In which it’s Eleanor’s turn

For the month of December–with bonus posts on November 30 and January 1!–I am delighted to welcome a wonderful assortment of guest bloggers to take over the helm. Please enjoy their generous contributions to the blog this month. My own bloggery will resume January 2. I wish you and yours happiness and health this holiday season. Please note: comments are disabled until my return.


Should I blame my father or Mr. Frates?

Daddy cherished fine leather bound books, but would collect all genres in any binding. He belonged to more book clubs than my mother could easily tolerate. He read every one of them, some several times. At least I knew where to find him. His Massachusetts law books lined his walnut shelves and as a young child they looked like soldiers standing at attention. He never commanded that I read. He taught me to love reading and his books through quiet osmoses.

What he did demand was Latin.

Mr. Frates taught high school Latin. He hardly smiled but when he did the estrogen levels increased and the short skirts of the 1960’s rose accordingly. He was uncommonly and adorably handsome. For that reason and others I studied Latin for four years. He demanded that we read and collect vocabulary. My parents thought my spelling and SAT scores would improve…chuckle, but I did write. I copied lists of words, read stories in Latin and wrote them in English. I wrote contemporary short stories and attempted to translate them into Latin. Those monstrosities caused Mr. Frates to transfer to the college level.

Between those Latin disasters, my sillier childhood stories and oh, of course, the hilarious ones my father had told me, I wrote and wrote and wrote. I still have many of them, but they are allergic to the light of day. Generations later I read my first romance. I have to give Julie Garwood credit. She had the ability to get her characters married on horses in the Scottish Highlands, but the bride had no idea what had happened. Now, to me, that’s true deep POV. I loved it. I read and read and collected. If I hadn’t spent so much money on books my daughters would have had more to spend on college tuition.

Publishing came later. Oh, I wanted to be the next Deanna Raybourn, but like many of us, family and career absorbed my time, money and energy. Bless their hearts. When the girls’ college tuition was paid and the husband mellowed I was ready to query and accept rejections. Fourteen of them later a fellow writer and critique partner urged me to try her publisher. Thankfully they contracted my Swamp trilogy: Run, Secret, and Home. Now, with Deanna’s blog guidance and her fabulously spirited Lady Julia…I’m creating my first historical romance.

My father and Mr. Frates thank her.

Thank you, Deanna,

Eleanor Tatum

Swamp Run (2012) Swamp Secret (2013) Swamp Home (2014)