My Dad was in the Navy when I was born on Charleston Naval Base in South Carolina. But before I was old enough to pick up the romantic southern drawl he was transferred north. My parents eventually settled on the coast of Maine where I grew up.
Maine is a great place with a rich history. The town of Scarborough, where I was raised, was founded in 1658. The local markers, Dunstan Corner, Oak Hill, Pine Point, Blue Point and Black Point have been there forever. The town’s oldest dwelling, built in the late 1600’s or early 1700’s, is the Hunnewell House.
In 1647 the Massachusetts Bay Company passed a law requiring that settlements with the colony, with 100 settlers or more, provide a school. In 1752 Mr. Roger Hunnewell was paid four shillings for the use of his home as the town school. This historic home is important landmark in the town.
Route 1 is the major route through Scarborough. It was called King’s Highway, in the days when Maine was known as Upper Massachusetts and was only a province. It was a primary route from the Massachusetts Bay Company, through the New Hampshire Colony and on into the Province of Maine. Traveled by colonists, British soldiers and highwaymen alike, this road was owned by the realm, literally the King’s highway.
In an area where the history of America’s beginning is seen in everything from the small family cemeteries of the 17th and 18th centuries alongside the roads to the centuries old stone mile markers, history lives here. Driving through cities and towns from the southern tip of the State, on up through “DownEast” Maine, there are historical markers on homes and businesses all over. The past and present are intertwined, creating a uniquely familial and traditional feel throughout the region.
The setting of my first series, The Ruth Chernock Series, is a fictional town in southeast Maine. The time period is the mid 1700’s into the early 1800’s. Having grown up in a big family the story felt natural to me. While writing the series I was living in a wooded area in Waterboro, Maine. There I reveled in the rich aroma of the ancient pine trees, marveled at the amazingly gentle and enormous moose, the awkward groups of wild turkeys, scattering as a deer approached, the chaotic noise of the wild ducks on the pond and the reverent feel of the old cemeteries with centuries old gravestones. All were continual reminders of the treasured past.
For me Ruth began as a troubled young woman who faced enormous obstacles that pushed her closer and closer to the edge. As I teased out the details of each happening the other characters came into being. The story grew as the sights, sounds and smells of Maine, then and now, blended with the fictionalized history that I worked to create.
In telling the saga of Ruth and her family I wove in many of the elements that make Maine so unique. Additionally I built on the dynamic of a large, close family. Coming from a family of five children I understood the basics well. There may be friction and discord but a tightly knit family unit is a matchless entity. Ruth’s kinfolk are at the root of who she would become.
The Ruth Chernock Series begins with the hanging of Ruth in 18th century Maine and proceeds through the decades with her family as the past continually haunts them.
If you would like to sample the first book in the series you will find the first 1,000 words at
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