Where you can find Jamie K. Wilson's fiction, thoughts, and a few free stories.
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Who I Am
I come from a family with deep, deep roots in Kentucky - our ancestors were here with Daniel Boone. My great-grandfather was a noted raconteur nicknamed "Windy," and my great-grandmother bought me every book she could afford. I was reading at the age of two, reading the Bible at the age of three. Which brings me to a story.
I was an adorable, tiny little girl and looked younger than I was. My great-grandfather Windy was also notable for a checkered past that included 'shine running, a friendship with the gangster Pretty Boy Floyd, and lots of illegal gambling (not always aboveboard, either). He wasn't into gambling for the money; it was the thrill of scamming someone. He loved it.
He used to take me on regular trips to his barber in Port Royal, Kentucky, a tiny little town also famous as the model for Wendell Berry's Port William. Next door was the general store, a beautifully old-fashioned place with worn wooden floors and a wood-burning stove. This was the local hangout. Papaw would scope the place for strangers; as soon as he set eyes on one, he'd start bragging about me, how smart I was, how I could read any book you set in front of me. "Why," he'd finish, "I bet you twenty dollars you could open that Bible up on the shelf to any page you liked and she'd read it just like a growed person!"
Invariably the stranger took the bait. Papaw reached up and pulled the Bible down, handing it to the stranger to choose a passage. And I read it, not just sounding out the words but with passion and inflection.
My cut was a Choc-Ola and a candy bar. Papaw pocketed the rest.
THAT is who I am.
So, yes, my family was unique. We were also very poor, and my father's family had a very bad name locally. Nevertheless, my dad built a good home building and renovation business and bought his own farm. It is because of this, probably, that I'm politically conservative libertarian; I saw firsthand the damage uncontrolled welfare and immigration policies did to country culture, how hard it was for a small business to grow unchecked by the threats of unionization and bogus disability claims. Though I thought I was a liberal throughout college, that's mostly because I never thought it all the way through. I embraced the label, but every utterance, everything I wrote, was colored by my conservative core.
Today, I am many things. I am a Navy wife and the mother of five children. I am the sister of a war hero. I am the founder of The Conservative Fiction Project, which helps conservative writers find one another and a wider audience. I work with Liberty Island Media, the first overtly conservative fiction publisher. I have always read stories and told stories, and I will always be a storyteller.