History That Never Was

Home of Dawn Vogel: Writer, Historian, Geek

The Marsh Sisters and Family

Cover art for The Trouble with the Tick-Tock TabbyThe very first short story I had published was “The Recondite Riddle of the Rose Rogue,” featuring the Marsh sisters, back in 2010. This came up recently because I have a second Marsh sisters short story, “The Marvelous Matter of the Mischievous Monkey,” in the latest volume of the Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide. Recently, the editors of that anthology asked the authors included within to write up something about the inspiration for their stories. This is what I sent them.
The first story I ever published was “The Recondite Riddle of the Rose Rogue,” in 2010, which was the first appearance of the Marsh sisters (which also appeared in the 2017 YEAG). I got the good news that it had been accepted on the day that I met up with one of my cousins for coffee, so she was one of the first people I got to tell. In 2013, she was diagnosed with a very aggressive cancer and passed away later that same year. I decided to include her in one of my Marsh sisters stories as a memorial, and she became Eileen Davenport (Eileen was my cousin’s middle name), the architect in “The Magnificent Matter of the Mischievous Monkey”!

The Marsh sisters don’t entirely draw upon my own family for everything, but one of my nieces also appears in “The Magnificent Matter of the Mischievous Monkey” in a bit part. And the relationship between the sisters reflects a little bit of my own family dynamic, with siblings that fight but still really love each other in the end.

The Trouble with the Tick-Tock Tabby is a middle-grade oriented novel that features these plucky girl detectives, so there are three things you can read at the moment if you are interested in their steampunk detective adventures. There’s more to come, though–I’m planning on a second novel (which won’t be out until 2020 at the earliest) and maybe another short story or two in the nearer future!

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