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Interview with Betty Bolte

     Today I have the pleasure to interview Betty Bolte. She is the author of an anthology of short story collections called Hometown Heroines. These stories tell how average young American girls, whose ages range from 7-20, that live ordinary lives but through different situations and circumstances, they were forced to turn into heroines overnight. Each of these girls are very important to American history, yet sadly, they are very little known. Mrs. Bolte have taken these girls from obscurity, and have shown them in the limelight to give them a true voice that they deserve. I am very happy that she took the time to grant me this interview. I have recently read and reviewed Hometown Heroines, and I look forward to reading her books in the future. This interview is to give some insight about her and her novel. Thank you, Mrs. Bolte. 



1. What inspired you to write this book? 

I was reading Susan B. Anthony Slept Here in the late 1990s and was surprised to see how many young women and girls had landmarks dedicated in their honor. I thought it would be inspiring for other young people to see what some of these girls accomplished as children and teens. There are many more examples of heroics and creativity but I needed a manageable amount of information to include in one book. I chose the 1800s as the primary limiting factor for who would be included.

2. You said that you weren't interested in history in 9th grade, what made you interested in the subject? 

At that time, my ninth grade teacher was teaching history as a lump of facts, battle strategies, dates, and names. How boring! My parents took me on a trip (I think it was to Georgia for my brother’s marriage) and we stopped at the Cowpens Battlefield in South Carolina. Standing where so many fought and died in the struggle to make America independent from Britain brought the history to life. That’s what I wanted to do with Hometown Heroines, and why I wrote their story as a fictionalized account: to bring their history to life for others.

3. What can we learn from these women, and why do they appeal to you? 

These young women demonstrate that when you follow your gut, your passions, your dreams, anything can happen. Each of their stories inspire me through their dedication, their determination, and their strength all through acts of bravery, creativity, and audacity unique for their time.

4. Are there any young American girls that you wanted to include in Hometown Heroines that weren't in your novel? 

A few. For example, I considered including Helen Keller, but so much has been written about her, I didn’t feel I had anything to add to that particular conversation. The same could be said for Annie Oakley, even though her story is also a great one!

5. Did you have a particular approach to research and writing? 

Researching someone’s life for me means gathering as much literature and source material as possible. I checked books, newspapers, historical society libraries, census records, and more. I also traveled to many of their landmarks and gravesites to take photos (check my Hometown Heroines board on Pinterest to see many of them). Only after I had collected everything I could find (note that the research I did was completed prior to the Internet being as easy to search as it is now) did I sit down and immerse myself into the details of each girl so I could attempt to put myself into her shoes and see the world through her eyes.

6. Which was the most challenging to write: the historical fiction story or the girl's biography?

 The fictional story proved more challenging because many of the day to day details of their lives are unknown. Based on other stories and nonfiction books I’ve read about that century, I imagined what their day might have been like, sticking as close as possible to the facts and even documented snippets of their conversations.

7. What is your next project? Do you think you are going to write historical fiction again? 

Next up is a fictional series set during the American Revolution in Charleston, SC, which will be available later this year. The first three stories feature women who have decided they want their own independence but from marriage. I include a touch of history in most everything I write, even the contemporary paranormal romances released this year, Traces (released in April) and Remnants (coming in October), both in the Ghosts of Roseville series. The stories take place in a fictional Tennessee plantation and feature ghosts from the Civil War and World War Two time periods, respectively. I’ll post covers and release dates as I know them at www.bettybolte.com. Thanks for having me, Lauralee! It’s been fun.




     Betty Bolte loves history now, but realized many years ago in ninth grade that history books tend to be dry and boring. Thus she vowed to bring history to life through fiction.

     She has also written several nonfiction books for young adult readers, including two books about horse sports (Dressage and Jumping) as well as two books on how to start a club at school (Foreign Language Clubs and Hobby Clubs).

     In addition to young adult books, Betty has written several adult nonfiction books, many essays, and a newspaper column. 

     Since 1990 she has worked as a freelance and consulting technical writer/editor for a variety of companies and government entities.

Please visit www.bettybolte.com to learn more about her other works.

Check out my review of Bette Bolte's novel:

Hometown Heroines

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