Twelve years ago my brother and sister and I met in Dayton, Ohio to bury my father at the extraordinary Woodland Cemetery in our hometown. Five generations of my family are buried there and it was as though ghosts were everywhere.
I decided to take a walk through the gardens and walkways. Suddenly I came upon the huge memorial to a woman named Matilda Stanley. The memorial used the words “Royal” and I’d never heard of gypsies in my hometown. I was overwhelmed with curiosity and I began researching the history of gypsies and the pre World War One period.
Characters began to emerge in my mind and a love story came to life. I remembered my own desire to leave Dayton and have a “larger” life in New York City and Europe.
Soon I had created a love triangle with Neci and an aviator and a wealthy young woman of German extraction. And then I found that the KKK had been active in Dayton right before the war.
In my mind Neci is like any other teenage girl trying to find herself and trying to carve out a life for herself. She also has baggage because she must care for her mother and deal with her cruel, abusive stepfather. She is insecure and angry that people look down on her.
These are feelings all of us deal with on a regular basis. And while my story is based in history, it’s mere chance when we are born and what outside elements and wars we must deal with.
Kristin Alexandre was raised in Dayton, Ohio where she worked as a feature columnist for The Dayton Journal Herald and the Kettering Oakwood Times. She has written two previous books: Nuncio and the Gypsy Girl in the Gilded Age, a graphic novel that was featured at the 2011 NY City Comic Con; and Find a Great Guy: Now and Forever.
Alexandre was a co-founder of Earth Day 1970 and worked on staff with House Beautiful Magazine and as a contributor to Town & Country Magazine, The Christian Science Monitor and The Daily News. Her celebrity luncheon series for the Chairman of Ammirati & Puris Advertising at The New York Yacht Club was acclaimed, and she has also worked as a co-host and producer of Enough Is Enough a syndicated talk show for WLIW-TV, a PBS affiliate in NYC. Alexandre has worked as a publicist for The Economic Development Association of Puerto Rico and Champion International U.S. Plywood. She is a NJ Board Member of The Humane Society of America and resides in Delray Beach, Fl. and Nantucket , Ma. with her husband DeWitt.
Her latest book is the new adult fiction, Gem City Gypsy.
You can visit Kristin’s website at: