"Even a half-truth is a lie."

Novelists are encouraged to write an elevator pitch - something short enough to describe your book to a stranger on an elevator ride. Here is mine: 

In 1950, thirteen-year-old Kate Dinsmore confronts her hidden racism when she discovers a family secret. She and the young Black maid working in her grandmother’s mansion share a great-grandfather. This knowledge changes everything Kate believed about race, society, and justice. Kate struggles to find the courage to admit this connection and to raise her voice against racial injustice. 

Here is a list of blog posts, starting from the most recent, that document my journey of writing my first historical novel.

The Other Madisons: The Lost History of a President's Black Family is a powerful memoir in which Betty Kearse traces her family ancestry to Mandy, a slave brought to James Madison's plantation. An unforgettable read.

The Korean War. A thorough examination of international politics and history before and during the Korean War. The author is biased against American involvement.

How Do I Find An Agent? I answer a friend's question and provide insight into the importance of patience and perseverance on the road to publication. 

Thereasea Elder Wore Many Hats. My tribute to a beautiful lady and one of my experts.

For to See the Elephant. This verse novel from multi-POV intertwines the history of elephants that were stolen and brought to this country and the enslaved boy who takes care of them.

Including "Real People" in Historical Fiction.

After I Passed: Lillian's Poem. A poem from Lillian's POV.

I Finished My Book, Now What? Some ABC's of Being Between Books I submitted HALF-TRUTHS!! Now what?

Tomorrow's Bread is a powerful novel that takes place in Charlotte, NC during urban renewal in the 60's. Although the events occur after those in HALF-TRUTHS, it is a vivid portrayal of how the Brooklyn community was destroyed.  

Multi-Racial Reads #20 and #21 Brief overviews of two powerful books that have helped me to authentically portray Lillian. 

Plan to Persevere A post about how civil rights activists have inspired my writing journey. 

Memphis, Martin, and the Mountaintop Alice Faye Duncan's debut picture book told from the perspective of a young girl who "meets" Martin Luther King.

Mothers of Massive Resistance: White Women and the Politics of White Supremacy  Written by NC professor, Elizabeth Gillespie McRae. The title says it all. 

Eyes on the Prize Juan Williams excellent book on the Civil Rights decade. 

The Hero Two Doors Down A true story of Jackie Robinson's friendship with a young Jewish boy who lived near him in Brooklyn, NY. Written by Jackie's daughter Sharon. 

Be Free or Die: The Amazing Story of Robert Smalls' Escape from Slavery to Union Hero. Great panoramic view of South Carolina before, during, and after the Civil War and an eye-opening biography of an amazing man.

Crossing Ebenezer Creek A review of a civil war middle grade novel. This book deepened my understanding of what ex-slaves experienced after "freedom."

A Customized Emotional Wound for Half-Truths by Becca Puglisi. 

Shared WIP Blog Tag: Part III My story world.

Shared WIP Blog Tag: Part II Meet my cast of characters.

Shared WIP Blog Tag: Part I Some basic about information about Half-Truths. 

Takeaways from SCBWI-C 2017. Encouraging words from an agent!

Re-Vision. In which I make a difficult decision to start over.  

Midnight Without a Moon. This book takes place in Mississippi in the mid-50's. Linda Williams Jackson's debut novel uses Emmitt Till's murder as a background for Rose Lee Carter's decision not to flee the South. 

Meeting My Experts- Part II. A group of Korean War veterans share their stories about segregation. 

Loving vs. Virginia. Great curriculum resource book showing Mildred and Richard Loving's struggles to legalize their marriage in Virginia. 

The Lions of Little Rock In this civil rights book set in Little Rock, AK in 1958, I finally found my comp title!

Marking a Milestone  In which I celebrate sending Half-Truths to beta readers by reviewing my writing journey. So far, at least. 

Conversations with Kathy: Summer Camp at Highlights Part II. Celebrating the completion of my fifth draft, I attended camp at the Highlights Foundation and received HUGE encouragement from middle grade historical novelist, Kathy Erskine.

Aaron Moments: A Tribute to Friendship. In which Kate and Lillie help me appreciate the friends who have helped me with Half-Truths. 

Carver: A Life in Poems. Lillie wants to be a scientist. What better person to model her goals after than George Washington Carver?

Guardian This powerful book provides more insight into segregation in the South. 

Plotting," Pansting", and the Act of Discovery In which I share some of the discoveries I've made in writing this fifth draft.

2016 Challenge: Focus! In which I muse about finding the essence of my story as I start Draft #5.

Mississippi Trial, 1955: A Book Review and a Writing Exercise. I share an excerpt from this award winning young adult book and use a writing exercise to analyze it. 

Here's my latest pitch.

Primary Lessons: A Memoir by Sarah Bracey White Sarah grew up in the Jim Crow south and here I share excerpts describing her experiences. 

Psychology 101, Dominoes, and Answers to the $64,000 Dollar Question. In other words, why does writing a book take so long?

Multi-Racial Read #19: Just an Overnight Guest.

A Stab at Internalization- Lillie's POV

Digging for Clay-I finally have "the" story!

Meet My Experts. Some pictures and life experiences of four African American women I have interviewed. 

Picture This: A Behind the Scenes Look at Historical Fiction. Some pictures which have informed and inspired this novel.

Blue Willow: A Book That Lillie and Kate Read

Multi-Racial Read #18: The Other Half of My Heart

Blog Tour! Time to answer some questions about my book journey.

A Time to Think Beginning the third draft.

So, What's Next? Marking the completion of the second draft. 

Multi-Racial Read #17- Dear Senator: A Memoir by the Daughter of Strom Thurmond Part VIII

Multi-Racial Read #16- Dear Senator: A Memoir by the Daughter of Strom Thurmond Part VII

Multi-Racial Read #15- Dear Senator: A Memoir by the Daughter of Strom Thurmond Part VI

Mutli-Racial Read #14-Dear Senator: A Memoir by the Daughter of Strom Thurmond Part V

Multi-Racial Read #13- Dear Senator: A Memoir by the Daughter of Strom Thurmond Part IV

Multi-Racial Read #12- Dear Senator: A Memoir by the Daughter of Strom Thurmond Part III

Multi-Racial Read #11- Dear Senator: A Memoir by the Daughter of Strom Thurmond Part II

Multi-Racial Read #10- Dear Senator: A Memoir by the Daughter of Strom Thurmond Part I

A Lesson Before Dying. A book review of a powerful book portraying racism in Louisiana in the 1940's.

When the Teacher Becomes the Student A honest appraisal: I need more internalization in my story!

Multi-Racial Read #9: The Sweeter the Juice  A contemporary autobiographical account of a light-skinned woman who chooses not to pass, like her siblings.

Caucasia: Multi-Racial Read #8

My Next Big Thing: An overview of my book.

Souls of White Folks: A class to discover white privilege and another poem. 

Care to find out the backstory of this book and how I came up with my ideas? Read this.

Rosa Parks: My Story.

Two outstanding picture books for African American history month.

A blog in which a conversation with Joyce Hostetter leads me to writing a poem from Kate's POV.

A blog about how writing this book is like putting together a huge jigsaw puzzle as well as what drives me as a writer. 

A review of Dangerous Skies- a contemporary novel dealing with prejudice and race relations. 

This recent blog pictures the work involved in my latest "re-vision" of my story.

Multi-racial read #7: The Color of Love. This is an autobiographical account of a boy whose mother falls in love with a black man in the Jim Crow South. 

Multi-racial read #6: Riot. A book review of the riots in New York City during the civil war between the Irish and African Americans. Told from the perspective of a light-skinned African American girl.

A blog referring to the research process at the Public Library of Charlotte Mecklenburg County. 

A poem

An interview with Anna Katherine Dinsmore, my main character. 

A panel conversation with the DeLaine brothers. Their father initiated the desegregation lawsuit which culminated in the Brown vs. Board of Education ruling in 1954. 

A new exhibit opens at the Levine Museum of the South. Turns out I interviewed the son of one of the main individuals spotlighted in this exhibit:http://carolbaldwinblog.blogspot.com/2011/01/courage-returns-to-charlotte.html 

Hooray! I met my goal! I finished my first draft on New Year's Eve!

Tremendous encouragement at the SCBWI conference: http://carolbaldwinblog.blogspot.com/2010/09/first-pages.html

Gospel Shout on 9/14/10 at the Universal House of Prayer:

Highlights Foundation workshop.

Some of the fine folks I've interviewed:

Review of Mixed: My life in Black and White:

Reiew of When White is Black:

Reviw of Fly Girl:

Review of Family Secrets :

Book review of Her Own Place, by Dorothy Sanders

Review of Inconegro

Highlights Foundation writer's conference.

NaNoWriMo for the first time.

A first blog about  my interviewees:

Following the African American Heriatage tour in Charlotte:

Early research trip to UNCC:

An early post about discovering my character's voice. 


  In the "it's a small world department," my sister Barbara (who lives in Milwaukee) met Rochelle Melander at a July 4th pic...