BlogSpot, when asked what my one wish for Redway Acres might be, I wrote a poem wishing for a miniseries pointing out Redway’s strengths that match other shows.
Glamour like Bridgerton
Romance like Austen
The grit of Poldark
The saga of Downton
I started to write Helena’s story, to highlight that women could not own possessions back in the early 1800s and became possessions themselves when they married. As much as we love to celebrate Elizabeth marrying Darcy in Pride & Prejudice, did we consider that she now became his property? Lizzy leaves her father’s rule, only to come under that of her husband.
“The very being or legal existence of the woman is suspended during the marriage, or at least is incorporated and consolidated into that of the husband: under whose wing, protection, and cover, she performs every thing.” From William Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England (1765)
“What’s an independent woman to do in a world where marrying means losing everything?” ~Amazon Reviewer
As I researched, the women in Redway began to take on some depth of character, not just empty vessels for a romance match. Helena says it best in her journal entry in book one.
Men see the outside of a woman and think the inside is empty, waiting for them to fill and mould as they please. I have never met a man who does not think he is better than a woman or knows better than a woman, no matter how highbrow the woman or lowbrow the man. The best man I have ever known was my grandfather, but even he gave me the stable in the hopes that I should find a husband to run it for me.
As other book ideas occurred to me, given the characters I already had, I considered what other impediments there were for women in that era.
The Redway Acres saga chronicles the lives of several dynamic women beginning with Helena, the granddaughter of Redway’s owner. Each title character in the series confronts the challenges facing women in the early 19th century, including forced marriage, domestic abuse, property rights, and the impediments to owning a business or pursuing a profession.
I now have six main books in the Redway series—Helena, Maria, Martha, Harriet, Amelia and Emmalee. In the front of each book, you will find an information page where I give the reader the pronunciation of the names and their meaning. I also inserted an informative paragraph or two from my research or an excerpt from a book about the difficulties facing each woman. In addition, you’ll find some quotes that felt relevant to me either in the front or the back of all my novels. Here’s one of my favourite quotes.
“Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it, possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women.” ~ Maya Angelou (1928-2014)
I have plans for six more stories, so I hope you enjoy YOUR Road to Redway—reading the books and following along with me on this blog journey. Don’t forget, if you love an author, write a review.
Better still, watch the miniseries—hey, wishes can come true!