Welcome to my website. I hope you will learn about my work and enjoy reading my books and other materials. I grew up in Hampton, Virginia and graduated Hampton High School Class of 1962. After graduating Frederick College, I started teaching in Nansemond County now Suffolk (VA). During the Vietnam War my husband was in the U. S. Air Force stationed at Wright-Patterson (Ohio) and Eglin Air Force Bases (Florida). Upon his discharge we returned to Virginia and moved to Isle of Wight County. (I of W)
I soon learned about Mrs. Elizabeth Bennett Young who saved our Isle of Wight County record books during the Revolutionary War. She and her most trusted black man took the records out of the courthouse and buried them in an old hair trunk outside of town. She remembered right where they were buried and dug them up after the war. Because of her we have some of the oldest records in the country.
Shortly after our return, my husband started building our house. I was busy with our two small sons (Andrew and Brian). I had no thoughts of writing a book. When the boys got older, I did hope to return to teaching. Fast forward to when our younger son, Brian was in high school. He became interested in writing. We went to a local writer’s group meeting and the CNU Writer’s Conference. That was all it took for me to be bitten by the writing bug. (My son became a much better writer than I am. He is now designing computer games for a company outside of Seattle, WA.)
My first book (No Borrowed Glory) is about Mrs. Young and the closing months of the Revolutionary War in Isle of Wight County. A neighbor (Thomas Finderson) and I researched ten years to learn about local events. Turncoat Benedict Arnold and Lord Cornwallis both came through I of W County. Cornwallis spent the night at a home not more than 10 miles from where I live. One of his officers lost a spyglass in the yard where they stayed. A black man found it and sold it in town. It is still here. We had a spy, a battle and a murder.
I didn’t have to make up much to write the book. I created a boy of 13, Nathaniel Chiles (I use family names), and wove him through the events.
We have groups of teachers and students who come to Smithfield (VA) to see the places mentioned in the book and to learn more about the Revolutionary War.
I love history and especially the Revolutionary War time period thanks to Elizabeth Young. This past summer I worked on Jack Jouett: Revolutionary Rider and It Was a Long Night for Sally Jouett.
Jouett saw British Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton and his 250 soldiers ride by the Cuckoo Tavern in Louisa County (VA). Jouett guessed they were going to Charlottesville to capture Thomas Jefferson and all of the General Assembly members. By riding all night as fast as his horse could go, Jouett arrived at Jefferson’s home before the British. Jouett and his horse, Sally, saved the men and the Revolution. It Was a Long Night for Sally is written from the horse’s viewpoint.
I plan to add more information to The Battle of Great Bridge: Boys Stand to Your Arms! about British Lord Dunmore and his time abroad his ship before he left Virginia waters. However, we recently learned my publisher for No Borrowed Glory has gone out of business. We will have to reformat the manuscript and find another printer. The book is not for sale on Amazon at the present time. I will continue to do book signings at the Williamsburg (VA) Barnes and Noble store on Merchant Square. They have a good supply in stock. Somewhere in time I hope to start working on my Blog site to post information from another booklet, The Making of a Revolutionary Experience: Research from NO Borrowed Glory. My character Nathaniel Chiles has two brothers. I hope to do a book for Abram who is soldier and West who is a ship’s boy on Captain John Sinclair’s boat the Molly out of Smithfield.
Well it has been good connecting with you. Thank you for visiting and I hope you have a good day, Judy
My work includes:
No Borrowed Glory- novel set in 1781
The Making of a Revolutionary Experience: Research from No Borrowed Glory-non fiction
Facts Within the Fiction: A Guide to No Borrowed Glory-nonfiction
The Battle of Great Bridge: “Boys stand to your arms!” –nonfiction
Jack Jouett: Revolutionary Rider- fiction due out late spring 2014
It Was a Long Night for Sally Jouett- fiction due out late spring 2014