Thursday, January 13, 2011

Research and Ye Shall Find

I began by putting  my three ladies on a westbound train.  After reading, James Alexander Thom’s book, The Art and Craft of Writing Historical Fiction, I wanted all the information to be accurate and who better to know about trains than the American Railroad Historical Society.  With the kind help of their research librarian, I was able to get the ladies across the country without them missing any connections. 
But, what did a mining town of the 1890s look like?  Having lived in Colorado for a  time, I was familiar with some historical towns, but I needed more than my own visualization.  Old photographs, diaries of early inhabitants, and numerous articles and descriptions found on the internet, filled in the details.  When the ladies stepped off the train, I could see what they saw.  
And so it went, chapter by chapter.   I stumbled across some wonderful  information..  I didn’t know that a woman rancher invented the first split skirt because she wouldn’t put up with having to ride side saddle.  Or that President Cleveland was the first father of a newborn to give out cigars.  The book began to fill with lots of quirky historical details.

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