Author Notes by Pepper Phillips

I’ve read from other authors how readers will write a review and bash the author because what they ‘think’ is truth, is not.  For instance:  I was told during my contest days that everyone knows that no one is buried in the ground in Louisiana.  They are wrong.  Even in the famous cemeteries in New Orleans, there are some that are buried below ground.  I noticed one years ago, tucked in a back corner, where three graves were positioned so that the headstones made a triangle.  This was in the late 1700’s…the wife of a political leader, and her son drowned, and later in the day, her brother was killed in a duel.  Buried in the ground.  A lot of it depends on the water table where burials take place.  I’d love to know what really happened that day.

SO…I decided to do an Author Notes in the back of my book, The Christmas Gift.

Why?  Read the notes for yourself.  They should answer any questions that anyone might have concerning the contents of this short piece.

Author Notes

I live in Louisiana where this story takes place.  My husband is a wildlife biologist and I asked him questions about the game that lives around us.  I already knew about the possum that would come to nap in the sun on the patio, or the skunk that crawled under the old part of the house.  I’ve been in the woods and watched a hawk swoop down and pick up a rabbit in it’s claws and fly up out of the tiny clearing.

While trapping used to be a major industry in the beginning of American history, it has fallen in disfavor.  I know of no one that traps in our area.

The Sears and Roebuck program was real, and there is a booklet dedicated to telling trappers how to trap, prepare the furs and send them in.  You can check for “Trapper Tips by Johnny Muskrat and his Trapper Friends” online.  (I paid ten dollars for my copy.)  However, I couldn’t find out if there was a cost for the booklet when it originally came out, and it wasn’t printed anywhere inside, so I made one up. I’m still getting over the fact that cat furs were on the list.

On July 6, 1932, first class postage went from two cents to three cents.

I visited a nursing home and asked residents who would have known about the cost of a pencil in this time period.  They remembered.  I was told that you could get three ‘good’ pencils for a nickel.  The cheap ones were a penny.

Using molasses to get rid of rust was taken from an Australian YouTube video that you can view here.  I thought it was interesting and molasses is readily available in Louisiana.

I donate yearly to the Doll and Toy Fund in my local community.  For several years I was one of the volunteers who helped assist this event.  The Marines have “Toys for Tots”…I met my husband when he was in the Marines, so they are special to me.

No child should be without gifts at Christmas.

Absolutely none.


And that’s it.  I really like the fact that a reader can tap on the links and watch the YouTube video on removing rust.

I plan on doing an Author Notes in the back of every book, just to let people know that I did the research.

One Comment on “Author Notes by Pepper Phillips”

  1. Love your writer’s notes and love that you plan on continuing them in future works. Yes, people do still run traplines. Perhaps not in Louisiana, but they do here in northern Minnesota where I live. Our postman ran a line that paralleled his postal route. He got permission from landowners and checked his line when he delivered the mail. And one of our sons earned part of his college tuition by trapping beavers.

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