Charles Town, W.Va. couple married to writing

March 04, 2012|By CRYSTAL SCHELLE |
  • Rhonda-Lee and CW Whitehair of Charles Town, W.Va., have penned their second historical novel together, " The Bloody Harvest."
Submitted photo


CW Whitehair and his wife, Rhonda-Lee, have always known they make a great team.

The Charles Town, W.Va., couple have been married for 24 years and share several things in common, including their love of books and Civil War history.

And while CW was writing 2006's "Sabers and Roses," it was Rhonda-Lee who was reading his pages and offering him advice.

"She reads it chapter by chapter and takes her good old time," he said with a laugh.

But it wasn't until the couple decided to try a hand at writing a book together that they discovered they were a perfect fit as writing partners, too.

The result was 2008's "Northern Fire," which is historical fiction with a touch of romance.

After CW finished 2009's "Escape Across the Potomac" and 2010's "Gettysburg: The Field of Glory," the couple decided to try their hand at writing together again.

In September 2011, the Whitehairs released their historical novel, "The Bloody Harvest."

The Civil War spy drama takes place in Richmond, Va., and concludes at the Battle of Antietam in Sharpsburg. The storyline involves a love triangle with Federal army spy Jacob Martin, his best friend, Benjamin, a Confederate army officer, and Rachel, the woman they both love.

Because the storyline involves romance and the introduction of female characters, CW said he turned to his wife.

"We worked on it together," Rhonda-Lee said. "We wanted to do something in the spy area. He has a little difficult time doing the woman's (voice)."

"You wrote a lot of the female storyline," he said to his wife.

CW said sometimes they'd work separately on their parts of the book to come together. And when they did talk about the book, they would discuss scenes, even chapters at length, making changes as they went.

"I don't think we ever really disagreed," she said.

Although they couldn't quite agree on how long it took to write the book — CW said it was finished two and a half years ago, while Rhonda-Lee said it had to be longer.

But the two agreed that CW was in the middle of writing "Gettysburg" when they decided that "The Bloody Harvest" would take a back burner until he finished "Gettysburg."

So far, the two have found a small loyal following from readers. They credit it to not only the books' storylines, but their attention to historical details.

"We have people if we're going to be someplace, they're looking for us," CW said.

In addition to book signings, the couple have been asked to give talks on their book and the era. Recently, CW gave a talk at U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis for a Civil War history class. And together they gave a presentation at the Gettysburg (Pa.) Civil War Roundtable meeting.

"We try to produce something educational," CW said of their books, "but also we produce something that is interesting, as far as the story goes, that's wrapped around actual historical events."

About the book

Author: CW and Rhonda-Lee Whitehair

Title: "The Bloody Harvest"

Genre: Historical fiction

Pages: 272

Price: $15.95

Website: The book is available online at or

Available locally at: The Village Shop at Harpers Ferry, 180 High St., Harpers Ferry, W.Va

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