For B.B. Shamp, creative writing was an unexpected and late in life career change. After three decades in the field of education, a tragic fall from a ladder in 2008 left her not only with a broken back but severely limited her ability to communicate for two years.
While she credits writing poetry in the beginning as her way to regain her skills after this near-death experience, her love of history and storytelling eventually led her to creative writing as she mended. Within a few years, she had written two novels (Third Haven in 2017 and The Grist Mill Bone in 2021) that not only proved to be therapeutic but also gained her recognition from the National Federation of Press Women and the Delaware Press Association, as well as becoming a finalist for regional fiction for the International Indie Book Awards last year.
Those two novels and her third, A Wife in Watercolor, which Secant Publishing has just published, all take place in Oxford, Maryland. A favorite getaway as she was recuperating from her health challenges, B.B. used the historical backdrop on Talbot County’s port town to tell her stories.
And in her third book, Shamp goes back in time to revisit one of Oxford’s most notable citizens, Robert Morris, Sr, the wealthy merchant that is remembered today for his stately home, now known as the Robert Morris Inn as well as being the father of Robert, Jr., considered to be the primary financier of the Revolutionary War.
As Shamp discovered after years of research, Robert Sr., a former nail maker from London, had a far more complex life than being a successful businessman and slave trader. Through the discovery of Morris’ will at Salisbury University, Shamp discovers two women who, along with a third character she created, would form the foundation of a story that documents their struggle to live under the iron-fisted control of Morris and the patriarchal society that existed in the early 18th century.
B.B. (also known as Barbara) came by the Spy studio the other day to talk about her new work of fiction as she prepares for a special reading at the Robert Morris Inn during Oxford Day on April 23 this year.
This video is approximately four minutes in length. A Wife in Watercolor can be purchased at the Mystery Loves Company bookstore in Oxford or on Amazon. For more information about her reading at the Robert Morris Inn please go here.
Letters to Editor
Patricia Jessup says
Hello. There is an error in your information. Robert Morris Sr. is known for his mercantile genius, not for his “stately” home. His home would have been one room of what today is the Robert Morris Inn. Regarding his personality and behaviour, I would want to see the documentation that supports these assumptions by the author.
Member and former President, Oxford Museum Board of Trustees