Michael J. Roueche grew up in Virginia and spent most of his life in the Old Dominion. Always a romantic, only in more recent years did he discover the Civil War that had always surrounded him, thanks to Bruce Catton books from his father’s library and a good friend who gave him a copy of Michael Schaara’s Killer Angels. Beyond the Wood, a Virginia-based Civil War novel, was a surprise labor of love spawned by an unplanned drive through Manassas National Battlefield Park.
He holds degrees from Brigham Young University and Virginia Tech and spent many years in corporate communications.
He and his wife of 39 years continue their romance in Colorado, where they enjoy hiking and exploring the High Plains and Rocky Mountains, with their alpine vistas, aspen groves and evergreen forests, and amazing wildlife. While it’s not as convenient as it was when they lived in Virginia, they still actively research the Civil War. They have five great kids and several grandchildren.
His venture in writing began unexpectedly at the intersection of three experiences:
- Over a several-year time period, he had been reading extensively about the Civil War.
- At the same time, a friend randomly gave him a replica of a Virginia Militia uniform button. (You can see a photo of the button on the spine and back cover of Beyond the Wood.)
- And finally, during a spur-of-the-moment drive toward Virginia’s Manassas National Battlefield Park, he met a man just outside the park. He was missing a leg—reminding him instantly of Confederate General Richard S. Ewell who lost a leg at the battle at Brawner’s Farm, prelude to Second Bull Run. Brawner’s Farm is included in the Manassas park. Meeting the man was an interesting coincidence, not extraordinary. But the man’s sudden disappearance was. (Yes, Michael’s since figured out how it could have happened.)
The outline for the story of Beyond the Wood came to him at the moment his new friend disappeared.
Tempting Skies, the final book in the Beyond the Wood Series has just been released.
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