Friday, August 19, 2011

Looking For The 411: Research

A street my Grandparents lived on in the 1920's

When writing a historical novel, it is so important to research the historical information of where the setting takes Place, who the people are (as they are not fictional), and interview those who may have known those individuals, or have been to those places.  It is important to put the Novel in a historical context; what were the clothing the people wore, what types of jobs did they hold, what was going on locally and nationally that was news worthy?

The Cully Family Novel is based off of the life of Betty Mae Peters, her ancestors, her family, and those she interacted with.

This week I am taking the time to read some books, so I can get an idea of how I would like my book to be.  I am making it a goal to post daily on my Digging Roots: My Family History Blog.  Some of the family information I write about is not just about the Cully Family even though the wealth of my information is from this blog.  This allows me to sort through the boxes, folders and piles I have on my family and put them in some type of organized filing system.

My research has taken me on Family History Trips to places like Harlem, NY; Worcester & Boston, MA, and Washington D.C., Florida, and Los Angeles.  I have interviewed people, looked for information in various libraries, made a wealth of phone calls and connections through the internet.  I have compiled a lot of information, but now it is time to make sense of it all.

I have been looking at a few free writing programs to allow me organize my writing in chapters.  Now that I have the majority of my research complete, I feel that I can begin writing.  The other information that I need can be filled into the story once I receive it.

So starting this week I will be writing and will do a daily post as to the progress of my writing.  I hope that this does not become mundane and I hope to bring something refreshing to the table.

Happy Writing!!!

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Quote by Rina Swentzell (Inside of Book)

I like it when a book begins with some type of Quote, poem, or saying in the inside cover, or even on the front cover of the book.  I came across this Quote a few years ago, and I feel it sums up the meaning of why I do my genealogy, why I take family history trips, and why I believe that my ancestors are guiding me through the process.  I do plan on getting permission to use this in The Cully Family Book.
"What we are told as children is that people when they walk on the land leave their breath wherever they go. So wherever we walk, that particular spot on the earth never forgets us, and when we go back to these places, we know that the people who have lived there are in some way still there, and that we can actually partake of their breath and of their spirit."

Rina Swentzell, Santa Clara Pueblo

Monday, August 08, 2011

Studying & Preparation: Wrapped In Rainbows

What would reading other historical novels have anything to do with my preparation in writing my Cully Family History?  I find that it is important to read other materials in the literary world so that I have an idea of what other history researchers, and novelists have done in their style of writing, what their index looks like and what type of materials they are reading in their bibliography.

I read Wrapped In Rainbows, by Valerie Boyd a few years ago, but did not fully take note as to her process of writing...This time around I am, because it is clear to me that it is important to emulate, and learn from those that have gone through the process of writing and have the finished product.

I met Valerie Boyd April 25, 2008 at University of San Diego (USD)...I shared with her my project of writing my mother's memoirs and she gave me her e-mail so that I could keep in touch.  It took me over three years to contact her via e-mail, but I did.  (Message Below)

-----Original Message-----
From: Yvette Porter Moore
To: vjboyd
Sent: Fri, Aug 5, 2011 4:37 pm
Subject: Follow up since April 25, 2008

Good Afternoon Valarie,

I met you April 25, 2008 @USD at one of your book readings with the “BIG READ” program put on by the San Diego African American Story Tellers.  It has taken me this long to say hello as I felt I needed something substantial to begin our conversation.

I believe I shared with you that I was writing my mother’s memoirs of Sugar Hill, NY.  Well my writing has taken a different twist and a different turn.  I am fully immersed into Genealogy research, Writing, and Blogging about my family history.  I am reading your book again, “Wrapped in Rainbows,” and am really looking at your scholarly work, as I want to do the same for my book.  I want to have the same level of standards of the work that you introduced to the Reading world..I think you are amazing!

I am currently writing two books…”Embraced Identity” and “The Cully Family-An African American Legacy”  I hope to complete the 1st one in 6 months.  The later is very detailed and will probably take me another 5 years.

I just wanted to say thank you for encouraging me to move forward and work towards my dreams, even though our interaction was for a short moment.

My blogs are:,, I hope to have one more for the Cully Family writing.

I hope to stay in touch with you, and see what your next projects are.

You have a blessed and wonderful week, and hope to connect with you soon.


Yvette Porter Moore

Hi Yvette,Thank you so much for your message. I really appreciate your taking the time to write to me about your engagement with "Wrapped in Rainbows." I'm so glad you're enjoying the book the second time around. Good luck with all your writing and publishing endeavors.Stay in touch,Valerie

As a writer, a student of life, it is so important to reach out to those that you may not normally contact, but many are very open to supporting your efforts.  Valerie Boyd is a top notch researcher, historian, Author and writer, and one that I would not mind having as a mentor.

To Learn more about Wrapped In Rainbows and Valerie Boyd follow this link..Valerie Boyd/Wrapped In Rainbows

© Yvette Porter Moore-All Rights Reserved

Friday, August 05, 2011


Welcome to my new blog: The Cully Family-An African American Legacy.  It is my sincere pleasure to invite the outside world into my space to see how my Historical Novel will develop into a well researched Masterpiece of Art.  Why do I call it a Masterpiece of Art?  Because whenever you make something out of nothing and develop it into something that has an impact to the spirit and the heart of a people...I believe then that it is a Masterpiece of Art.

It is my sincere hope that you enjoy what I write and that my writing intrigues you enough to want to know more.        My interest of writing my Family History began when my mother passed, as I had promised her when she was living that I would help her with her memoirs of Sugar Hill in New York City.  I was to help her with her genealogy and discover names and piece together some of her historical background of her roots.  My mother never lived to realize the dream she had, but through me, I plan to incorporate her stories in the book I am writing on the Cully Family.

I look forward to any constructive criticism, advice, and your comments.  Thank you for taking the time to read my posts, and I look forward to sharing with you.