My First HNSNA Conference in 2013

By Guest Poster Sharman Burson Ramsey –

My first experience with the Historical Novel Society was in 2013 when I attended the HNSNA conference in St. Petersburg, Florida. My fourth great-grandmother was Native American. Her name was Vashti Vann and she and her husband, Benjamin Jernigan, settled in West Alabama around the time of the Creek Indian War. I read everything I could on Native American History and discovered that, while the Archives in Alabama welcomed groups who discussed the members of Andrew Jackson’s militia, there was very little information about the Native Americans. I had come to love historical fiction through my mother’s Book of the Month Club collection of books and decided that people needed to know the story of those forgotten people. The best way I knew to bring their stories to the attention of the public was through historical fiction.  

Swimming with Serpents was my first novel and led to my first visit in 2013 to the Historical Novel Society conference in St. Petersburg. I met writers whom I had always admired. Diana Gabaldon set the gold standard in my estimation, and meeting her in person was truly rewarding. I met book bloggers Meg Wessel, Kimberly Maloney, and Anita Buice—dedicated readers who shared their love of historical fiction in such creative ways! And I was also able to meet agents and publishers at the conference.  

Perhaps most memorable and meaningful was meeting the wonderful women who produced the conference. Sadly, family demands kept me from participating in the Historical Novel Society in a more meaningful way, until now that is!

Since attending my first HNS conference in St. Petersburg, I have written two more novels, continuing the Creek family saga, In Pursuit and On to Angola. I took time away from writing historical Fiction to write a few cozy mysteries: Crème de Cassis and Murder, Mint Juleps and Murder and Mayans, Muscadines and Murder, or the collected three in the Mint Julep Trilogy. My newest novel, Choices and Secrets, is set at a later date than the Creek Indian novels but remains in the historical fiction genre. I look forward to attending the July 2023 conference in San Antonio.  

Sharman Burson Ramsey writes historical novels and cozy mysteries and dabbles in recipe books and family history. She maintains the website Southern-Style: A Downhome Perspective on All Things Southern, her genealogy discoveries, and her blog. Ramsey is a graduate of the University of Alabama (BSE) and Troy University Dothan (MSE). She has taught from middle school to university level, where she served as an Adjunct History Professor at Gulf Coast and Troy University Dothan. Her novels are all available on Amazon.

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