(consider this a shout out to you awesome historical bloggers!)
Forays into Facebook
Until a few weeks ago the sum total of my technological expertise was to turn on my laptop in order to write. I did have email, but I usually checked it once a day and that was that. All the “twitters”, chat rooms and IM’s belonged to that far off universe known as teen-dom.
As the publication date of my first book approached, I began to learn more and more about various book and media related websites, blogs, and social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace. I was profoundly apprehensive about my ability to navigate this new world, but luckily I had a team of online experts at Little, Brown to help steer me through the waters.
My novel, “The Heretic’s Daughter”, is based on the story of my ancestor Martha Carrier, one of the first women hanged as a witch during the Salem Witch Trials in 1692. When the web site for the book launched with a link to my family tree, people who were also descended from Martha Carrier immediately began contacting me. Legends of the Carrier family that I was unaware of, which were also passed down through generations of other branches on the family tree, started to appear in my email in-box and on blogger’s websites. These stories, I believe, will prove invaluable in my research for the next book, but they have also given me a sense of being a part of a larger family.
I spent five years researching “The Heretic’s Daughter” but, until I was connected more fully through the web, I had very little contact with these distant relatives. Now my extended family is growing into the dozens and perhaps, as word spreads, into the hundreds. It has given me a renewed sense of awe and wonder to know that Martha and Thomas Carrier’s words and deeds are still alive and well through the magic of virtual reality.
One of the most amazing aspects of these web services is how quickly opinions and comments from readers and reviewers have spread about “The Heretic’s Daughter”. Where once only the views of “professional” readers were widely circulated, now book lovers who have access to the internet gain instant access to the opinions and expressions of fellow readers world-wide.
Kathleen Kent lives in Dallas with her husband and son. THE HERETIC'S DAUGHTER is her first novel. Read more about it at www.thehereticsdaughter.com .
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