Inspiration can come from the most unusual places. As I began to lay the foundation for my latest novel, Where Dandelions Bloom, several factors were easy. I already knew I wanted to base the heroine on the story of real-life Civil War hero and spy Sarah “Emma” Edmonds. Cassie Kendrick was birthed from Emma’s struggles . . . running from an abusive, alcoholic father determined to marry her off to an even more abusive man. To escape a fate that seemed worse than death, Cassie dons the uniform of a soldier and enlists in the Union Army. The hero, Gabriel Avery, was completely fictitious but inspired by Civil War photographers like Mathew Brady and Alexander Gardner, whose work completely changed how war was reported to the public. Gabriel is running from the darkness of his past by trying to find his worth in recognition. I came up with the idea for young, precocious Jonah Pfifer when I stumbled across some fascinating research. The youngest soldier in the American Civil War was only nine years old! Most people assume children were only used as drummer boys and buglers, but as the war dragged on, and casualties increased by alarming numbers, recruitment offices became desperate….