Reply To: Zara West Submissions

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Zara West

Thank you Ana and Reina for reviewing 22-23. Excellent feedback.

I should note that by now you have figured out that I have been humanizing some of our historical female icons. I have used the historical documentation as much as possible. All of the sections of Anna’s speeches are pretty verbatim of her actual words – including some things we would find unacceptable. Susan Anthony really did call Anna chicky dicky. She also carried that book they discuss everywhere she traveled. I will work on getting the off-kilter eyes description a little clearer.  Susan Anthony was cross-eyed. Clara Barton gets her turn next.

But it is also fiction so I have ignored the supposed conversion of Anna to a Methodist. There is only one brief historical mention about it. Her brother became a Methodist preacher which may be the source of that and her sister also changed churches when she moved from Philadelphia to Pittston.

Anna’s public, however, viewed her as a Quaker all her life, even though she was far from religious or piously plain. Probably, they thought so because she used thee and thy in all her speeches and in all her letters. Although for modern readers, I have not done so to make it more readable. I had only the mother and Mott retain the Quaker thees.

The comment about where Floyd disappears is very helpful. My agent had me remove all the male POVs so his back story and inner thoughts are missing. I will work more back in.

I would like to know if the Dr. Alcan chapter moves the story along enough. I have taken it out and put in in several times. This is all historically accurate. The French doctor Dr. Alcan had a lab at the hospital as described and Anna and Barton did visit it. I am enamored of the whole idea of how they viewed static electric as a cure-all.

Finally, in the attached chapters there is a sort of rape scene. I am a bit nervous about it because – well, rape is not welcome in novels much. However, I tried to show that Anna was actually in control the whole time so while she was definitely being manhandled in one sense, in another it was Floyd who got the comeuppance. I hope that I showed him earlier as a sly, tricky man rather than a he-man type and physically small enough for Anna to handle. Let me know if this scene works. I can always change it.

Both of you commented on the sister Susan sentence. That was a slip leftover from a previous version. Anna’s sister was really named Susan so that was how I originally wrote it. My agent said I had to change her name as it was too confusing so I am using her middle name instead – Elizabeth or Lisbeth. I fixed that sentence.

Again thank you for your efforts. You are wonderful to do this. Just so you know where we are. There are 35 chapters/77,000 words. So we are getting there.




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