BookLife Talks with Debra Bailey
A sponsored Q&A with the author of A Colonial Williamsburg Love Affair: Tales, Takes, and Tips From a Lifetime of VisitsA Colonial Williamsburg Love Affair: Tales, Takes, and Tips From a Lifetime of Visits is Bailey’s memoir and guide about her lifelong passion for the Virginia historic site.
What led you to write a book about Colonial Williamsburg?
Friends knew I loved Colonial Williamsburg and had been many times. Whenever they were considering a visit, they would ask me for information. I would bury them in a mountain of details, such that I could see them wilt under the weight of it all. I began to joke that I had enough to write a book. In looking back over my 50 years of visits to Colonial Williamsburg, I discovered that a number of my life's milestones were tied to trips there.
I started to ask myself not only why I went back so many times, but why my special place was Colonial Williamsburg. Something about the place spoke to my soul, so I decided to dig in and find the answers.
Who is your ideal reader and why?
Obviously, people who love Colonial Williamsburg will appreciate my book. But if I could select someone to have the book, it would be someone who has not yet visited, and especially someone who doesn't know Colonial Williamsburg exists. My hope is that people will discover the book and realize that they absolutely must go.
Why or how do you think this book is particularly relevant now?
Colonial Williamsburg's mission—that the future may learn from the past—has never been more relevant. Our founding fathers risked wealth, health, life, and family for an ideal: freedom. But not all Americans could share in it. The legacy they created due to slavery and inequality plagues us still. New generations need to see the founding fathers’ successes and failures, so we can bring that freedom to all, and Colonial Williamsburg’s programs provide that opportunity.
What is the one thing you most want to tell readers?
The most important thing the book can do is engage people in a desire to visit Colonial Williamsburg. Don't consider it one of those places you should go to because it's educational or historic. Just go, for fun.
For more information, visit the BookLife project page for A Colonial Williamsburg Love Affair: Tales, Takes, and Tips From a Lifetime of Visits.