Eugenia Price, St. Simons Island, and Me
I knew I wanted to write historical fiction all the way back in middle school when I discovered, then devoured, every Eugenia Price novel I could get my hands on. They were full of history. Full of tragedy. Full of romance. And full of faith. That’s what I knew made them unique from other books I read. They had a decidedly Christian bent. Each story not only entertained, it challenged.
From the St. Simons Trilogy to the Savannah Quartet to the Florida novels, each one enthralled, inspired and convicted. I loved them so much that I tracked down every one in hardback. That collection is still one of my most prized possessions.
Eugenia died in 1996. I’ve always regretted that I never wrote a letter and told her what her novels meant to me. I always imagined that the next best tribute would be to visit the places that had come alive to me through her pen. But that never worked out.
To celebrate our 25th anniversary, my sweet husband planned a trip to Savannah and St. Simons Island. To get ready, I re-read the St. Simons Trilogy.
I confess I was nervous, fearful that my favorite author would not live up to my memories of her books, especially now that I am a writer myself. But I needn’t have worried. Not only did I enjoy each story–probably more than as a 12 or 14 year old!–but I realized that so much of why I write the stories I do comes from her. The spiritual threads are so strong–and so real. They speak to me as strongly at 45 as they did at 15, 25, and 35.
I can’t wait to visit the places that inspired her stories, especially St. Simons Island where she lived for many years. It is truly a dream come true. A pilgrimage to honor the author who inspired my dreams and who encouraged my spiritual development. And I get to share it all with my husband.
Is there an author that you love so much that you own all of his or her books? If you are a writer, what author inspired your dream of writing? Can you see their influence in your work today?