Week three of #NaNoWriMo has come and gone.
Welcome to my 122nd #Rainbowsnippets*. This one, as always, is uniquely mine, but there are lots of other great snippets to read so after you finish here click the FB link at the bottom of the post to discover other great LGBTQIA authors and their works.
Striking Balance: The Peculiar Making of Beatrice Benjamin Sophia Scott Schnell Gow is a queer Historical Paranormal Fantasy set in, you guessed it, Appalachia. This Appalachia, however, is the frontier, and the story takes place during the Revolutionary War era and the time after, meaning the late 18th century. This explains the narrator’s voice. If you’ve read the letters and journals of the period, you’ll recognize it as reflective of those.
This week I’m picking up where I left off in Chapter One. The part in orange comes from last week’s post, Foppish.
Widow Alcott, or rather, Mary, is a wonderful cook, but Mary does not cook out of kindness. She and her sixteen-year-old son, Davy, are Widow Alcott’s slaves, and I do not cotton a bit to one person owning another no matter what color their skin, belief, social status, or other standings might be. “I’d rather eat boiled eggs and beans.”
“Good heavens, you’d stink worse than a wallerin’ hog, and I share a cabin with you.” Conall slaps his cock hat back onto his head and smooths his waistcoat. “Go warsh. She’s fried a pullet for us.”
Yeah, fried chicken doesn’t sound so hot to me now either. And Ben’s reference to eggs and beans… ha! He’s a smart-aleck, isn’t he?
Tiny History Lesson: This post mentions slavery, a subject that shouldn’t be ignored or removed from period writing to make it more palatable. We should call it what it was and show it for what it was though I admittedly barely touch the topic within Striking Balance because slavery wasn’t a significant portion of the Southern Appalachian existence. Indeed, Northeast Tennesse, where this novel is set, tried to stay with the Union while the rest of the state seceded. But the Civil War is a good seventy-five years ahead of what’s happening in Ben’s world so I’m jumping ahead at the mention.
This region has an intriguing history. Case in point, the lost State of Franklin. The main portion of Striking Balance actually ends as the State of Franklin comes into being. In actuality, the entire Appalachian Elementals series takes place in what is now Washington and Unicoi counties, Tennessee, with an occasional dip into Greene county. If you take that map of the State of Franklin, it tucks very neatly into the northeast corner of Tennessee.
So what you will read in this novel is fantasy fiction with real history woven in. I am a native of this area and my sister is a historian specializing in this area, so I’m striving for accuracy wherever possible. (I might hear about it if I don’t TBH.) My research is my own, but if I cannot find something anywhere else, she can generally point me in the right direction.
You can read about the lost State of Franklin HERE.
Tiny history lesson complete. Thanks for coming.
*RainbowSnippets is a safe and welcoming space for LGBTQIA+ authors, readers, and bloggers to share 6 sentences each week from a work of fiction—published or in-progress—or a book recommendation. Feel free to join in.