Sometimes things just come together. I’ve had a long-standing interest in graveyards and cemeteries. My all-time favorite is Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The primary picture on my website was taken there! It is the first garden cemetery in the United States, established in 1834.
So, of course, when I moved to the area, I visited Hollywood Cemetery, the third garden cemetery in the United States.
At that time, I lived in the McMurdo house in Ashland, built in 1858. Apparently Stonewall Jackson headquartered there briefly during the battles around Richmond—briefly meaning only a few hours. But it piqued my interest in the Civil War.
After touring the White House of the Confederacy, I visited the gift shop there. After visiting historic sites or museums, I always check the gift shop for off-beat books. In this instance, I found The Story the Soldiers Wouldn’t Tell: Sex in the Civil War.
So when the call went out for stories for Virginia Is For Mysteries, it all came together. I wrote “Death Comes to Hollywood Cemetery.” My amateur detective is Clara, a good natured prostitute who plies her trade with fetishists in Richmond and the surrounding area during the Civil War.
I love it when everything comes together!