Monday, April 13, 2009


I receive a lot of letters from kids who have read THE SACRIFICE. And over and over, I am asked the same thing, "What happened to Mama?" The answer lies in the Author's Section of the book. But because so many students want to know what happened to Abby, too, I have decided to resurrect her and do an interview. So for all you wondering readers out there, here goes:

Abby, it is nice to have you back here for a discussion of what happened to you and your family after that terrible period in 1692.

It's nice to be here in 2009 where witches are things no one believes in anymore, although I have heard that there is an increase in vampire obsession, which scares me.

In books only, Abby. Don't worry. But now, our readers are really curious. What happened to Mama after you saw her taken off to jail?

Of course, we were so worried about her. I knew how bad the conditions were and she wasn't that strong physically because she was carrying a baby. But somehow she managed to survive until her trial. Both Dorothy and I visited the prison often, taking food and warm blankets.

So what happened at her trial? Did she blame someone else as you and Dorothy did?

I have to say that I have never been more proud of Mama as I was that day. She stood in front of those judges and would not accuse anyone nor would she admit any guilt. Eveyone said she was a true lady. But alas, it wasn't enough. They found her guilty!

Don't tell me they hung her that day?

No. They agreed to wait until she had delivered my brother or sister.

Oh dear. And then did they hang her?

Well, we were all sure it was going to happen. The moments we saw Mama at the prison were horrible. And then, thankfully, and at the very last moment, the governor declared the witch trials invalid and the whole thing ended. Luckily, Mama escaped hanging. But so many others did not.

Do you remember the day Mama came home?

How could I forget? At last, we were safe and a family again. But we had lost Aunt Elizabeth, and I think we all realized then how short life can be and how fragile.
Mama made sure we celebrated all of life's good times after that. When we were together just laughing and talking, these were her favorite times. Mine, too.

And the baby Mama was carrying?

Oh, my brother Ammi Ruhamah.

That's an unusual name.

It means "My people have obtained mercy."
Mama chose it to remind herself that Ammi saved her.

My readers want to know what happened to you later?

(laughs) Oh, I grew up and met a wonderful man named Thomas Lamson. We moved to Ipswich where I had six children, four daughters and two sons. I named them Abigail, Thomas, Paul, Martha, Sarah and Elizabeth. They were quite a handful at times, very determined and willing to bend the rules. I don't know where they got that behavior from. (laughs again)

And Mama?

Mama was eventually pardoned and had her guilty verdict removed from the court records. She lived to be 78, a feisty old lady, who spoke up whenever she got the chance.

And Papa?

He lived until he was 81. For years, his demons plagued him, and I don't think the witch trials helped. But in his latter years, he calmed a great deal and his fears seemed to lessen. Fear can be helpful if it allows you to escape harm. But fear can also be so destructive, if one gives into it without reason.

Well Abigail, thanks for stopping by. Until next book . . .

Are you going to write another book about me? I'd like that!

We shall see, Abby. We shall see.

That ends my interview with my great-grandmother Abigail Faulkner. But what lesson is in there for you young writers? The lesson is this: Writers always know more about their characters than they may reveal in a book. So take the time to develop your characters before you launch into the writing process. I guarantee you, your book will be better because of it!

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