Fall has come in like a lamb and even though the mornings and nights are cool, the flowers and vegetables continue to flourish. The garden has produced the most beautiful and delicious tomatoes we have ever grown. If only I had written down the variety so I can purchase these starts next spring!
Adventures in Reading and Writing
My new cozy mystery, The Book of Rules, is almost ready to be sent off to the printers! Typesetter Jason and Editor Sally and I are putting the final touches on the front and back covers. For the remainder of this newsletter, I am sharing with you the Note from the Author from the beginning of the book. I hope you enjoy this introduction to The Book of Rules.
A Note from The Author
Welcome to The Book of Rules, the first book of The Railway Mysteries series. I wanted to give you a little background as to why I would choose to write a novel in which the major characters are railway employees, and a good portion of the plot involves events occurring in the railway offices in the Swansea, Wales, railway station.
My father, William Howard Noble, Jr., was a railroad engineer in Ohio. He also served in the US Army during World War II, driving trains in Alaska. Following the war, he returned home to Ohio and resumed his civilian career as a railroad engineer. He worked for several different railroad lines, including the Baltimore and Ohio; Norfolk and Western; and the Akron, Canton and Youngstown. After the war, three of his brothers also worked during some part of their lives for the railroads, two of whom helped to lay new electrical lines after World War II, and the third also became an engineer. Their father, my grandfather William Howard Noble, Sr., was a train dispatcher for most of his working life. My mother, Kathryn Kunsman, along with my father’s sister, Florence Noble, worked for the Akron, Canton and Youngstown Railroad as secretaries before my parents were married. This was a family who lived and breathed all things railroads. My father said when he wasn’t driving an engine, he was dreaming he was.
Being born and raised in a railroading family provided my sister, brother, and I unique and interesting travel experiences. Beginning in elementary school, in the 1950s, and into my teenage years, my grandmother, Edith Kunsman, would take me and my sister, Kathy, on train trips throughout the continental United States. We traveled on the gloriously appointed passenger trains that traveled from the Eastern Seaboard to the Pacific. When we rode coach, Grandma Edith would pack us lunches in shoeboxes filled with her fried chicken, home-baked goods, and enough amazing food to last us two days.
When we traveled for longer than a day or two, she would book a sleeper car, and to me, that was luxury unsurpassed! We ate in the elegant diner cars, where the tables were set with crisp ironed linens and adorned with fresh flowers. The servers were gracious, and the choices on the menu were superb. Most meals you ate with fellow passengers who joined you at your table, and interesting conversations ensued. While we ate at our leisure, the stewards were busy making up our room for the night. When we returned to our cabin, the beds, usually a double on the bottom and a single overtop, were made up and turned down. I loved climbing into those cozy bunks, looking out the large windows after dark as towns whirled by. I fell fast asleep to the rocking of the train and the clacking of the metal wheels on the tracks.
This book series is to honor my railroading family, who instilled in me a lifelong love of train travel. As to why the stories are set in Wales, you would have to ask my characters, as they always choose the settings for my books. And now I love Wales as well! Happy reading and hop aboard a train.