Dee Andrews, from Boulder, Colorado, is writing historical fiction set during the 1918 influenza pandemic, which is thought to have originated in her home state of Kansas. Her short story The Enemy Within inspired her novel and received an Honorable Mention in Glimmer Train’s Short Story Award for New Writers.
Dee’s grandmothers were the first storytellers in her life. Grandma Martha told of her parents emigrating from Germany. Grandma Helen liked to remember the adventure of living in Los Angeles for a year as a newly married young woman. And great Grandma Kelly’s childhood in Kentucky
Perhaps since those early stories, historical fiction books have always appealed to Dee. She loves learning about the past from interesting and engaging characters.
The inspiration for her own historical novel came during the 2009 Swine Flu outbreak. She and her family were living in Spain at the time and non-essential travel to the U.S. and Mexico was discouraged, fever checks occurred at airports across the EU, and people worried about the mounting death toll. Then, she found 200,000 worldwide deaths alarming and kept wondering what the devastation of 50 million dead looked like. Learning scientists and historians believed the 1918 flu may have originated in Kansas further hooked her.
Since then, Dee has devoted countless hours to researching, writing, and revising. Her idea and how to tell the story flourished once she discovered the Lighthouse Writers Workshop in Denver and found her people and honed her craft. Dee is grateful to be part of the Book Project—an intensive two-year program at Lighthouse that supports writers in finishing their book-length manuscripts.
Dee and her husband met on a blind date in college. They have two daughters, fiercely independent young women who Dee reminds herself she encouraged. 😂 She and her family travel as often as possible. When not immersed in writing, she enjoys downward dogs, camping, and hiking. A sun-kissed tomato from her parents’ garden in Kansas might be her favorite food.