2007-02-16 / Front Page

Females flirt with fans

By Rachel Haynie

By Rachel Haynie

Historical novelist Susan Craft knew very well the power of the pen; she wields it herself. Then research for her Civil War book, A Perfect Tempest , led her to a secret superpower few women exert today. But in the 19th century, one of the periods Craft writes about, some of women's most furtive communications were conveyed via fans.

"I came across this nearly- forgotten reference to communicating with fans in a Civil War diary I was reading for research," said Craft, now polishing a novel set during the Revolutionary War.

This knowledge about flirting with fate or discouraging a suitor was new to Craft, yet tried and true to women in the past. Craft was so smitten by the discovery she joined the Fan Association of North America. The organization is for those interested in the study, conservation, acquisition and identification of antique, vintage, and collectible hand fans. FANA welcomed her into their fold by publishing an excerpt from her book in their international newsletter.

During the upcoming S.C. Book Festival, Craft will be part of a Friday afternoon round table discussion at which authors will reveal ways to tap the rich resources at the S.C. Department of Archives and History. The Master Class will be held from 2:15 to 3:45 pm; registration is through the S.C. Book Festival.

Craft will be signing A Perfect Tempest during the book festival at the booth occupied by The Inkplots, a Midlands- based writers group to which she belongs.

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