Story Behind the Story
Shannon’s fiction is based on actual historical characters and events. Read about the history that inspired her stories.
A Petition for the Emperor
In 1805 a French Canadian cooper embarked on a quest to ask French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte to free Canada from British rule.
“Father Signay had heard it three times. Not from the men, of course. Boastful as crickets on the street, they became clams in the confessional. Instead he heard it from the women, who were not happy until they let out their secrets…”
A Question of Madness
An alcalde (mayor) in 1821 Texas faces an unusual demand.
“The white man on a roan horse did not, in his dusty appearance, differ from many who straggled into Nacogdoches on the trail from San Antonio de Béxar to Louisiana. American traders, vagabonds and adventurers were common in this corner of Texas, joining Spaniards, Frenchmen, Mexicans, Indians and a few free Negroes seeking to improve their fortunes. It was the man’s request that distinguished him…”
Dr. Sym Goes to Heaven
Fighting over a soul in Montreal in 1807.
“Mother Céloron watched the eyelids slide back, the jaw fall slack, the tongue slump in the cracked mouth. She closed the lids but they slipped open half-way, over eyes that stared at nothing. She tried again, letting her fingers linger on the cheek she had shaved only yesterday…”
It must be recognized that the real truths of history are hard to discover. Happily, for the most part, they are rather matters of curiosity than of real importance.