“Flight to Ohio” begins in 1836, as 21-year-old Tom and his mother Nellie escape slavery on a Virginia plantation. They soon discover that Tom, the bastard son of the white master, passes as white when he is not seen with his mother. Tom must make a choice as to how to live. The stakes are raised when he courts and marries 18-year-old Sarah Long, a young white woman from a respected local farm family.
What is lost when identity is concealed? What price is paid? Tom’s emotional story unfolds against the backdrop of the Cincinnati race riots of 1836 and 1841 and the oncoming Civil War. In a place and time beset with racism, hate, jealousy and violence, the novel’s characters forge deep evolving loves, friendships, and loyalties as they move towards freedom, their ultimate goal.
This is the author’s imagined story of her own maternal ancestry.
1836 is the year my maternal great-great grandfather arrived in southern Ohio. The 1903 Atlas of Warren County reads at page 91: “Thomas Jones was born in Campbell County, Virginia, September 4, 1815 and died October 9, 1900, aged 85 years. When he was twenty-one years old he came to Ohio, a poor boy, with nothing but his hands and an honest purpose.”
My mother began telling me the rumors when I was eight, rumors she mostly denied. She did admit it was true her great-grandfather Thomas Jones walked up to Ohio from Virginia with a colored woman and “she didn’t understand what that was all about.” As a young schoolteacher in rural southern Ohio she received anonymous notes she called hate letters: “We know you have colored blood.” My sister, ten years older than I, later told me how distraught Mother was when she received the notes.
Several years ago, with both parents dead, I took a DNA test. I show two percent Subsaharan African and five percent East Asian blood. A slave ancestor from the West or East Indies? Am I the last of my family in whom the heritage with which I inwardly identified all my life is measurable?
Haunted by the fact I can find no history of Thomas Jones’ ancestors, by the rumors, by stories from my Jones cousins, but mostly by the pain I saw behind my mother’s eyes, I imagined a story that became this book.
Tayen Lane's mission is to publish new voices across all genres. We publish work that challenges, deeply engages, and facilitates physical/mental health and awareness. We believe that the time is ripe for new voices, fresh ideas, alternative stories and an evolutionary change of direction—a change that sets free the truth behind raging propaganda and a world history written by the victors. We'd also like to give the underdog with a nicely written manuscript the chance to engage the world. It's time for people with empowering, timely, and outside-of-the-mainstream works to offer their advice and inspirations—to tell their stories.
Kermit Heartsong author, entrepreneur, award-winning game developer (Articulation, Word By Word) and designer, has written three non-fiction books (The United States of Mammon, Illusions, Dystopia & Monsters, Ukraine: ZBIG's Grand Chessboard and How the West Was Checkmated) and has published 75 fiction, nonfiction, and poetry books. He has also co-developed and patented a neurally-networked software engine for DNA mapping and agricultural, biomedical and astronomical data management. His love, however, has always happily danced on the creative side of the fence. This led to the founding of Tayen Lane Publishing in 2014, which represents a return to a creative avocation—the written word and design. Kermit brings a lifetime of writing experience, a quarter century of entrepreneurial and executive management experience, and years of publishing experience to Tayen Lane Publishing. He lives in San Francisco, California. Kermit is a music lover, a prolific reader, and an art lover of epic magnitude. Kermit's upcoming book, The God in Us Knows, will debut Fall 2016.
Nora holds an MA in Fiction from UT Austin and a BA in English from Brown University. Her short fiction received the 2010 Keene Prize for Literature, and her poems have appeared in Catamaran, Pilgrimage, Spiral Orb, and other journals. Nora’s editorial background includes magazine production, freelance manuscript editing, and editing the literary journal Chokecherries for the Society of the Muse of the Southwest. Nora loves artists’ residencies and has been lucky to create at Byrdcliffe, the Elsewhere Collaborative, and Istanbul’s Maumau Art Residency. She lived for two years at Green Gulch Farm Zen Center and has studied within various spiritual traditions and healing arts. Currently she is teaching a fiction class at CCSF, developing a creative residency at Oakland’s Omni Commons, and living high up in the hills of the East Bay.
JEANNE THORNTON is the author of The Dream of Doctor Bantam and The Black Emerald, as well as creator of the comics Bad Mother and The Man Who Hates Fun. She has worked in publishing since 2008. More information about her is available at http://fictioncircus.com/Jeanne.
Kelly Luce's story collection, Three Scenarios in Which Hana Sasaki Grows a Tail, won the 2013 Foreword Review’s Editors Choice Prize in Fiction and was a finalist for the Steven Turner Prize from the Texas Institute of Letters. Her work has appeared in O Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, Salon, Electric Literature, The Southern Review, and other magazines. She received her BA in Cognitive Science from Northwestern University and her MFA in Fiction & Screenwriting from the Michener Center at UT Austin. Her debut novel, Pull Me Under, is forthcoming from Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. She hails from Illinois and lives in Santa Cruz, California. www.kellyluce.com
Emma is not Desperately Seeking Susan (a film she watched with rapt fascination from her cradle), she’s desperately seeking talented writers and provocative manuscripts across the various genres supported by Tayen Lane Publishing. A graduate of the University of Cambridge, Emma joined Tayen Lane in 2014, after a stint with Shepheard-Walwyn, an independent publisher based in London. Emma is a voracious reader, a dabbler in martial arts (she holds black belts in judo and aikido), a failed fashion designer and a superhero when it comes to whipping up culinary delights.
Jill draws on over two decades of experience in business operations, management consulting, and marketing. Jill's passion for creativity, her extensive marketing experience, and a solid background in psychology and Eastern mysticism allows her to effectively support veteran authors and first time and self published authors with marketing, publicity and promotions, social media, book signings/tours, and events. Jill has worked with a number of leading authors from the self-help to spirituality genres, including Caroline Myss, Marianne Williamson, Andrew Harvey, Mathew Fox, and Mona Lisa Schulz.
Tayen Lane publishes a wide range of books—from nonfiction to fiction, from graphic novels to thematic anthologies, from children’s to young adult. Our limited special edition hardcovers will always debut first. Our eBooks and softcover books follow.
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