Although Hickory Ridge and her citizens are fictional, the series was inspired by real life people and events. One of those people was my great great grandfather, Uriah McClain. Born in 1831, Uriah served with the Sixth Tennessee Cavalry during the Civil War and was wounded at Shiloh in 1862. Today when I drive through the holy stillness at Shiloh, surrounded by the remnants of a battle that claimed 10,000 lives I come  away with a renewed admiration for Uriah and the countless others like him. How remarkable that all across the South, our great greats picked themselves up, bound up their wounds, and rebuilt a land so war ravaged that in the words of one man of the time, “There waren’t nothing left but the dirt.”  After the war, Uriah went to Illinois where he met and married Elizabeth Scott. They returned to Hardin County, Tennessee where he died in 1918.

I’d love to hear about your  ancestors. Perhaps your great great was the only doctor in town. Perhaps your great great grandmother was a teacher in a one-room schoolhouse,  a farm wife,  a shop owner. Drop me a note of 300 words or less. Tell me about them, and  why you’d like him or her to become a character in a book.  I’ll choose the best ones and post them here on the site for reader voting. Good luck! I can’t wait to hear your stories!