Andra Watkins, New York Times Bestselling Author, gave the Bluffton Rotary Club a little South Carolina history lesson Wednesday morning, November 9 – the day after the current election – comparing it to the election of 1800 and making sure we all stayed awake. In her just released novel Hard to Die, Watkins explores the life of ‘Dear Theodosia’, the daughter of US Vice President Aaron Burr and wife of Joseph Alston, Governor of SC during the War of 1812. There are ties between Theodosia and the current wildly popular Broadway musical Hamilton…and we’ll just have to read Watkins’ speculative fiction novel to find out what really may have happened in this tidbit of SC history. Andra Watkins also wrote the memoir Not Without My Father: One Woman’s 444-Mile Walk of the Natchez Trace, the novel To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis, and the photography collection Natchez Trace: Tracks in Time.
To launch her debut novel, Andra is one of the only living persons to walk the 444-mile Natchez Trace as the pioneers did. Natchez, MS to Nashville, TN. Fifteen miles a day. Six days a week. She finished her trek in 34 days. While she walked the Trace to launch her novel, she ended up having a life-changing adventure with her 80-year-old father. Not Without My Father chronicles that experience.
Andra is a Past President of the East Cooper Breakfast Rotary Club in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. She is past District Communications Chair for District 7770, founder of the District 7770 Friendship Exchange program, a two-time Rotarian of the Year, a multiple Paul Harris Fellow, and recipient of her District’s Distinguished Service Award. For more information about Andra, you can visit her website at