In my family, my ancestors were either immigrants who took ship for America in the latter years of the 19th century or they arrived early enough to fight in the Revolutionary War. Those who came in the 1700's settled in the Southern region of the United States.

In my family, my ancestors were either immigrants who took ship for America in the latter years of the 19th century or they arrived early enough to fight in the Revolutionary War.  Those who came in the 1700's settled in the Southern region of the United States.
Some of their descendants and my ancestors, fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War. Like many families, there were some exceptions so I have kin who wore gray and kin who wore blue. Among those who fought for the Confederacy would be my Granny's grandfather, an Irish immigrant who never owned slaves, just farmed in northwest Missouri in an area some once said is reminiscent of Ireland.
Ironically, the line who had some Union soldiers are the sole members of my family tree who did own a slave. I've never been proud of that but it's history. History isn't always perfect nor pretty.
When I married, I married into a family with a Southern heritage.
Family history has been a passion for most of my life and I enjoy discovering the everyday lives of my ancestors. I've visited places where they were born, lived, died, and were buried. On my most recent trip toVirginia a few years ago, I traveled along a stretch of highway named for one of my Revolutionary War ancestors and that did make me proud.
I've visited many Civil War battlefields including Vicksburg where one of my great-great grandfathers fought and I've written fiction set in the south, both contemporary and historical.
No one minded until recently when it's become popular to destroy history and by doing so, change history.
My historical fiction is written under a pen name, Patrice Wayne, because my publisher felt the need to differentiate it from my contemporary romantic suspense and other novels with a modern setting. I'm known in some circles for writing "Southern fiction" because my settings range from Missouri to Memphis to Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi.
One of my Patrice Wayne novels is titled "Dearest Love: DoYou Remember" which was taken from the lyrics of a popular Civil War era song.  It's set in the city of Vicksburg, Mississippi just prior to and during the siege there in 1863. My heroine is a young widow and the hero is a Confederate soldier from Texas.  
Three years ago, when Dearest Love was published, the public view on the Civil War and Confederate soldiers was very different than it is today but we are also a far more volatile and polarized nation thatn we were in 2014.
Readers of my book enjoyed the story. One of the reviews I received from Hearts On Fire said this, in part: "The novel is well plotted and contain era appropriate dialog. As the setting is on the far outskirts of Vicksburg and within the confederate line, the principals are spared the constant and unrelenting artillery fire with the result destructions that so many endured during the siege. The house with a well stocked larder provided the resident with enough food to escape the deprivations and starvation that was pervasive during the siege. No shoe leather or rats on the menu for dinner. The battle scenes are not too graphic but do convey a good sense of the carnage. Civil War historical romantic readers will be pleased."
In 2017 I'm wondering what some readers may think of the story now. Will it be judged in a different light because of current opinion? Will some choose not to read it in case it somehow glorifies slavery? I hope not.
I wrote it as a story about a time, a place, and events that captivated me.  I chose Vicksburg because I have a family tie to the battle that took place there. I've been to Vicksburg more than once and did extensive research.
Now I have to wonder if the book will stand the test of time or if it will be discarded as history  undergoes revision and rewriting.
Writing Southern style in the current climate is as uncertain as everything else in our nation today and that is sad, for authors and for readers as well.



Lee Ann Murphy writes a column and is a staff writer for the Neosho Daily News.