Monday, September 1, 2008

Research can be Fun

I've always loved history, but when I started writing I wrote contemporary stories. I thought all the research to write a historical would be hard and complicated. Well, maybe it is a little, but it's also fun and invigorating. My first full length time travel romance, My Heart Will Find Yours, a Cactus Rose, will be out later this year.

The idea popped into my head on a trip to Durango, Colorado as we rode the train to Silverton.
For a short time I considered having my heroine ride into Silverton on that hazardous winding road on a stagecoach. But, after a ride on one, I decided I didn't want to put my heroine through that much pain. Even though she was a young woman, it wouldn't be easy. For one my age, early sixties, it would be agony. Can you imagine a woman with bladder problems? As you can see from my photograph, I gave up sitting inside and climbed up on top with the men. It was much more comfortable up there.

As the story progressed, I moved the location to Waco, Texas, near where I live. I grew in the area with it's rich history. The time period is 1880. Several books I found to be very helpful were Everyday Life in the Wild West by Moulton and Everyday Life in the 1880s by McCutcheon. I also found loads of information on the internet.

Bottom line, I had fun, so much so that I decided to write a short time travel set in 1888, A Law of Her Own. It came out on Wednesday, August 27th.

So, here's to research!



Kathy Otten said...


I agree, research can be fun. Love to do research, it sucks me in and I become so ingrossed I get side-tracked into some new area, then, bam, new characters and a new story idea pop into my head.

Linda LaRoque said...

Hi Kathy,
That's great, though. New characters, new ideas. It's what we all need.

Celia Yeary said...

I think that's why I love to write Western Historicals--I really get into the research. It also feeds my scientific soul--biology, chemistry, etc. However, you can believe me when I say research for the Old West is much more fun than research on say, Limnology--The Study of the Fresh Water Systems of Texas.Or research on the Genetic Traits of Fruitflys. (Ha-ha) Yep, I'm a nerd. Nice blog, Linda--I copied the titles of the books.Celia

Lauri said...

Hi Kathy,

I too have been to Durango and Silverton--loved it! My grown boys still say that was one of the best family vacations we took while they were younger. We also visited ghost towns out there and saw the 'Galloping Goose'. Anyway...I agree research can be fun, I love it, and am always amazed by the 'little things' I come across and love to plot ways to put them in my stories. Best of luck on your sales!

Helen said...

I've ridden the narrow gauge railroad from Durango to Silverton. The scenery is beautiful. But if you look out your window straight down, you see nothing but the valley below. As I traveled, I couldn't help but think of the people of the old west traveling that route on horseback. One slip of the hoof, and... SCARY.