LAKE WYLIE — A broken cemetery headstone spurred one woman’s imagination and a “Fairy’s Tale.”
Mount Holly author Nancy Hertz will be coming to Lake Wylie Public Library on Saturday, Oct. 12, to promote her new book, “Broken Stone: A Real Fairy’s Tale.”
“Broken Stone” is a fictional account of the life of Fairy Bright Gordon, a girl who died in 1934 at the age of 17 and was buried in the poor section of the Elmwood/Pineville cemetery in Charlotte.
This is Hertz’s first book, but it is not her first story.
“I have always written,” she said. “I have many notebooks scattered about with stories and thoughts.”
It seems writing is a family affair.
“[Writing] kind of came from her dad,” said her mother Bonnie Koetke of River Hills. “He was a writer and an artist, and that’s kind of all how it took place.”
It wasn’t until one day three years ago, however, that Hertz found a story she wanted to publish. The catalyst was a walk through a Charlotte cemetery by Nancy’s husband, Chris, during his lunch break. As he was walking, thinking about all the stories the cemetery’s occupants could tell, he tripped over Fairy Bright’s broken headstone. When he later told his wife about it, she knew she had her story.
“Fairy Bright is a forgotten person,” she said. “I knew there was a story there that needed to be told.”
Chris Hertz was also inspired by the story,
“I’d been thinking about getting back into songwriting,” he said, “when my wife suggested I write a song about this headstone.”
That song turned into a CD full of melodies to accompany the story.
“It [the CD] may help the reader gain a bit more insight into a few of the characters,” he said. “And maybe leave behind traces of a melody they might associate with a character or event in the book.”
Nancy Hertz hopes through the book and CD, readers will be able to connect with the character of Fairy Bright.
“I hope they see a bit of themselves in the story, or someone they know,” she said, “and that they might get answers as to why am I here, what is my purpose?”