Laurel Anne Hill whose previous book, “The Engine Woman’s Light” which won over thirteen awards and honors was partially inspired by personal experiences; a dream she had and her maternal grandmother who passed away in 1989. Inspired yet again by her ancestry, in her new book Plague of Flies: Revolt of the Spirits, 1846, Laurel Anne weaves her Mexican heritage into the story. A Young Adult historical fantasy set in the 1800’s of Alta California, heroine Catalina Delgado, a young Mexican girl whose country, Mexico, has been invaded by The Bear Flaggers from The United States.
Delving into the past Was Inspiration to Create a Strong Heroine – Catalina Delgado
Of her newest book, Plague of Flies, Laurel Anne Hill states, “My Mexican great-grandmother, as a teen in US California during the 1860s, recruited Mexican ex-patriots to return to their country of birth and rid Mexico of French soldiers. Her dedication, and that of my great-great-grandmother and many others, helped restore the Mexican Republic. How could this bit of family history not inspire me to create a character such as Catalina? A brave young woman in the 1840s who learns to believe the unbelievable and accomplish what only she is meant to do?” With such an interesting background, one that helped to shape history, it’s no wonder that Laurel Anne Hill was moved to include a bit of that background in her stories and characters.
Decision to Write Plague of Flies Was Through Discovering and Researching Her Mexican Roots
Laurel Anne Hill’s father was half Mexican and she knew that his family had lost their California landholdings back in the nineteenth century. At the time Laurel had thought that the loss was due to the fallout of the Bear Flag Rebellion. It was through her research at such places as The California Historical Society that she found more detailed information about her father’s family. The California Historical Society has some images of Laurel Anne Hill’s Great Grandmother, Hipolita Orendain de Medina along with her handwritten notebooks filled with personal thoughts, letters and poems. It gives fans of Laurel Anne Hill a glimpse not only into the political and social climate of that time, but the Great Grandmother whose life experiences are infused in her characters and books.
You can read the rest of Laurel Anne Hill’s interview here. And if Californian and Mexican history inspires you check out more at The California Historical Society’s website. You can also visit and learn more about Laurel Anne Hill and her other books at her website.