Saturday, June 9, 2012

Meet Allison Bruning Author of Calico: Children of the Shawnee Series

When I was little, I use to dream about the day I would reunite with my older brother. In 1986, a year after my father lost his battle to lung cancer, the song “Somewhere Out There” appeared in the movie An American Tail. In the movie Fieval and sister, Tanya, are separated. They sing the song together looking up at the moon dreaming of the day they would be reunited. Every time I heard the song, I dreamt Eric and I was staring up at the same moon dreaming of each other. I would crank up the volume and sing my little heart out with the dreams of my older brother.
Eric and I were born twenty years apart almost to the day. I was born January 22, 1976 in Cleveland, Ohio. Eric’s mother died in 1979 and a year later our father married my mother. When I was four years old, my parents and I went to dad’s WWII reunion in New Jersey. There dad reunited with Eric for a brief moment and told him he had a sister. I vaguely recall the union. That was the last time Eric saw dad alive. My parents divorced when I was six years old. Dad drifted in and out of my life for a few years. Then when I was eight, dad came back into my life and my parents started to talk of salving their marriage. By then it was too late, dad grew ill with lung cancer. I can recall the times he was well enough to speak to me. He told me, “Peanut, I’m going to beat this. Your mom and I are going to remarry. I made a lot of mistakes in my life but this time it’s going to be different. We’re going to be a family. We’ll move to Florida and live on a houseboat close to your brother.” Despite his best efforts, dad lost the fight in July of 1985, only a month after his sixtieth birthday. His dying wish for me was simply enough. Find Eric, tell him he died, he always loved him and to give him some of dad’s possessions. For twenty – six years I’ve searched for Eric and just when I had given up Eric entered into my life.
It’s funny how just when you least expect it the impossible happens. I had given up on finding my brother for a couple of years. A piece of me was always missing. I felt a longing to find out more about my father’s side of my family but I felt the pain too many times. Each time my hopes were raised they’d crash down. It was a vicious cycle that had to end or I’d go mad. My father’s older brother died in 1997 after the funeral I called one of his daughters. It felt good to talk to her. I had hoped she knew where my brother was but the first thing she asked, “Do you know where Eric is?” I felt my hopes once again shatter. They hadn’t heard from him in years. Determined I continued to search for him. I found Eric’s law office, called him but his secretary never told him I had called. Once again, my heart broke. I was so close to him!

In 2001, I married the love of my life. I told him about my dad and missing brother. He urged me not to give up the fight. Last year, I searched the internet for any Eric James Bruning I could find. I knew his birthday, the state he lived in and that he was a lawyer. When I was little, dad had a picture of Eric with his wife. I use to stare at that picture so much so I had memorized his face. With a mental imagine and facts stored in my mind, I searched MySpace, Facebook, and other social network I could think of. Finally I found an Eric Bruning in Florida and sent him a message. A year went by with no reply. My heart fell again. Thoughts rolled in my head. Maybe he doesn’t care he has a sister. I saved the picture of him he had on his MySpace account so I would have an updated photo of him. I thought to myself, he may not care about me but he’s dad’s son and I care a lot about him. I held that picture near and dear to my heart and vowed to end my search forever. Enough was enough.
Last year, I received an email stating Eric Bruning Refound You. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Was this a joke? If it was it was a cruel one! I read the email and my heart lifted a bit. I recognized the man in the picture. Eric was talking to me? Can this be real? I close the email and looked through other emails he sent me. I read every single one. He told me details only he would know and left me a phone number. He wanted me to call! I picked the phone and called him immediately. We’ve been talking ever since. My brother loves me and I love him.
The Executive Director of the Kentucky Young Writers Connection, a non-profit agency of writers who promote young authors throughout the state of Kentucky. Allison originally hails from Marion, Ohio. Her father, Roland Irving Bruning, was the son of German immigrants who came to the United States at the turn of the 20th century. Her mother's family had been in the United States since the 17th century. Allison is a member of the Peter Foree Chapter of the Daughters of American Revolution. Her linage traces to Private Reuben Messenger of Connecticut. Her educational background includes a BA in Theater Arts with a minor in Anthropology and a Texas Elementary Teaching certificate. Both acquired at Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas. Allison received National Honor Society memberships in both Theater Arts and Communication. Allison was also honored her sophomore year with admission into the All American Scholars register. She holds graduate hours in Cultural Anthropology and Education. In 2007 she was named Who's Who Among America's Educators. She is also the recipient of the Girl Scout Silver and Gold Awards.
Allison lives with her husband in Kentucky. Calico is book one from the series, Children of the Shawnee. It is available at She is currently working on the sequel, Rose. She is also working on another series, The Secret Heritage, which traces the life of her great great grandmother at the turn of the 20th century in Ohio. Allison's interest includes Ohio Valley history, anthropology, travel, culture, history, camping, hiking, backpacking, spending time with her family and genealogy. Her genres include historical fiction, paranormal, romance, and suspense.

You can reach her at:
Facebook Fan Page
Twitter: @emeraldkell

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