Author Archives: Laurie Marr Wasmund

About Laurie Marr Wasmund

I am an author, editor, presenter and teacher who loves what I do. My novels, which are published by lost ranch books, are My Heart Lies Here, a Story of the Ludlow Massacre, Clean Cut, a Romance of the Western Heart, and the White Winter Trilogy: To Do Justice, To Love Kindness, and To Walk Humbly, all of which deal with the years surrounding World War One. I live in eastern Colorado with my husband.

What’s Real? What’s Not?

In writing My Heart Lies Here, I tried to draw from the historical record as much as possible. However, creating believable characters around the real-life events requires an author to imagine, interpret, suppose and make choices about what might have plausibly happened at the time. Fiction can never rival history in jaw-dropping surprises; events and coincidences occur in the historical record that would appear too improbable or fantastic if included in a fictional work. My hope is that my readers pick up a work of history on the Ludlow Massacre.

Here is a list of what’s real (and what’s not) in the novel.

1.       Berwind Canyon

Much of the action that takes place in Berwind is fictional. However, the coal canyons of the Southern  Fields were, indeed, closed to public travel. This made possible a number of abuses–social workers, Red Cross volunteers, Congressional representatives and other concerned or curious humanitarian advocates never set eyes on the canyons. A Methodist circuit rider provided spiritual guidance every so often, even though most of the immigrants who filled the coal canyons were Catholic.

In fact, Colorado Fuel & Iron recruited workers in Joplin, Missouri from waves of immigrants who had been lured west with the promise of fortune and land. The new workers were then loaded on trains that traveled through the great plains of America with window shades drawn and guards in each car. The trains’ arrivals at Berwind and Delagua Canyons and the other mines were scheduled at night, leaving the passengers with no idea where they had come to or any picture of the American landscape.

 2.       The dynamics of the schoolhouse

There are historical anecdotes that imply that the seating in the schoolhouse was assigned by the color of a student’s skin and a student’s facility with English. Learning English was not encouraged–therefore keeping young people from growing up into active, contributing Americans who could read a ballot, understand laws, and identify injustices.

In the coal mines of Glenwood Springs, Colorado, miners were told not to interact with anyone outside their ethnic groups. For instance, Italians were told to avoid the Greeks, who were dirty and practiced a false religion, and vice versa. For decades, this system of fomenting distrust and prejudice prevented the coal field workers from organizing. Probably the biggest challenge, however, faced by the United Mine Workers of America in organizing the Southern Fields was the lack of a common language. It is estimated that some 31 languages and/or dialects were spoken in the Ludlow tent colony.

3.       The teachers in Berwind

All of the teachers represented in the novel are fictional creations. However, it was generally accepted that school teachers were spies that reported back to the company any signs of sedition or independent thinking in students. It is also widely documented that the teachers were often incompetent–they drank, they were unusually brutal, they themselves were poorly educated . Students who wanted to continue their education through high school had to board in Trinidad, a hardship for most coal canyon families.

 4.       The information that Edith McCormick passes to Christian in Chapter 2

I used the character of Edith as a mouthpiece to express the discontent and fear that the miners felt. Everything she imparts to Christian about the conditions in the coal camps is historically documented.

The coke ovens at Hastings

The coke ovens at Hastings

 5.       The “Northern Lights”

This, of course, is a vehicle of character development. However, I have met residents of the Trinidad/Walsenburg areas who as children watched the sky turn orange and red as the coke ovens burned near Cokedale.

 6.       The Greek camp in Berwind and “Bricktown”

The Greek camp is entirely fictional. In truth, the Greek men (who were unmarried or who had left wives and families in Greece) would have lived in company-provided boarding houses for “single gentlemen.” The concept of sleeping in “shifts,” however, is real. Boarding houses rented rooms to several occupants at one time, and sleeping was staggered throughout the day and night.

 “Bricktown,” however, is factual. Quickly constructed brick houses were built for the Third Wave immigrants who crowded into the coal canyons in Berwind and Delagua Canyons.

 7.       The house of ill repute in Berwind Canyon

The “house” that both Ethel May Farrington and Pearl mention is factual. Ethel May’s promise to her mother that she would lower her eyes and not look as she passed it on her way from her father’s ranch to the school house in Berwind is based on a promise made in real life by Martha Bonacquista to her mother.

 8.       The active/passive partner system of organizing the Southern Fields

The United Mine Workers of America implemented this system as a subterfuge for the mine guards and detectives of Colorado Fuel & Iron. An “active” partner would work from the office in Trinidad, passing out cards and publicly promoting union. Meanwhile, the “passive” partner working in the mines would report anti-union colleagues to the company as having joined the union. Christian’s fear throughout the novel of being “sent down the canyon” was, indeed, very real.

 There is no evidence that the Greeks organized by sponsoring boxing matches. In fact, the Greeks were one of the last ethnic groups to organize, as they were given to fierce rivalry and mistrust of their own countrymen, as well as anyone else. The Italian miners were far better at organizing, coming together in a strong and consistent solidarity that still resonates through the communities of Trinidad, Walsenburg and Pueblo (home of CF&I’s steel mill) today.

  It is debatable whether Mary Thomas, the lovely, red-headed Welsh soprano, really sang opera as a diversion while the Italians organized. It is true that she would sing “O Sole Mio” a number of times throughout the evening, but she denies that her performances fostered union talk in her book, Those Damn Foreigners. There is, of course, speculation to the contrary.

 9.       Leaving for Ludlow

The fictional character of Ned Binford outlines the union’s demands to CF&I, which are historical. The action in the novel that takes place around the convention in Trinidad and the exodus of the coal miners from the coal canyons is well-documented and historically portrayed in the novel. Indeed, the tents had not arrived by the time the coal canyons emptied, leaving hundreds with nowhere to go. The strike began in chaos and disorganization–which would haunt it until it ended in December, 1914.

 10.   Mother Jones

Any scenes involving Mother Jones are from the historical record. The speech she gives to the residents of Ludlow, in which she claims that “in America, there are no dagoes,” is adapted from the speech she gave at the UMWA convention and from other speeches she gave during the strike. Her statement that women don’t need the vote to raise hell is a nod to the surprising fact that Mother Jones was against women’s suffrage.

 11.   The Death Special and Baldwin-Felts agents

The Death Special existed as a tool of intimidation and terror. It was, indeed, manufactured at the CF&I steel mill in Pueblo, and the Baldwin-Felts agents George Belcher and Walter Belk, both veterans of the West Virginia strikes, were often seen manning the twin machine guns.

 Strikers in Ludlow were urged to whittle blocks of wood into facsimiles of guns, as Alex does, in order to give the impression that the strikers were well-armed. It is also true that most of the guns that the UMWA acquired were given to the Greek men, who were “deputies” in Ludlow. The number of guns overall in Ludlow, however, could never match the weaponry of the Baldwin-Felts and, later, the Colorado National Guard.

 12.   The battle of the steel train

The events surrounding the arrival of the “steel train” in Ludlow are portrayed according to the historical record. Women and children were evacuated to a big tent in the arroyo, and a hospital tent was erected. However, whether the nurse in charge of the hospital, Mrs. Pearl Jolly, would have attempted surgery is speculation.

 Mrs. Jolly was the American-born wife of a Scottish miner who had been trained at the CF&I hospital in Pueblo. She was in Ludlow alone; her husband had not joined the strike, and she was consistently called upon to use her medical skills to aid the strikers. She was reputedly the lover of Louis Tikas, which has led to a theory that the Colorado National Guard treated him so brutally because he was having an affair with an American woman. Whatever the situation, she was with Louis Tikas during the final siege at Ludlow, helping him with the wounded until he left to turn himself in to the Colorado National Guard in the hopes that the militia would call off the attack on Ludlow.

 13.   The arrival of the Colorado National Guard

This is portrayed as it occurred. The residents of Ludlow held a parade in honor of the arrival, and the militia gave a spectacular show of its precision and horsemanship.

 Two militia officers who are mentioned briefly in the book rise above the others for their decency toward the striking workers: Captain Philip Van Cise, who headed the investigation of the Ludlow Massacre for the Colorado National Guard and who went on to have a brilliant career as a crime-syndicate buster and District Attorney of Denver, and Lieutenant William Doll, also a lawyer. Both men would also earn recognition in their fight against the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s.  Lieutenant Karl Linderfelt is accurately portrayed as brutal and lawless, but his story is much deeper and more complicated than the novel’s structure allowed.  

 14.   The Thanksgiving “line-up” on the prairie

This happened as depicted in the novel, including the search of Ludlow and the barbed wire in the water well. It has been reported that Louis Zancanelli, who assassinated George Belcher, was tortured in the jailhouse in Trinidad. He was deprived of sleep, warmth, and doused in cold water until he confessed to the killing.  

 I did not include in the novel the “forced” vaccinations by the Colorado National Guard of the residents of Ludlow against smallpox. This happened in December, but involved the same man-handling and lack of compassion as the line-up.

 15.   This is all true:

            • ·         The snowstorm that buried Ludlow, which still stands as the worst snowstorm in Colorado’s history.
      • ·         The jailing of the Greeks and the arrival of the strikebreakers.
      • ·         Christmas Day in Ludlow.
      • ·         Mother Jones’ arrest.
      • ·         The incidents at the women’s parade. Women and children were sliced by sabers and ridden down by horses, and several were arrested. Mary Thomas and her daughters, ages 2 and 4, were held for six weeks in the jail.
      • ·         Theros’ story about being called upon, while in jail, to dig a new privy for his jailers.  
      • ·         The planned “war” on Trinidad, which is called off because of the promise of a Congressional hearing. The hearing was held; however, nothing came of it.
      • ·         John D. Rockefeller’s refusal to testify on the matter until ordered to by President Woodrow Wilson. He claimed he did not have enough information on the situation in Colorado to make a statement.
      • ·         The exit of the Colorado National Guard from the strike zone, and the implementation of a new means of recruiting members of the militia.
      • ·         The burning of the Forbes tent colony and the erection of a militia camp on the site.

 16.   Running guns

The Greek coffee house bakery is a fictional place. However, there were several Greek bakeries at the time in southern Colorado and in Denver as well, and they were known not only as places of conversation and camaraderie, but also of political unrest.

 As far as I know, no woman ran guns for the Greeks. However, in the oral histories gathered in the 1970s, an Italian woman spoke of bringing guns into Ludlow under her skirts. That gave me the idea of making Christian a gunrunner for the Greek men.

 17.   Linderfelt riding down the passengers at the train station

Lieutenant Linderfelt was known for his cruelty toward the strikers, and “riding down” the passengers seemed to happen quite frequently. At one point, Linderfelt is reported to have shouted at the passengers disembarking from the trains, “I am Jesus Christ on horseback!” This is one of those facts which is too outrageous for fiction.

 18.   The Ludlow Massacre

I took great care in depicting the night in Ludlow with as much accuracy as possible. Christian and Pearl’s plight in the pit is, of course, fictionalized, but Louis Tikas and Mrs. Jolly did go tent to tent in an attempt to save lives. On the other hand, Mr. Snyder, whose son had just been killed, cautioned the women to return to their tents and pits. One can only speculate on whether this had any historical significance.

The body that Christian sees spread-eagled on the ground was that of John Bartolotti, an Italian striker killed early in the fighting. 

Most of the women in Ludlow did find their way to the barn at the Bayes Ranch, although a few, like Mrs. McCormick, spent the night in the dried-up well. Others survived the fire in the pits beneath their tents. The men, who had been fighting through the day, regrouped in the Black Hills east of Ludlow the morning after the fire, where the UMWA had ammunition and guns waiting for them. Dr. Ben Beshoar, who had cared for the residents of the tent colonies from the beginning of the strike, also went to the Black Hills to help with the wounded.

 It is possible that Christian could have journeyed through Ludlow after the fire. Several refugees were picked up by the Colorado National Guard that morning, and they were handed over in “prisoner exchanges.” I have placed Mary Petrucci and Alcarita Pedragon, whose children had suffocated in the pit, at the depot at the same time as Christian, but this is a fictionalization.  However, the deaths of the entire Costa family and Louis Tikas’s execution are from the historical record.

 19.   The camp at San Rafael and the destruction of Berwind

The UMWA would build a new tent colony from the quickly-assembled camp neat San Rafael Hospital. Here, the strikers who committed to the UMWA would live until the strike was called off in December, 1914. Only a few strikers took up the cause after the Massacre; most moved on to new locations and, I would hope, better situations. In the end, the union district was bankrupted by the strike, and John Lawson’s reputation and career were ruined.

 After the massacre, John Lawson’s “Call to Arms” attracted hundreds of armed, angry men to the region. The numbers of men “marching in” from Texas, New Mexico, and other western states has not been exaggerated. The fighting that followed has been called a “civil war.” Many of the mines and coal towns were heavily damaged in revenge for the killings, which inadvertently harmed the strikers even more; there was now nowhere to go back to work.

 20.   After the Massacre

The funerals of the victims, the arrival of federal troops, and the eventual legal charges for participants in the strike are historical. Alex’s decision to return to Scotland, is probable; two-thirds of Third Wave immigrants (approx. 1880-1910) returned to their native lands. Usually, however, these immigrants were from eastern European countries and had not yet adapted to American customs or learned the English language.

Archaeological excavation at Ludlow, 1999

Archaeological excavation at Ludlow, 1999



Praise for My Heart Lies Here

What Readers Are Saying about MY HEART LIES HERE

The sky above Berwind Canyon

The sky above Berwind Canyon

Just started your book, can hardly put it down.

Penny Ann H.

 I loved your book.

Sheila K.

 It’s well written, engaging, and a delight to read. I enjoyed it thoroughly. Excellent job!

Elodji. M.

I would like to recommend your book to our book club to read next year.

Doris S.

I also wanted to tell you that I read your book and really enjoyed it. I always judge a well written book by whether or not I can see it taking place in my mind as I read. I could definitely “see” your words as I read and I loved your characters and I even thought about who I would pick to play them in a movie. I enjoyed your mix of Scottish and Greek cultures and language. It was amazing to realize that the events you wrote about really did occur in our Colorado history and to read about what incredible hardships those people endured. I thought it was great and can’t wait to read your next creation.

Kathryn B.

 I love your descriptions and really felt as if I was in the mining camps while reading. This story would make a great movie!

Candy P.

Excellent!  I could not put it down, and felt like I was part of the story. 

Susan M.


About the Book

 My Heart Lies Here

BookCoverImageIn 1913, the United Mine Workers of America led a strike against John D. Rockefeller’s Colorado Fuel & Iron Company that would end in war.  In this novel of the Ludlow Massacre, a young woman learns the true value of love and sacrifice and what it means to be an American.

Coming of age in the hardscrabble coal camp of Berwind, Colorado, Christian Scott is caught in a web of divided loyalties. Torn between her dedication to her brother, Alex, who stubbornly clings to his proud Scottish heritage, and her love of Pearl, a spirited and irreverent orphan whose flight from abuse and poverty lands her on the Scotts’ doorstep, she experiences heartbreak when the two become enemies. At the same time, she secretly joins with a passionate Greek man on a dangerous course of resistance against the coal company and the brutal Colorado National Guard that threatens to destroy everything–and everyone–she loves.

About the Author

LAURIE MARR WASMUND grew up on a cattle ranch in the great American West. A teacher, editor, researcher, and writer, she has published short fiction in literary journals and articles on Colorado history in popular magazines. Currently a college instructor, she lives on the eastern plains of Colorado with her husband.

A Fine Fall Evening

I’d like to thank everyone who came to the book signing at Elodji’s on September 22. It was a beautiful evening, and the tapas and wine bar was an elegant site for an event.

I received a wonderful review from William C. Thomas of that looks at some of the themes in the book, including that of being an orphan. Mr. Thomas call My Heart Lies Here “engaging, honest, and skillfully told: a pattern of orphans growing and becoming part of a family and community in a new world.”

Beth Shelly of Ranchland News was kind enough to interview me for the September 27 issue. She traces my interest in the Ludlow Massacre and the research that it took to write the book.

Thank you to both Bill and Beth for the publicity!

Love Gone Viral

The worst thing to happen to fiction might be the cell phone.

Fiction relies so heavily on human frailty–on messages that never come, last (often misunderstood) words, and missed connections. These are the very things that we try to eliminate–or at least circumvent–with technology. When my daughter used to come home on rare weekends or breaks from college, she slept with her cell phone under her pillow so that her boyfriend could call or text her at any time of the day or night. I had a student who tried to do everything in my class–from reading the texts to taking notes to writing papers–on his Iphone. There wasn’t a chance that either one of them would miss a message or even a tidbit of news from a friend.

Recently, I read a movie review in The New Yorker of a new release that is based on a 1973 novel and actually set in 1972 Sydney, Australia. At once, I wondered why a novel written in 1973 was coming to the big screen now, unless it was a commentary on the era. But it isn’t. The plot revolves around a dying old woman and two, warring children, who attend her death bed in the hopes of a large inheritance, bringing with them all the baggage from their youth. It’s face-to-face confrontation. There’s no Skyping through the muddle, no faxxing the altered will back and forth between Sydney and Europe (where the children live), no Internet searches for “how can i thwart my greedy sibling?” Even the actors cast in the movie seem to eschew a connected age; I can’t imagine either Judy Davis or the great Geoffrey Rush with a Smartphone 5.

The Olympic opening ceremony in London recently tried to bring a human element to technology, with its set piece about two teenagers who fall in love when a cell phone is lost. Although I admit to being an old geezer, I was far more wholly engrossed in the ceremony until that point. I was enchanted by the tearing up of the green pastures to build the smokestacks and behemoth factories of the Industrial Era, and I enjoyed the nighmare monsters coughed up by the skit about the National Health Service. In contrast, the teenagers’ act felt empty, soulless, colorless and artificial. I went to the refrigerator.

Try to envision some of the great love stories of our time coupled with our technology. Romeo and Juliet? Dude, call her on your cell and let her know that the poison is only a gag. Casablanca? A few timely emails (encrypted, of course, so the Nazis can’t read them) would have informed Ilsa that Victor was still alive. Paris would never have happened, and she never would have walked into the one gin joint in the one town in this one world where Rick was pining for her. And imagine Elizabeth Bennett texting Mr. Darcy rather than the witty repartee of Pride and Prejudice: OMG, like u r such a stuffed shirt! :0)

The Brontes certainly would take a hit in our century. Cathy could just Google Heathcliff to find out where he was, thus preventing soul-wrenching, broken-hearted pain, abuse and death for a number of characters. And Jane Eyre would never have wandered the moors or heard the voice that called her back to Thornfield. Instead, she would have kept up on the situation via Rochester’s Tweets. “House almost burned to ground only one wing standing.” “Blind in both eyes and hand all crabbed up from damage while trying to save Bertha.” “Wish governess would come back. Jane, where are you?” #crazywife

I prefer a world where isolation was involuntary, and that is why I love the American West. The West is still romantic, in so many ways; there are still breath-stealing vistas, despite the best efforts of developers and oil companies. There is still the sense of open space, of untamed tracts of land and waters. As a society, we seem reluctant to let go of the idea of the man (or woman) alone, the non-communicator, the anti-social hermit vigilante man vs. nature rugged individualist. You know, the stereotypical Westerner. Look at Annie Proulx’s “Brokeback Mountain” or the super-charged loners of Cormac McCarthy’s fiction. And remember that every stereotype has a basis in truth.

I’ve set my next novel, Clean Cut, in a pre-technological era–1985, before internet updates on wildfires and tracking collars on re-introduced wolves and (in some cases) even land lines had reached the lonesome towns near Yellowstone National Park. I played around with other time frames–the 1990s, the early 2000s–but nothing felt as right as the era when communication wasn’t immediate and loss could not be mitigated by keeping a Facebook page or living online memorial for the deceased. I wanted my characters wrapped up in themselves, in their immediate environment, unable to see past the mountains that encircle the town or the single two-lane road that leads out of it.

It’s not that I am anti-technology (I published my book through an online service and am obviously keeping this blog), but the world seemed to be more intriguing, more mysterious and fun when there was the possibility of screw-ups that couldn’t be solved with a quick IM or text.

Why I?

SPOILER ALERT: In this blog, I discuss some events in My Heart Lies Here. Be sure to read the book first!

In every writing group or class I have attended, I’ve found those who ardently champion writing in first person point of view and those who virulently hate it. It’s a quandary for a writer–choosing the point of view from which the book will be written is one of the first and most essential decisions a writer makes. It’s all good and well to spend time writing from differing points of view and voices, but at some point, a writer has to pick a path and stick with it.

I chose to use first person in My Heart Lies Here because I heard Christian’s voice in my head. The old cliche is true: Characters do what they want to do in any given work. (I’m currently struggling with a first person narrator who refuses to move graciously and without a knockdown, drag-out battle to third person–as well as characters who want to do far more than a reasonable page count will allow–in my next novel, Clean Cut.) Working in first person has some advantages, but it also presents a host of problems for the writer to solve.

The advantages of first person narrative are simple. The use of “I” gives the reader a reliable, sure anchor in the story; the reader always knows who is telling the story (even if the narrator’s recollection of the events is unreliable, as often happens). There’s an immediacy to the plot and events in the book–the reader is being “told” the story as if he or she was sitting down in a bar talking with a good friend.

The downside of using first person point of view is, of course, the limitations it imposes. The reader can only see, feel, taste, smell, touch and think what the narrator sees, feels, tastes, smells, touches and thinks. So if the narrator is not at the center of the action, then the writer has to figure out how the character will learn of the events and how much will be related. As a woman in 1914, my character of Christian is often not at the center of the action. She doesn’t see the abuses in the mines; she is stuck in the hospital tent when the steel train attacks Ludlow; and she is not on the hills fighting during the civil war that follows the massacre.

It took some contriving to allow Christian (and therefore, the reader) to learn all she needed to know. She overhears conversations; other characters relate events to her; and near the end of the book, she walks through Ludlow at the end and sees first-hand the devastation of the colony. Throughout the story, she finds herself in situations where she meets a whole host of historical figures, sort of Forrest Gump-like. While reading the proofs, I noticed how often Theros shows up where Christian is in the novel. I had to laugh–Good job, Theros, on being in the right place at the right time! Of course, this is all part of the willing suspension of disbelief on the reader’s part that makes reading fiction so enjoyable.

Another consideration when using first person is how close to stand to the character. Consider this: Does the writer want the reader to be inside the character’s head and knowing only what that character knows at that instant in time, or is the character retelling the story from the comfortable distance of a number of years, when he or she has the advantage of reconstructing and interpreting the events? In My Heart Lies Here, I rely mostly on the play-by-play, inside-the-character’s-head-right-now, which again asks the reader to suspend disbelief. (How many of us can remember a conversation word for word even an hour later, much less reconstruct it with accompanying actions and expressions of the others involved?) At times, though, I cheat, giving Christian the gift of hindsight. In fact, at the end of the book, Christian tells us what happens to some of the characters in the future, which reveals that she is telling the story from the distance of many years.

All in all, I’m pleased with the use of first person and the choice of Christian as my narrator. Her character arc–from somewhat selfish and spoiled little girl to a true advocate of union–seems well served by the use of “I.”

lost ranch books announces the publication of My Heart Lies Here


Dear Reader,

The first offering will be My Heart Lies Here, a novel of the Ludlow Massacre, which happened in Colorado in 1914. The Ludlow Massacre has fascinated me for decades, and the plight of the immigrant American–especially those from the eastern European nations–has always resonated with me. I’ve often wondered how it feels to leave one’s home, one’s family, and one’s culture and move to a place where the language, customs and political structures are vastly different.

Looking down Berwind Canyon
Looking down Berwind Canyon

Not everyone who came to America found success, and not everyone was welcomed to our great melting pot. In fact, a startling number of “third-wave” immigrants, who came to America sometimes in the late 1890s and 1900s, returned to their native lands. My Heart Lies Here addresses the sometimes confusing message of freedom that is promised to all who live in the United States, but is not always realized.

The coal mines of Colorado attracted a variety of immigrants seeking fortune and a home. In my novel, I chose to portray Scottish and Greek immigrants. The Scottish characters, Alex and Christian Scott, resemble my own family’s ancestors; in fact, Alexander Scott was the name of both my great-grandfather and my great-great-grandfather, both of whom settled in Colorado. Alex and Christian’s transition to America is relatively easy and painless–they speak English, their customs, literature and religious beliefs are similar to their American counterparts.

My primary Greek character, Theo Sky (as he is known at the beginning of the novel), endures far greater difficulties in coming to America. Without knowledge of the English language, he and his countrymen are cast into ignorance. They are distrusted–even disliked–among their the other men in the mines, and their religious practices are never acknowledged in the coal mining camps. They struggle to understand the American system and to become part of it.

I chose to look at the Greek experience mostly because of Zeese Papanikolas’ book, Buried Unsung. The book is a powerful and detailed source that reads like a novel itself. However, I added into my Greek characters’ adventures stories that I had learned from the oral histories of the time and from an Italian miner, Joe Bonacquista, and his wife. Their nationalities may differ, but the recollections of oppression, resentment, and inequity sound very similar. Ironically, the Greek economic crisis helped me to imagine the speech patterns of my Greek character; I paid close attention to NPR interviews with Greek citizens and goverment spokespeople!

In future blogs, I’ll be discussing some of the creative decisions I’ve made in my writing, the writing process itself, and the history that surrounds my works. I hope you enjoy reading My Heart Lies Here as much a I enjoyed writing it.