Fourteen years ago I “jumped the tenure track for the orphan train.” I’ve never regretted the decision. I left my assistant professor post at the University of Arizona MFA creative writing program to become an itinerant performer in collaboration with my husband, songwriter Phil Lancaster. Since 1998 we have been presenting a multi-media program about the Orphan Trains in museums, libraries, and universities. Between 1854 and 1929, over 250,000 orphans and half-orphans were put on trains in New York and sent to every state in the US to be given away at train stations. I met many survivors at national reunions when I first started; now there are so few left. The historical novel is the result of research, travel, encounters, and a continuing passion for this little-known part of American history.