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Victoria Wilcox

Victoria Wilcox


Victoria Wilcox was born on the eighth day of the month of November – the same day of the same month as Margaret Mitchell was born, and the same day and month that Doc Holliday died.  And she was eight years old when she first announced to her family that she was going to be writer – no great surprise, as she had been making up songs and poems and putting on her own little theatricals for years already. She came by it all naturally, being born in California to a pioneer Hollywood film industry family. Victoria grew up loving dramatic stories of all kinds, especially those with a sense of history.  As a young woman she developed a passion for the stories of royal families found in English historical fiction, and felt certain she was descended from King Arthur himself and destined to discover the historic Camelot.  So she began her college career as a Medieval English History major – admittedly a narrow field in American academia – before receiving a degree in English Literature and doing graduate work in Playwriting.  In her professional life she has been a teacher of English and composition on the college level and worked as a technical writer and instructional designer for industry and universities. A move to Atlanta, Georgia inspired a love of all things Southern and introduced her to a project that would fill the next few years of her life: the white-columned Greek Revival home built by the uncle of the legendary Doc Holliday in the last days before the Civil War. Although one of Georgia’s only remaining unrestored antebellum homes, the Holliday-Dorsey-Fife House was slated to be torn down and replaced by a parking lot, so Wilcox founded a non-profit organization to save it and turn it into a museum site.  It’s now the centerpiece of a beautiful historic district, and Wilcox’s efforts were rewarded with a commendation from the City of Fayetteville and a cover on “Fayette Woman” magazine – and an untold tale that begged to be written. In researching the house and its former owners, she had uncovered a story almost too good to be true: the infamous Doc Holliday was kin to Gone with the Wind author Margaret Mitchell who modeled her saintly Melanie on Doc’s real-life sweetheart, his cousin Mattie Holliday. It was an amazing melding of literature and legend and a great tale for historical fiction.  But what began as a Southern love story soon became something larger, as Wilcox discovered what Mattie Holliday meant when she reminisced that Doc was “a much different man than the one of western legend.”  Most of the books written about him were wrong; much of the truth had been hidden for generations by a family ashamed of their prodigal son.  The real Doc Holliday was more mystery than history. Thus began eighteen years of original research and writing to find the life behind the legend, as Wilcox followed Holliday’s trail from Georgia to Texas, from the cowboy capital of Dodge City to the silver boomtown of Tombstone, from Leadville at the top of the Rocky Mountains to New Orleans on the Mississippi River.  Along the way she interviewed family members, had access to private files and photographs, searched deeds and wills and legal records that had been long misplaced, reenacted shootings and stage robberies and court trials, traveled by steam engine over the rocky mountains and explored ghost towns and silver mines and sulfur caves, all so she understand the man that Mattie Holliday loved. Now Southern Son: The Saga of Doc Holliday is complete in a trilogy of three novels, an epic historical fiction of the Civil War and the Wild West told on a very personal level.  As best-selling author Pat Conroy told Wilcox when they were both guest speakers at the Margaret Mitchell House in Atlanta, “I wish I’d thought of it!” Victoria Wilcox’s writing on the history of the Old South and the Wild West has been featured in such publications as TrueWest Magazine, North Georgia Journal, and the Atlanta Journal Constitution.  She has lectured extensively on the same subjects and been a guest on various television programs.  Drawing on her lifelong love of music and theater, she has written songs for Nashville recording artists and authored the musical Goin’ to Zion! along with numerous smaller theatrical works.  To celebrate the upcoming release of the first book of Southern Son: The Saga of Doc Holliday, she begins a national speaking tour this fall with a return to Tombstone, Arizona, site of Doc Holliday’s legendary gunfight at the OK Corral.

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