English Pilgrims, Scotch Irish, Long Hunters, Cherokee, Miller, Hall, Wallen, Banks ... such is the ancestral line age of my own maternal Kentucky background.
She may now call North Carolina home, but Terri Robinson hasn't forgotten the summer days she spent at her grandmother's homeplace on Big Branch of Abbott Creek in Floyd County. Although she was born in West Virginia, her family heritage in Eastern Kentucky has brought her back. Family genealogy research shows her Miller ancestors coming to Floyd County in the mid-1850s and her Wallen ancestors arriving in Tennessee a decade earlier. It was this research that inspired her first two books.
Once upon a time most of the entire area of this holler, and the creek that ran through it, was owned and farmed by the descendants of those who came to this area over two centuries ago. Skye Miller was searching. As she grew older and cold look back at the tapestry of her life, there was a need to know more than just the names, dates and places she had gathered. There was a need to understand more about her ancestors. In the knowing where she had come from, it would help her to know where she was going.
Something was drawing her back. Memories? Yes, but something else. The land. It felt safe and seemed to greet and welcome Skye, a city-raised girl who felt more at home in the mountains where her mother had been born.
Source: Joe E. Wallen, President of Wallen Family Reunions, Johnson City, TN
Source: Writer's Digest/10th Annual International Self-Published Book Awards.
Excerpt: "You have been chosen to keep alive the history of your ancestors. The spirits of your Mothers have hovered around you to guide you and have given you much to draw upon when you dream. You have within what you have been looking for. and later ...
"This mountain and the branch that flows through the holler were settled by my people. I have retraced the steps of their journey. Listening to the wind, I have heard their soft whispers carried by the gentle breeze. They are the threads woven into the tapestry of my life. That color and character has given meaning that can still touch and teach those yet to come."
Skye Miller continues her search that began in A Kentucky Tapestry's Legacy. She will recreate the past of her ancestors to reconnect the family circle as it moves forward to the future. She would become a Keeper of the Fire, one who collects then passes on, through story, the wisdom of the ages of all her people.
Terri Robinson's Field Gap delves more deeply into the stories presented in her first publication, Kentucky Tapestry. The characters are ethereal yet genuine as they seek to understand and ultimately know their places in the family scheme. A deep and thought provoking look into the past, Terri once again has produced a unique work.
Restless and adventuresome, the Wallen men and women had a bold spirit that drew them to push further into the wilderness. Originally in Plymouth Colony, eventually they arrived in Virginia then they looked west to the Tennessee mountains. The long hunters told of the eeriness of that land called Kentucky. The tribes who traversed and lingered briefly to hunt within the area knew there were spirits in the hunting grounds ...
A story of mystery, legend and history about a man called Wallen who witnessed what might have caused the natives to say the land was fair but with a dark cloud hanging over it. White men came to call it the dark and bloody ground.
What impressed me most about Field Gap was its mystical tone in combination with its vivid descriptions of nature. I saw the book's intimate treatment of nature as an impressive exploration on themes of supernatural phenomena, ancestral memories, and the passing down of folklore through generations. The mystical tone and the story's emphasis on spirituality bring authority to the narrator, much like narrators of fables have the ability to convince their audiences that animals can speak and offer wisdom.
Source: Big Sandy News, Prestonsburg, KY