I am often asked why I chose to write a contemporary novel based on the life of historical figure Harriet Tubman. I suppose it was a natural for me, as Harriet Tubman has always been one of my heroines, and I loved the idea of building a contemporary story around her life. I felt it was important to incorporate a love story into the novel because Harriet sacrificed so much, including her marriage to the man she loved, to fulfill her dream of freedom. Though I didn’t know it when I first conceived this idea, the book release’s timing was perfect for both: February for Black History Month (Harriet Tubman) and also for Valentine’s Day (romance aspect).
Before beginning my research and writing, I knew quite a bit about Harriet’s work with the Underground Railroad, but little about her service to this country during the Civil War or her efforts to gain the vote for women. All that was exciting to learn, and it deepened my respect and admiration for this amazing woman.
The love story in the book is about Mazie and Edward, two young people of different races who are deeply attracted to one another. Mazie has nagging concerns about their future because of secrets in her past. Surprisingly it is Mazie’s great-grandmother’s “Moses quilt,” constructed by the famous Gee’s Bend quilters to tell the story of Harriet Tubman, that ultimately answers those questions and secrets.
My hope and purpose in writing THE MOSES QUILT is that the book will do more than entertain; I pray it will challenge readers to examine their own doubts and prejudices and let the faith and courage of Harriet Tubman influence their lives and choices today.
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