Connecting With Readers

It's a great joy to hear from readers, especially those who love your work.  I recently connected with a very very distant cousin who had commented on my other blog, The Family Connection, about an article on genealogy. He happened to live not far from the setting of my book, The Heron, and I emailed him to ask if he could take some pictures for me. This resulted in many wonderful pictures and email exchanges and we compared distant ancestors and where they lived along the Oyster River in New Hampshire. 

Here is the great review he left for The Heron:

I'm leaning on an old fence that surrounds an ancient cemetery. The cemetery contains the remains of members of my Kent family who have lived on this farmland for 8 generations. In the background are sloping hills that run down to the Great Bay in Oyster River, New Hampshire. 

My ancestors were among the original colonial settlers who founded the Oyster River plantation in the early 1600s. I knew the history of Oyster River--its settlement, forests, farms, lumber, fishing, boat building industries and the massacre. What I did not have was a feeling for the place and its times. 

The first two graves in the cemetery are those of my grandparents, five generations back--Richard and Dorothy Kent. Looking at their graves, I asked them to give me a sign, some indication of what it must have been like living there in those times. 

Magic. A few weeks after my "conversation" with my relatives, I received a copy of The Heron by Jean M Roberts. She had seen my text to a genealogy blog in which I mentioned Oyster River.

The Heron is a mystical novel of time travel back to an ancient time in Oyster River. A love story, a history, my history (one of my relatives is mentioned in it), and the massacre. I could not put the book down.

You don't have to have had relatives living near Oyster River to appreciate the depth of characters and history. The Heron takes you back and forth from the early days of the settlement to the present, telling the story of a mystery that plagued a family for over three hundred years. Thank you, Richard and Dorothy and Jean Roberts.

Reviews like that really make my day. I feel like I made a real connection with the reader. Makes all the slog of writing worthwhile. 



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