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Proving It’s Never Too Late To Accomplish Your Dreams, PA Resident Becomes First-time Author At 72
Betty White isn’t the only Betty blazing trails these days as a young-as-you-feel Senior Citizen. Elizabeth (Betty) Egerton Wilder of Downingtown PA will celebrate her seventy-second birthday with the release of her first novel, The Spruce Gum Box.
A work of historical fiction set in 1820’s northern Maine, The Spruce Gum Box portrays a family forged by adversity, and a community united by dreams. Addie loved to run along the river’s edge so the wind could blow through her long hair, released from the strict bun her father demanded. When Jed returned from the lumber harvest in the spring, she would fly into his arms, releasing her pent-up passion from its winter prison. Little did they know their forbidden love would set in motion a series of events that would forever change their lives and make Jed a fugitive. With a bounty on his head and his infant son hidden beneath his coat, Jed turned to the only man he felt he could trust—the leader of a nearby Micmac Native American settlement. The unlikely partnership that ensued defied all odds, overcoming bigotry and betrayal to stake a claim on the primitive New England landscape. As the strife escalated between Great Britain and the United States over the border of Maine and the rights to its lucrative lumber industry, determination to survive and create a life for his young son drove Jed into uncharted territory and perilous adventure.
The story began with Betty’s fascination in Maine’s Aroostook River and it’s early pioneers, and evolved over several years through research and daydreaming. As she puts it, “I knew how the story would start and how it would end, but had no idea what would happen in between”. Throughout the process, the author drew upon stories and people from her childhood, along with her varied background in a number of artistic endeavors and her innate appreciation of nature. At seventy-two years young, she achieved her life-long goal of writing a book. Native of New England, Betty now lives in Eastern PA with Cal, her husband of over 50 years.
The publisher, Cheryl Wilder Krass, owner of Alexemi Publishing and new imprint Red Dobie Press, took a personal interest in this particular title, as the author is her mother. “I gave her a blog for her seventieth birthday to inspire her to write and I’m honored to now publish her fist novel two years later,” comments Krass. “When I encouraged her to get her novel down on paper, I figured I’d help her self-publish it when she finished. What I didn’t expect was just how good the story would be! I decided to publish it for her instead, assembling a talented, high-quality editorial and design team to develop the final product. The story is heartwarming and I really wanted to give it the attention it deserved.”
The Spruce Gum Box (soft cover, ISBN 9780981595443)
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