Authors of the Southeast Project
Questions and Answers (Continued)
James N: Did anything in Bright Freedom's Song actually occur in your
Dr. Houston: My earliest American ancestor was an indentured slave, later called "servant," whose daughter ran a stop on the Underground Railroad, the English farm Valor and Jed visit in MOUNTAIN VALOR. I have always been fascinated by the probability that Appalachian mountain farmers opposed slavery because many of them or their parents had known bondage and had been bought and sold. My ancestors were lowland Scots, so they were not a part of the Clearances of the Highlands of Scotland by the Brits, but that part of history has been largely ignored by historians. Most of us of Scottish ancestry are in this country because of the Clearances, which Tearlach Cameron
experienced. The mountains of NC were the major escape route
overland for African and African-American slaves, so they found help
among the residents. I think my fictional account explains some of
the reasons that is true.
John W.: Are you currently working on a new book? If so, what is it about?
Dr. Houston: I am always working on several books. My next
published book will be about my childhood librarian, MISS DOROTHY
AND HER BOOKMOBILE, HarperCollins Publishers. Today I am working on my new writing text for teachers, HOW WRITING WORKS: IMPOSING
ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE WITHIN THE WRITING PROCESS, Allyn-Bacon, Publishers.
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