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A local award-winning author who specializes in historical fiction will discuss her latest novel twice this fall at Cayuga Community College.
Sheila Myers, who previously completed a trilogy about the historic Durant family from upstate New York, will discuss her latest novel, “The Truth of Who You Are,” at both Cayuga campuses this semester. The novel was published in April by Black Rose Writing, and focuses on the development of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the role of the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression.
The presentation is part of Cayuga’s Cultural and Wellness Series, and will be offered at the Fulton Campus at 4 p.m. Monday, October 3, in room F167, and at the Auburn Campus at 4 p.m. Monday, November 7. Registration can be completed by calling 315-294-8841.
Emily Cameron, Cayuga’s Assistant Director of Workforce Development and Community Education, said Myers’ novels combine insightful characters and historical settings to capture readers’ attention.
“Sheila does a tremendous job weaving complex characters into historically accurate events. She did this with her trilogy on the Durant family, and she recreated that success with her new novel, ‘The Truth of Who You Are,’” said Cameron. “We’re excited to hear about her research into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and her methods for creating characters who hold our imagination.”
Myers has family ties to the Great Smoky Mountains region and developed an interest in the history of the national park and the people who lived there while visiting the area. She decided to set her novel in the region when the Civilian Conservation Corps was working in the newly created national park.
“It’s truly a unique moment in our country’s history. During the Great Depression, when so much of our country was suffering, the Civilian Conservation Corps was a great resource and opportunity for people. And creating the national park was a tremendous ecological accomplishment,” said Myers. “But at the same time, it meant people who lived in that region were evicted, and lost homes their families had lived in for generations. My novel explores these contradictions and shows the lives of people in that region.”
“The Truth of Who You Are” is Myers’ fifth novel, and her first following the publication of her Durant Family Saga trilogy. Those novels explored the Durant families ties to the Adirondack Region, and their role in building the Transcontinental Railroad.
The concluding novel of the saga, “The Night is Done,” received the 2017 Best Book of Fiction Literary Award from the Adirondack Center for Writing. Myers later discussed the Durant family in an episode of the History Channel’s “The Engineering That Built the World.”
More information about Myers can be found at her website, https://www.sheilamyers.com. Details on other upcoming presentations in Cayuga’s Cultural and Wellness Series can be found at https://www.cayuga-cc.edu/community/.