Historical fiction latest read by NC author | jamestownnews

“All’s well that ends well,” might sound like a worn cliché, but it was a heartfelt message from author Kristy Woodson Harvey to guests at the High Point Literary League spring luncheon May 18. Delays in speaking engagements to the group due to Covid- 19 allowed Harvey to research, write and share her latest book, The Wedding Veil. It is the ninth she has written and her first historical novel.

As in her other books, the story is told in the first person. Instead of having two main characters carry the storyline in alternating chapters, however, The Wedding Veil has four protagonists — two from the past and two from the present, each sharing their voice to complete the tale.

The story centers on the lost wedding veil of the Vanderbilt family, who are known for ownership of the famous Biltmore house in Asheville, NC Harvey ties the past and present together by meshing historical facts with her own imaginative possibilities.

“The veil was a symbol of love and a happy marriage,” Harvey said. “I thought, ‘What if I write about a real wedding veil,’ and it was like the heavens opened and dropped the story into my lap.”

Following her talk at the High Point Literary League luncheon, Kristy Woodson Harvey signed copies of her latest novel, The Wedding Veil.

Harvey had visited Biltmore many times but there was so much she wanted to know about it and the Vanderbilt family. She could not visit the estate during the pandemic, but she still was able to do extensive research on it. She used original news articles as her primary source of information and got a wealth of help from the people at Biltmore.

Although not drawn to historical fiction, stating it is too stressful, Harvey has been given so many suggestions about women, particularly from North Carolina, that she is considering that genre again in the future.

Because of the timing of her first book in 2015, Harvey’s novels all seem to be published in time for the summer reading circuit. The Wedding Veil was published slightly earlier to coincide with Women’s History Month in May.

In addition to crafting stories set in the South, Harvey’s creative phrasing adds interest to each book. When she speaks of such things as “casseroles being social currency” and “tears drying up to be replaced by righteous indignation at the table,” the imagery — even if only subconsciously — strikes at the core of readers.

“I do not plan the way I say things ahead of time,” Harvey said. “When I am sitting at the computer, things just come out.”

Harvey had no intention of pursuing a career in writing. She planned to study medicine and become a doctor. An internship with the Salisbury Post newspaper during high school changed her directive.

“My first assignment was to write about a giant squash that looked like Elvis Presley,” she said laughingly. “But I quickly learned that everyone had important stories to tell and it changed my life.”

Harvey majored in journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After briefly considering obtaining a law degree, she instead got a master’s degree from ECU in English, with a concentration in multicultural and transnational literature. Unable to find work writing for a newspaper, she instead took a job in finance.

A creative writing class encouraged her to write a book and she fell in love with the way the characters fell into place. When she submitted a book to a writing contest, an editor bought it and Harvey has never looked back.

Her work has earned her recognition as a New York Times, USA Today and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author. Her books by her have been published in several languages ​​and her writing by her has also appeared in numerous publications and websites.

Harvey’s Peachtree Bluff stories are currently under contract for an NBC television series. The pilot has already been written.

“For now, I’m just hoping for the best,” Harvey said of the television show.

When the pandemic kept writers from promotional tours, she and several other authors decided to go live discussing, in her words, “writing, reading, kids, whatever.” They still can be found Wednesday nights at 7 pm on “Friends and Fiction.”

Harvey also shares a blog, Design Chic, with her mother. It features information about creating a beautiful home and how that can positively influence your life. She feels the blog uses the same set of skills as any writing, noting you first create a story or a room, and then edit it.

But her book fans need not worry. They can expect more from Harvey in the future. She always seems to have new ideas just waiting to be developed.

High Point Literary League

The membership of the High Point Literary League has a cap, but there are still a few spaces. Anyone interested in joining

the group may contact Teresa Johnson at teresa@cjprealtors.com

The next luncheon for members will be held in September 2022 and feature author Kate Quinn.


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