In my contemporary stories, I write about today's quilters, inventive techniques they use, and how technology has influenced their art. Novels set in the past let me have fun researching patterns that were popular and fabrics and tools available to quilters through history.
Anyone who works on a quilt, who devotes her time, energy, creativity, and passion to that art, learns to value the work of her hands. And as any quilter will tell you, a quilter's quilting friends are some of the dearest, most generous, and most supportive people she knows.
When I was working on my first novel, 'The Quilter's Apprentice,' I knew I wanted to write about friendship, especially women's friendship and how women use friendship to sustain themselves and nurture each other.
Elizabeth Keckley was a woman of remarkable strength, courage, perseverance, and dignity. She was exceptionally talented, but also very diligent and ambitious, and together those qualities enabled her to deliver herself from slavery and become a successful businesswoman.
Mary Lincoln provided Elizabeth Keckley with opportunities for social and economic advancement she probably had never imagined during her years as a slave, while Elizabeth offered Mary the loyal, steadfast friendship she craved but had always found so elusive.