Being an author, I research a lot of things I never imagined learning about. From hot-air balloons to hurricanes, from challenge coins to stagecoaches tipping over, and a lot of fascinating stuff in between. (I’ll list a couple of those at the end.)
Here are a few of the things I hunted down while writing The Lady’s Mission.
~Since I was featuring a hot-air balloon in this story, I researched a ton of stuff about them and how to fly one. I watched dozens of videos on this and, by the end, felt as though I might be able to fly a hot-air balloon. Maybe not perfectly, but hopefully enough not to crash. Not that I think I’ll be flying one solo any time soon.
~The Quilting Circle series obviously features quilts, and even though I have been quilting and sewing for years and years, I still did some historical research. I ran across some interesting newspaper clippings in a book about historical quilts. That is where I saw an article about bachelors sewing a quilt to raise money for charity. I knew that was a valuable gem, and I had to come up with a story to use it in. Well, The Lady’s Mission was the perfect story.
~Next, I wanted a group of outcasts and chose immigrants, so I needed to know which ones might have been in Washington State. I wanted to have an eclectic mix of people in my little immigrant encampment.
~Now that I had my immigrants, I needed to know how to have my hero greet them, so learning to say “hi” in Kittatas (a Native American tribe associated with the Yakima Nation) and Chinese were important. I didn’t want to get into a lot of foreign language dialogue, just “hi”.
~With my hero being a hot-air balloon enthusiast, it made sense for him to receive a magazine that would include the subject, so I learned what the scientific journal of the day might be called.
Like stumbling across the bachelor quilt, here are a couple of other awesome finds I wasn’t looking.
~A dog who went to jail for killing the mayor’s wife’s cat. Yes, actual prison. He learned his prison number, and eagerly waited for his to be called so he could jump on the work-detail bus. If I remember right, this was in the 1920s. I have plans to mention him in a story, but that one hasn’t been contracted as of yet.
~The Oscars’ statue was named after a secretary’s uncle. She removed the yet-unnamed statue out of the box and said, “This looks like my Uncle Oscar.” Whether this is actually true or not, I don’t know, but it makes for a cute story.
The Lady’s Mission releases tomorrow. Read about Cordelia and Lamar trying to get out of an arranged courtship while hot-air ballooning and constructing a bachelor quilt.
In celebration of The Lady’s Mission releasing tomorrow, book 2 in the Quilting Circle series, The Daughter’s Predicament (Kindle version) is scheduled to be free for a few days. I believe starting on the 5th. Happy Reading!
THE LADY’S MISSION (Quilting Circle 5)
Available for pre-order on Amazon. (Releases October 5, 2022)