Of the Wing
The Origin Story of a Trilogy
The trilogy Of the Wing that you see
promoted here is the much altered and
reimagined story that I began way back in 2003 at the age of 48. I was living in Morrisdale, Pennsylvania (Clearfield County), with my husband David Butler and our three dogs, Gandalf, Sammy, and Bridget. At that time, I worked as an editor of courses developed by faculty of Penn State’s online campus, World Campus.
Often on weekends, David and I enjoyed taking the dogs to local state parks. But during the weekdays, after work, I took them out into the forests surrounding our 17-acre property. And what could be more invigorating than three BIG dogs, brimming with excitement, for a run through the woods? Young dogs are exuberant, joyous beings who can easily inspire similar responses in their human companions—especially me! During those years, I began a second childhood, thinking of myself as a member of our dog “pack.”
Gandalf (left) and Sammy (right) in the winter of 2000.
Climbing mountain ridges and crossing creeks, we also crossed many a wild neighbor including black bears, red fox, and even coyotes. Yes, this was a thrilling time.
Meanwhile, David was teaching me how to see and hear birds. Only then did I begin to recognize the red-tailed hawks of sky, pasture, and woodland edges. These hawks and my second childhood adventures inspired me to write a story about an adolescent girl with a special bond to a red-tailed hawk and a special gift to connect with all manner of birds.
David in 1998 on a mountaintop trail in Rocky Mountain National Park.
In 2005 David died as a result of rolling his car on a back country road after swerving to miss a deer. As a tribute to him, the person who had inspired me to love birds, I felt compelled to complete the story leisurely begun two years earlier. With many false starts, I finally “found” my story and followed it to the end. Thereafter, in 2008, I self-published the book titled
The Legend Awakes. Through research, I learned to promote my book locally before attempting a wider reach. So, I spent much time placing my book in the libraries and schools of central Pennsylvania where teachers gave me positive feedback on its reception by their students.
I followed this reception with school visits and book fairs while writing book two in my trilogy (the topic of my next installment). In preparation for the release of that second book, I revised book one, adopting a new cover, and published a second edition in 2010 of The Legend Awakes.
First Edition, 2008
Second Edition, 2010
A Bit of Trivia
You'll note that in these early editions, I used the pen name Georgia Anne Butler.
My maiden name was Peggy Ann Keating, but my mother always told me that my father wanted to call me Georgia. In choosing "Georgia" for my pen name, I wanted to experience life as my alternate ego—ha! And adding the -e onto Ann seemed like a fancy touch.
Ready to learn more? Follow Butler on her expedition to the White River National Wildlife Refuge (in Arkansas) for research on book two of her original edition in Of the Wing: