A Pioneering Spirit
Perhaps an early childhood visit to a reconstructed nineteenth century village, TV shows like “Little House on the Prairie”, or the books librarians handed to a quiet child with bottle-thick glasses turned me into a history nerd. My favorite books weren’t slim volumes meant for children. I read nonfiction as well and clung to every word. I didn’t want to simply know the facts of the past, I wanted to know how people felt.
I wanted to know why I’d rather read a biography of Benjamin Franklin, even into my teens, when my friends were reading fashion magazines. They cried over the latest young adult romance. I cried over Johnny Tremain.
Frontier stories pleased me the most. I don’t necessarily mean the Great Plains. I loved stories of the vast forests of an eastern seaboard not yet “civilized” with cities—colonial America.
Courage, faith, and spirit of “Nothing will stop us” drove those who sought new lives and fortunes, freedom of religion, and room to breathe to leave the life they knew and start a new one. As a child who couldn’t see well enough to participate in most “normal” activities of others her age, those stories of the pioneers who sought their dreams against many odds inspired me to press on and go seek my calling. In truth, they still do.
Laurie Alice Eakes is the award-winning, best-selling author of more than two dozen books. At present, she lives in Texas with her husband and playful pets. You can follow her on Twitter: @LaurieAEakes