Elizabeth Egerton Wilder’s award winning debut novel, “The Spruce Gum Box,” began with her fascination in Maine’s Aroostook River and it’s early pioneers, and evolved over several years through research and daydreaming. While she mused, characters and story lines began to flourish and take on lives of their own. 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.”
Her second novel of Maine historical fiction, “Granite Hearts,” builds on the families introduced in her first story. Her inspiration, the construction of Fort Knox along the Penobscot River near Bangor, Maine in the mid 1800’s ending with the outcome of the American Civil War.
The final installment in the “Maine at Heart” trilogy, Beneath Mackerel Skies picks up where Granite Hearts left off and circles back to Smytheville where the story began with The Spruce Gum Box. An epic tale, the series spans several generations and decades of life along the rustic and emerging historic coastline of Maine.
She included bits of research on the Wabanaki Indians (the people of the dawn), the Micmac on the Aroostook River and Penobsot on Indian Island. Their struggle to survive the harshness of the Maine wilds and bigotry of early settlers run through all three novels
Throughout the writing process, the author drew upon stories and people from her childhood, research on her husband’s family in northern Maine along with her varied background in a number of artistic endeavors. She has a BA in Art and Education and has worked as a teacher, designer, colorist, small business owner, photographer and watercolor artist. She is also a published poet and believes that bits and pieces of it all, combined with raising her family and her innate appreciation of nature, were all the ingredients needed to fulfill her lifelong goal of writing a book. At seventy-two years young, she achieved her goal in 2010. The next two were released at 74 and 77. She is working on a “sort of” memoir of a child in the 1940’s as the country fell into World War II and then the years of recovery. Title – “Tea Leaf Annie”. Also on the board another historical fiction novel – “Cece”.
She is in hopes she not run out of time before ideas.
Native of New England, Elizabeth (Betty) now lives in Eastern PA with her husband of 56 years, Cal and a recovery cat she calls Miss Kitty.