Lois Leveen


February 5, 2012

100 Days to Publication

We're 100 days away from the publication of *The Secrets of Mary Bowser* --and to celebrate, I'm launching a 100 Fascinating Facts Countdown (tip of the hat to Heidi Durrow for the idea).

The first fascinating fact is of course the one that started me on the journey to novelist: Mary Bowser was a real person. She was born a slave, freed and educated in the North, but then made the amazing choice to return to the South and *pose* as a slave in the Confederate White House to spy on Confederate President Jefferson Davis, passing what she learned to the Union through a spy ring run by her former owner. In other words, she sacrificed her freedom to help four million slaves gain theirs.

That fascinating fact took me on a path of years of researching the Civil War, which I had actually always thought was kind of boring. As you can imagine, I was totally wrong. And whether you find history fascinating or still need to be convinced, give me a 100 days, and I bet I can win you over.
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