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.ย 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.

Until now.

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.

The Beloved Invader

LighthouseNew Moon Rising

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?

6 comments on “Eugenia Price, St. Simons Island, and Me

  1. I have just finished reading the “Savannah trilogy.” Loved it! I read the “St Simons trilogy” about 15 years ago and now plan to read it again. I need opinions on whether to read the three books in reverse publication order to follow the historical sequencing of characters and events OR is it best to read them in the order in which they were written? Opinion (s) please.

    • I enjoy reading them in historical order, but I do think that she got better as she wrote them so the first book is the best one. Love, love, love the Savannah series. I need to re-read it now that I’ve finally been to Savannah! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Eugenia Price is a favorite of mine and I’ve always wanted to go to St. Simons (went to Savannah) Island but feared I would ruin the amazing imagines I have in my mind from her novels. I’m glad you had such a wonderful time!

    • You should try to go sometime, Mindi. None of the houses are there since most were destroyed by the Union army during the Civil War, but there is a replica of the lighthouse and in the lighthouse keepers cottage are Eugenia Price’s writing desk and some of her other things. And Christ Church is still completely unspoiled. It really gives you an idea of what it was like there before things on other parts of the island got more commercial. I loved seeing the graves of the characters I’d come to love and remembering again that they were real people, not made up.

  3. I loved those books, too! What fun you’ll have visiting those places. I’ve never been there, before, but it sounds like a fun trip. By the way, this is my first time to your blog. I love the setup – beautiful pix at the top of the page!

    • It was so fun, Barb! Come back on July 5 for a few pictures of our trip. Of course I didn’t bore most people by putting my pictures of the graves of all those wonderful characters, as well as Eugenia Price herself. ๐Ÿ™‚

      So glad you stopped in and hope you’ll visit often!

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