Nancy Dane is an author and lecturer with an expertise on the American Civil War in Arkansas. Her Tattered Glory Series won the 2011 Fiction Award presented by the Arkansas Library Association, and her children’s book titled Sarah Campbell, Tale of a Civil War Orphan won the award for best children’s history book for 2016, presented by the Arkansas Historical Society. The Center for the Book (Arkansas State Library) featured another of Dane’s books for children, William’s Story, as an Arkansas Gem at the 2016 National Book Fair in Washington DC.
Her detailed research is compiled into a documentary history book titled Tattered Glory, which along with the four novel series is used as curriculum in Arkansas schools and colleges. Where the Road Begins and the companion novel, A Long Way to Go, are from the Confederate perspective. A Difference of Opinion and An Enduring Union are written from the pro-Union standpoint.
The Civil War children’s series includes titles, Sarah Campbell, William’s Story and A Boy Named David. Ms Dane also writes newspaper serials for children. The Arkansas Newspaper Association features installments of her work in the Newspapers in Education programs.
Dane’s novel titled A Reasonable Doubt moves forward in time to the Reconstruction era. This was a time in Arkansas of tragic events, almost equaling the war years. And her latest novel, Jackson Loring, is an Arkansas home front story about WWII.
Along with lecturing to civic groups and schools, she also conducts professional development seminars. Nancy and her husband, Louis, currently reside in Pope County Arkansas. They are the proud parents of four children, who have blessed them with a dozen grandchildren.
Below Nancy explains how her series developed:
WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW:the golden rule of writing, or at least one of the literary Ten Commandments, prompted me to set my novels in Arkansas.And since I love to read historical fiction that is the genre I chose. The Civil War had long been a personal fascination and became even more so when I discovered all four of my great grandfathers fought for the Confederacy. When I decided to do a historical fiction series on Civil War Arkansas, I did not know what had happened in my particular hills and hollows, so I set out on a quest to find out.
Three or four months of research should be enough, I thought, but as the facts began to unfold, I was hooked! My three or four months grew into ten years.And my research became the history book Tattered Glory, a compilation of fascinating source documents.
At that point, the challenge became not what to include in the novels but what to leave out.The true stories related in the Southern Claims Commission Files alone could net a lifetime of ideas for writing fiction. I venture to say that about ninety percent of what happens to my fictional characters actually happened to real people in Arkansas during the war.
My life is good. My days are busy. Along with writing, I have the pleasure of lecturing on Civil War Arkansas. The most rewarding result of getting the history right is the unexpected pleasure of having the novels and the history book used as curriculum in Arkansas schools. I do plan to keep writing novels set in Arkansas. The new series I am working on will cover the coal mine/timber boom era.
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