Guest Kari Trumbo Talks Train Wrecks

Kari Trumbo is one of those people who sneaks up on you — in a good way. She’s not loud or rowdy (like some of us who won’t be named…ahem). Dig beneath the surface, though, and you’ll find a warm heart, a passion for family and fiction, and a sincere desire to live the precept “love thy neighbor.” She’s come to visit with a “story behind the story” of her new western historical romance.

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To Love and ComfortIn my latest novel, To Love and Comfort, Margot must face a train disaster. Now, I had only read minimally about train accidents in history with my children (we homeschool). When the story started veering in that direction I had to stop and do some research.

Most of the big train accidents happened earlier than the setting of my story. That is not to say they didn’t happen in 1901, just that the majority of these incidents happened earlier in history. They happened by and large because of brake systems that could wear out and bridges that were built quickly and not maintained well. Trains weren’t new, but what had to be done to maintain a 50-year-old bridge was.

I also had to research what large river my character was likely to cross and what the terrain might be where it crossed. This proved to be incredibly difficult, as the U.S. has a lot of rivers and the terrain varies a lot even within small distances. In the end, I ended up going with the terrain the way my character described it and made the disaster over the Ohio river, as that was the river it was most likely they would have been traveling over.

In the end, I found the train disaster fascinating and terrible to research. Putting my character through that situation was daunting. I am so thankful for history and survivor testimonies to help us know that our writing about feelings and what situations would be like are as accurate as they can be.

To Love and Comfort

Margot Fleur is devastated by a secret kept by the man she’s known as her father, tearing her heart to pieces. Struggling with feelings of isolation, she desperately wants to be part of something more; to be whole.

Tyler Wilson longs to sweep Margot off of her feet. Seeing past her imperfections, he loves her for the sparkling spirit and bright dreams she once held so dear and only wants to see her smile again. Strong and determined, he sets out to win her heart but will a stubborn unwillingness to hear the call of the Lord forever keep them apart? And if he doesn’t learn, will Margot be lost forever?

Excerpt

“Where did the 72 depart from?” But he knew the answer before he asked. His face pinched with pain before the answer was even given.

“Philadelphia, sir. The wreck is about thirty miles straight west of here. Follow the tracks out of town, but be careful. They’ll be trains coming along soon to bring those passengers back. You might want to wait here if you knew someone on the train. Might miss them.”

Tyler backed out the door, his mind a mess of what he’d just heard. She had to be alive. He’d know if she were dead, wouldn’t he? That dreadful feeling meant she needed him, not that she was gone…right? He turned as Jax approached him.

“What did you learn?” He grabbed Tyler’s shoulder and shook him.

“I need a horse, a fast one.”

Jax grabbed his other shoulder. “Just where do you think you’re going?”

Tyler looked up at him and shrugged his hands off. “I have to go get her and the stage will slow me down.”

“You’re sure you know where you’re going?”

“I’ve never been more certain of anything in my life.”

 

Kari TrumboKari Trumbo is a writer of Christian Historical Romance and a stay-at-home mom to four vibrant children. When she isn’t writing, editing, or blogging, she homeschools her children and pretends to keep up with them. She is the author of the Western Vows series and co-author of the Best-Selling Cutter’s Creek series. Kari loves reading, listening to contemporary Christian music, singing with the worship team, and curling up near the wood stove when winter hits. She makes her home in central Minnesota with her husband of nineteen years, two daughters, two sons, and three cats.

Places to follow Kari:

Website           Facebook        Twitter            Pinterest          Amazon          BookBub

 

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14 Comments

  1. I enjoyed the excerpt and background on your book

    1. Thank you for stopping by and reading. I’m glad you enjoyed it. ~ Kari

  2. Hi Kari! Welcome to P&P. We’re so glad to have you. Love your blog. Those train wrecks were and are horrible. I can’t imagine hearing that crunch of steel and breaking glass and being trapped inside. They usually caught fire also since they had steam engines. I’ve never ridden a train but I’ve always longed to. I keep wishing Amtrak would route through the Texas Panhandle but so far no luck.

    Best of luck with your book! That’s exciting.

    1. Thank you so much for having me! The closest I’ve come is the 1880’s train in Keystone, SD. It was a great little ride, but it made me appreciate our travel options today.

  3. I can’t imagine the research for a train wreck. They definitely were terrible accidents. Thanks for sharing today!

    1. You are quite welcome. I’m glad I could be here.

  4. Good luck with your book, Kari!

  5. I like to do research too but I can imagine how difficult it was to read about those kinds of disasters from the past. Some things never change, though, do they, since we still have train accidents–although more from their hitting one another than bridge failure–and we have a system of road bridges in a terrible state now. Sad.

    I went to Amazon to read and enjoy the opening chapters of your book. I want to know what happens to Margot and Tyler!! Since it’s part of a series, to do you think it better to read them in order or do you think To Love and Comfort can be read as a stand alone?

    1. I wrote To Love and Comfort as a stand-alone and my editor agreed it could be read as one. 🙂 Thank you for reading! ~ Kari

  6. Train travel is something special. I like the older trains, they have more atmosphere. The new faster trains just don’t have the feel of the history behind rail travel. Train wrecks are bad enough today, but it is hard to imagine how much worse they would be over 100 years ago. The remoteness of crash sites, lack of rapid evacuation, and good medical care all made for serious wreck results.

    1. That is all true. There was just no way to properly prepare ahead for disasters.

  7. Kari, you’re fast becoming one of my favorite authors! 😀

    1. Thank you so much Kathleen! Kari

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