Monday, September 26, 2011

Diana Buckley's "Betsey Anne"

Title: Betsey Anne
Cover blurb: Drawn by a charm that Jefferson seemed able to turn on and off at will, and longing for a home and children of her own, Betsey Anne plunged into marriage with a man she hardly knew. But life on the Michigan homestead was far from idyllic in a rough, two-room cabin with a dirt floor. Though neighbors cleared their land and developed successful farms, Jefferson was unable to make a living on his place, leaving Betsey, a skilled seamstress, no choice but to take in sewing as she struggled to care for her growing family. Jefferson's charm was more consistently "off" than "on," and frequently, he would be absent from home for days at a time with no explanation. Duty became Betsey Anne’s constant companion, though sometimes she viewed it as a penance to be borne and other times she virtually wrapped it around her shoulders like a warm blanket. Always, she longed for the peace, contentment and fulfillment that others seemed to find so easily. Would it elude her forever? Or would she finally see that it had been within her grasp all along? Set in rural Michigan during the Civil War, Betsey Anne is a story of love and loss, hardship and joy, and a young woman’s journey to lasting inner peace.

1) How did this story come to you?
Betsey Anne is based loosely (very loosely) on the story I read in letters that my grandmother’s grandmother had saved over a period of many years. My grandmother gave me the letters when I was 16 years old, and as soon as I read the first one, I knew it was a story I had to tell.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
I like to put it this way: I spent several years researching, about a year writing the book, about a year and a half editing, and editing, and rewriting and editing. I spent about 18 years saying to myself, “What if I can’t really do it?” I’ve learned that the 18-year part was really of no actual value! Also of no value were the 12 years I spent waiting for a publisher to knock on my door and say, “Hey, have you got the next great American novel stashed in the bottom of your closet?”

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
1 – most of my professional writing experience is in the political arena; ads, letters to the editor, fundraising letters, brochures, website content.
2 – I grew up on the Navajo reservation in northern Arizona.
3 – I am an avid hobbyist; I sew, quilt, gild (who even knows what that is?), make cards, turn pens on a lathe, and play the piano (very badly!). Plus I’ll probably pick up at least two new hobbies within the next year!

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I just finished an authorized biography, on contract, for a Texas politician with a fascinating life he wanted to preserve for his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I have begun writing a novel titled “Flight of the Suburban Housewife” and I am researching a sequel to Betsey Anne. Because I am a stickler for accurate historical detail, the research will take at least as long as the writing, but it is also just as much fun.

5) Parting comments?
Please read Betsey Anne! And if you have a dream you’ve been putting off for fear you can’t really do it – get over that and get on with it! You won’t be sorry! Also, if your book club is interested in reading Betsey Anne, a friend of mine has prepared some lovely book-club-style questions and answers to go along with it.

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
I’m on Facebook under Betsey Anne and under Diana Buckley; if you’ll “like” Betsey Anne, you’ll be among the first to know when Flight of the Suburban Housewife hits print. If you would like, you can e-mail me at; or find Betsey Anne on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.


  1. This looks like a pretty cool book! Thanks for sharing your talent!

  2. Thank you so much for the chance to win this. It sounds great. I would love to read this. Thanks again.


  3. I absolutely LOVE stories passed down from past generations. How exciting to have letters from your Grandma's Gramdma. I have some old letters written by people who were going through a war, written to loved ones at home and am excited about details passed on.
    I'm sure this book is going to be great reading. Please enter me in your drawing.

    cepjwms at wb4me dot com

  4. I have many more letters, with more stories waiting to be told! And they truly are a treasure. I think about it sometimes when I am e-mailing -- will anyone be able to read these messages 150 years from now?

  5. This sounds like a interesting book.


  6. This sounds like an amazing story I would love to read this! Thanks!


  7. BETSEY ANNE is set in a most interesting period of history - during the Civil War.I would love to read about her struggles.


  8. Enter me in the contest - sounds like a great book.

    rysalias-anything[at]yahoo(dot) com

  9. I really enjoy reading historical period book. Would love to read Betsy Anne. Please enter me in the drawing. Thank you!
    ~Daisy Adams

  10. Set in rural MI during the Civil War? Count me IN, please! It escapes me how Betsey Anne can find peace and contentment. I'd love to see how you make it turn out. Thanks for the opportunity.
    amanda38401 at gmail dot com

  11. Oh another great book! Sounds wonderful and I would LOVE to be the winner! Thanks so much for these fun contests!

  12. Another book I would LOVE TO HAVE! Civil war time! I love history and reading how they survived. This book is A wonderful treasure! Thank you for sharing it!
    I hope I win this one!!!! :)

  13. Oooh! Michigan Civil War historical! Me-me-me... pick me! :)
    twinwillowsfarm at gmail dot com

  14. Half way loving it. Gone thru tears and wanting to rip Tom J's heart out. Looks like Betsy will be a good gift to give at Christmas.
    Lori Rodgers

  15. Love the story line and time period...
    Thanks, Cindi

  16. I loved Betsy Anne and enjoyed reading it very much! I can't wait for your new book to be published, let me know when it comes out and I will make sure I get a copy! How is the quilt frame working for you? I would love to come up and see it! Much love, Therese & Rodney

  17. Diana - I finally got around to reading "Betsy Anne" and enjoyed it. No, I didn't stay up all night reading like you hoped I would - lol! But it kept me up at nights later than usual until I did get it finished. You better let me know when you get your next one published and keep up the good work!!!