Locusthurst Blog


Locusthurst Blog

Latest News and Updates from Sallie




Dear Friends and Readers

Many of you have asked what has become of Sallie Bissell. Has she quit writing? Is she dead? Well, no, I am still among the living. What happened to me was this: in October of 2018, I was diagnosed with a Macular Hole in the retina of my right eye. It’s an uncommon ailment, affecting just three out of every thousand people, most of whom are female, nearsighted, and blue eyed. I had unsuccessful surgery on my right eye, then a new hole opened in my left eye. I won’t bore you with the details, but for the past year and a half, my writing has slowed to a crawl. I was finishing the final installment in the Mary Crow series when I realized that I could no longer work at the pace that the publishing industry requires.

What, I wondered, should I do? I had a manuscript that readers wanted to enjoy, but I knew that traditional publication was not an option for me. So a friend suggested that I put the book out myself. “You can go at your own pace,” he said. “You won’t have to worry about deadlines.” At first I scoffed—I could barely write a grocery list, much less publish a book. But the idea took hold and I guess my inner writer overcame the one-eyed squinter who was struggling at the keyboard.

So that is why White Trees Crimson Snow is being published in this format. Since I’ve finally gotten the hang of this process, I’m going to re-release the rest of my Mary Crow novels, updated, expanding Mary’s relationship with Jonathan Walkingstick. It may take me a while, but I think those new pages will be worth the wait.

All this has been a hard labor, but a labor of love—for the Appalachian Mountains that I write about, for Mary Crow and her fictional world, and most important, for you readers who did not forget me and who encouraged me to keep writing. This book is a tribute to you.


Locust Tree Grove image by Jessica Dillree on Flickr
Modified by CP