On February 23rd, 1836, a large Mexican force totaling near 6,000 men commanded by General Santa Anna started a siege of the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas. The Texians held out for thirteen days. At four o’clock in the morning on March 6, the Mexican forces began to attack the Alamo and didn’t stop with orders to his men to take no prisoners. However, a few did survive. One such woman, Mrs. Susannah Dickinson, the wife of Captain Almaron Dickinson, along with her daughter went and gave a message to the women and children in Gonzales, Texas to begin running. Her first words when she walked into the small community were, “All dead! All dead!” This day was the actual day where the escape from Texas to cross the Sabine River really began. Some refer to this time as The Sabine Shoot and the Great Escape. Texas history books refer to it as the Runaway Scrape and much of what still has a place in these textbooks is from the writing of Dilue Rose Harris.
In 2005, the author and his wife Barbara, restored an old home built in 1864 in Eagle Lake, Texas. In December, the home was open for visitors on the annual Christmas Homes Tour. Because the transformation was so great, the previous owner of the home, William Kell who bought it in 1972, gave Sidney and his wife an original handwritten manuscript of the memoirs of Dilue Rose Harris. It was one he was given in 1972 when he added on a garage and also did a restoration of the home. A newspaper article from the Eagle Lake Headlight took a picture in 1900 of Dilue Rose Harris waving from the second floor during the writing of the memoirs.
The author, before becoming a “Writer of Novels and Teller of Stories” had been a professional genealogist for thirty years. He had written numerous genealogy software programs beginning with the invention of the IBM PC Jr. He enjoyed history and the facts and names associated with it. However, he modified how he told the history as his creative nonfiction novels will show. The word “Creative” has been criticized because some people maintain that being creative is pretending to exaggerate or make up facts. This is far from correct. It is possible to be honest and straightforward and creative all at the same time. CREATIVE NONFICTION HAS BECOME THE MOST POPULAR GENRE IN THE LITERARY AND PUBLISHING COMMUNITIES.
All of James’ first three novels are true stories written as creative nonfiction. The goal in writing these exciting novels was to make nonfiction stories read like fiction so that the readers can be entrhralled by fact as they are by fantasy!