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Author to discuss women who fought in Civil War

October 14, 2012
By BILL ACKERBAUER , The Leader Herald

EPHRATAH - Lisa Potocar is a writer of historical fiction whose love of history didn't blossom in the classroom.

"I hate history!" she writes in her author's note at the start of her new novel, "Sweet Glory." But she goes on to explain that her distaste is limited to history that is imparted through lifeless lectures and rote memorization, the way it was taught when she was in school.

Potocar, a resident of Ballston Lake in Saratoga County, says she developed a newfound passion for history while taking a tour of early American homes in Newport, R.I.

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Lisa Potocar, author of the historical novel “Sweet Glory,” will speak Wednesday at a meeting of the Ephratah Historical Society.

"That jump-started me on wanting to feast upon historical fiction," she told The Leader-Herald this week.

"Sweet Glory" is a novel geared mainly toward young-adult readers, though it might appeal to older readers with an interest in the Civil War or women's lives in the 19th century. It tells the story of Jana Brady, a girl from rural upstate New York who disguises herself as a young man to fight with the Union Army in the Civil War.

Potocar will be the guest speaker at a meeting of the The Ephratah Historical Society at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Ephratah Town Hall at 3782 Route 10. She said she plans to read a chapter of the novel and give a presentation about women who disguised themselves as men in order to fight in the Civil War - both her fictional characters and some of the actual women warriors who inspired them.

Of the perhaps 4 million soldiers who fought in the Civil War, Potocar said, more than 300 are known to have been women. She said she plans to discuss the various things that motivated these women to risk their lives and disguise their identities.

Before devoting herself entirely to writing, Potocar worked for several years in health information administration, and she directed the health information technology program at Adirondack Community College for about six years.

"Sweet Glory" is her first published novel. She wrote another novel previously, while she was "honing her craft," and now that she's seen some success, she might revisit that earlier work, which also is set during the Civil War. She also might continue spinning the narrative thread from "Sweet Glory," she said.

"My readers are demanding a sequel to 'Sweet Glory,'" she said. "Most of them have been saying they don't want to part with the characters."

Potocar said she's been busy promoting the sales of her debut novel. She'll address the Ladies' Red Hat society in Saratoga Springs before heading to Ephratah on Wednesday, and she will sign copies of her book Nov. 4 at the Capital District Civil War Round Table's annual conference at Siena College.

"But I'm starting to get back into my writing again, which makes me happy," she said.

Copies of "Sweet Glory" will be available at the event in Ephratah, which will be open to the public.

The book also is available in soft-cover and electronic versions from, and from the author's website,



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