Story Behind the Story: Anne Mateer


My grandmother was a born storyteller, the kind that could spin a tale and keep you enthralled from beginning to end. But her tales didn’t come from a tangle of imagination. They came from her life.

I didn’t appreciate this as much as I should have as a child or a young adult, but when Nanny passed away in January of 2000, one of her stories took hold of me and wouldn’t let go. It was the story of her mother, a young woman with four small children left at home while her husband fought The Great War. As the war drew to an end, the influenza epidemic hit, stealing life from the woman. Enter the woman’s niece. She came in and cared for my grandmother and her three brothers. When my great-grandfather returned from France, the story goes that the niece wanted to take the children home with her. My great-grandfather refused to let them go. He married the girl instead.

While I have no idea what really took place between Ruth—the woman I knew as my great-grandmother—and my great-grandfather, I always believed it to be a love story since they went on to have seven more children of their own! After nine years of intermittent research and story starts and stops, I finally plunged into a novel loosely based on their tale. The next year it became my first contracted novel. Wings of a Dream releases with Bethany House September 1, 2011.

Visit Anne’s website and blog for more information! (And it is a beautiful site worth checking out!) 

More about Nicole

Community Champion at Buffer ~ writer ~ reader ~ urban homesteader ~ former rodeo queen ~ @nmillerbooks