Gunpowder and Tea Cakes is my first book about Felicity Merriman, the American Girl character who lives during the Revolutionary War. It also features a modern girl who travels back in time and meets Felicity in her home town of Williamsburg, Virginia.
This was a special project. I’ve been visiting Williamsburg for a long time!
Colonial Williamsburg is a living history museum—the largest in the world! Historians saved many old buildings there and restored them to look as they did in Felicity’s time. Interpreters wearing reproduction clothing help visitors understand what life was like for the people living there over two hundred years ago.
Williamsburg was the capital of the Virginia colony. Some of the things that happened there led to the Revolutionary War between Great Britain and the American colonies. After American Girl invited me to write this book, I went back to Colonial Williamsburg to do research.
I learned a lot about the Revolutionary War, but I also needed to know everyday things, such as how to describe the city…
and Felicity’s father’s store.
I visited busy kitchens,
I especially wanted to learn what life was like for girls like Felicity in the 1770s.
I also paid attention to what kids visiting today were most interested in.
As I explored Williamsburg, I started imagining scenes I wanted to write. Since Gunpowder and Tea Cakes is a time-travel book, I also imagined how a modern girl might react to everything.
And I asked lots and lots of questions. The interpreters I met were great!
Before writing the book I did lots of other kinds of research too. But we’re lucky that Colonial Williamsburg exists as a living museum, to help provide just a glimpse of an important time in America’s history.