Q: Where did you get the idea for THE SECRET SOLDIER: THE STORY OF DEBORAH SAMPSON?
A: Another brave heroine. Deborah was born a poor girl during during the American Revolutionary War. She wanted adventure but poor girls were expected only to learn to take care of a house and family. So she disguised herself as a boy and joined the Continental Army. When she was shot in the leg, she took the bullet out herself with only a penknife! If she went to a hospital, the doctors would learn she was a girl! She had more adventures than she ever dreamed. I wrote this book in time for the bi-centennial and Deborah Sampson fulfilled my wish to write about a truly brave woman. Researching this book took me to many places. I went to Sharon, Massachusetts where I found the house she lived in when she was married and had children. The owners let me in and I walked on the same floors she walked on. There was a street named for her and I visited her grave. In Providence, Rhode Island, I saw a portrait of her, so I knew what she looked like. Then, when one of my sons was at Yale, he found an old article about her, written by someone who had known Deborah!