Good-bye, Gettysburg (I’ll Miss You)

High Water Mark Memorial, Gettysburg National Military ParkI don’t like good-byes. But it’s part of life, and I’ve realized there are different types of good-byes. Happily, today’s good-bye is not forever. It’s more of a conclusion…so we can say “hello” to something new.

A year ago, I made an official announcement regarding the up-coming publication of my first historical novel: Blue, Gray & Crimson: A Story of Civilian Courage at Gettysburg. Along with the announcement came the beginning of the blog series Back to Gettysburg on Tuesdays. And for a year this cannon photograph has been featured on Gazette665’s homepage as the cover photo for Back to Gettysburg on Tuesdays.

While I could probably (and will probably) talk about Gettysburg soldiers, civilians, and aftermath for the rest of my life, I understand that not everyone is obsessed with the topic. So…after a wonderful year, I think it’s time to give Back to Gettysburg on Tuesdays a warm farewell with a short summary of all that was explored during the series and a few final thoughts. What a year it has been! Continue reading

Art For A Novel: Bringing A Scene To Life

We form ideas based on our first impressions – it’s a fact of life. It’s not really fair and can lead to some bad conclusions. (Ask me about General James Longstreet!) So even though there’s the old saying “don’t judge a book by its cover”, in the literal, visual world of publishing that’s exactly what happens.

Blue, Gray & Crimson Cover3

Aware of this fact, I knew I needed to convey a very specific image and feel on the cover of my first historical novel. I wanted it to be eye-catching in a beautiful, traditional way, and was blessed to meet and work with an award-winning artist. Continue reading

An “Author Interview” – Part 1

Sarah Kay BierleDuring the last few months, I’ve enjoyed going to book signings. It’s always nice to meet readers who are interested in my historical novel Blue, Gray & Crimson: A Story of Civilian Courage at Gettysburg.

At these events, I usually answer a lot of questions about my research and writing. I realized that I’ve shared some of my research during the last year of Back to Gettysburg on Tuesday blog series, but I didn’t share much about the actual writing process. Maybe you’re interested?

So I decided to “interview myself” – I found a list of suggested questions for an author interview, and I’ll answer them in two blog posts. I hope you’ll enjoy a glimpse of how the history and story were crafted into the book that you can hold in your hands today. Continue reading

Creating Characters – A Book of Inspiration

I’ll tell you a secret. March 2016 will be the last month of the blog series “Back to Gettysburg on Tuesdays.” But don’t worry – you’ll still get weekly Civil War history articles through a completely new series!

In this last month of Gettysburg, I thought it would be fun share some thoughts from the research and writing process of Blue, Gray & Crimson.

Today, I’ll give you a little glimpse into the “book of inspiration” which helped solidify the creative foundations of my historical novel. Continue reading

Making A National Park

So…Gettysburg was first a town and farming community, then a battleground of two large armies, then a tourist destination, and now a National Military Park. How did Gettysburg battlefield come under the protection of the National Park Service? And who else helps protect the former battleground? When were all the monuments placed?

Today we’ll talk about the history of Gettysburg National Military Park and what you can see if you visit in the modern era. Continue reading