I love historicals. I feel like I have more freedom to make up events than I do with contemporaries. And there is a wider breadth of dramatic events to choose from. For instance, what in our present world compares to the scope of adventure in a wagon trek westward, the challenges of living in a sod shanty, or the sheer grit of surviving endless dust storms? I greatly admire the hardy men and women who conquered such challenges.
I also feel a strong connection to the past through the lives of my parents and grandparents. My father was especially interested in history. Our road trips almost certainly would include stops at museums and other points of interest. My Dad`s recollection of the significant events beat any dry old plaque reciting the information.
I also got a taste of real pioneer life as a child. My father did road maintenance work in rural areas. My parents—brave souls—gathered up us children and took us along and we lived in a VERY primitive bunkhouse. There were absolutely no modern conveniences (you have to remember this was about 200 years ago. lol) We experienced firsthand some of the tasks our pioneer forefathers did.
Writing historical stories gives me a reason to poke through museums and archives, read old letters, and interview seniors. It gives me an excuse to go to pioneer parks, and other historical sites for more than the view or the entertainment. When I`m working on a story, I feel a real connection to the past.
Of course, not everyone agrees. I had one reader write me and briskly inform me that there was nothing romantic about the `good old days`. The hard work was numbing; the hardships devastating. Life simply wasn`t pleasant. Which brings me back to the admiration I feel for these people, their hardy spirits and their absolute stubborn joy because it always hits me when I read their stories that few of them are bitter or complaining. They are simply facing and accepting the challenges of their situation, striving to make things better and in the midst of it all, clinging to a sure faith. As many of these people say in their stories, God was their strength and their shield. In Him they found strength and hope. I`m convinced their lives have much to teach us.
The final story in the Buffalo Gals of Bonners Ferry series releases today. Click on any of the three covers to the right to find these books.