Tag: Kit Morgan

Ah, the Pioneer Life! Sort of . . .

Hi! Kit Morgan here. As I’m the newest filly in this corral of wonderful western authors, I thought I’d let you know a little more about me.

Most folks don’t realize that I grew up in a log cabin in the woods with a lovely creek flowing through the property. Back then the cabin had a fireplace and a wood cook stove, the only sources of heat. It was built as a summer cabin and had no insulation. It was made to stay cool. And it does! I live in said cabin still. My sister and I bought our older siblings out and are in the process of making the cabin better suited to year-round living.

Growing up I remember my mother cooking on wood cook stoves. The picture you see is me, seven years old, standing next to our first little stove. The second was huge, but I couldn’t find pictures of that. The electricity often went out in the winter, so having a wood cook stove meant we didn’t go without a hot meal. We used oil lamps and candles for light and had to haul water up from the creek. Our mother would then boil it so it could be used for drinking, cooking, washing and other necessities.

We had to chop and haul wood, feed the livestock and walk a mile to the school bus stop in all kinds of weather … yes, I can say I did that! We also often ate trout and steelhead fished out of our creek.

When we were older, our dad got my little sister and me horses, and playing cowboys and Indians was our favorite past time. Is it any wonder I write western romance?

Growing up in the woods away from everything gave one an appreciation of the simple things, like the pleasure of writing outdoors. Besides, I get a few visitors while working, and like to stop and watch them.

So, having lived like a pioneer (a little here and a little there) gives added insight into writing historical western romance. Though I wouldn’t want to live like that year round. It was hard enough when the power was out for days at a time. But back then we didn’t know anything else, so it wasn’t a big deal. Now I might be tempted to check into a comfy hotel if the power went out for more than a day or two! Yes, I’ve gone soft in my old age! Besides, you can’t binge watch Downton Abbey when the power’s out …

Until next time, happy reading!  Kit

Kit Morgan: The Gold Rush Town of Leadville

Hi there! Kit Morgan here! It’s so nice to be invited to write for the Petticoats and Pistols Blog. Thanks so much for having me.

Today I want to tell you about a fun project I’m involved in. I love creating entire communities, so when western historical romance author Caroline Lee asked me to help spearhead a multi-author project with her, I was in!

Multi-author projects are difficult at best, especially when creating an entire town, its inhabitants, and the type of town it’s to be. In this case, we had to create a boomtown on a downward slide. A place where the gold was petering out and the miners were leaving in droves. To make things a little easier and have a guide (because lets face it, none of us were around back then) we found a town located near our fictional setting that went through all the same things our town was going to be experiencing. Leadville, Colorado. So we started digging and discovered all sorts of things! (Click on the pictures below to enlarge them.)

The basic story line for our town, which we named Noelle, follows a group of businessmen with a problem on their hands. Now that the gold is petering out, they’re trying to figure out a way to stay, make the town a real town, and not have to lose everything they’ve built up. The answer? Get the railroad to create a spur to Noelle. To do that they need to either find more gold or get folks to settle fast so the railroad will take notice. They go for both. Twelve mail-order brides are on their way while, at the same time, what miners are left work double time to find more gold. The railroad does take notice, but gives the town a deadline to achieve this feat. If Noelle doesn’t meet the required deadline, no spur will be built. And that’s when the fun begins.

But much the same thing happened in Leadville back in the day, sans a mail-order bride scheme to save the town. The town may have run out of gold, but other things saved the day. I’m not telling you what otherwise the surprise will be spoiled should you read the books. Still, towns lived and died quickly in the old west, and Leadville was no exception. This is why it made such a wonderful model for our story line.

By 1880, just three years after Leadville was founded, it was one of the world’s largest and richest silver camps, with a population of over 15,000. Income from more than thirty mines and ten large smelting works producing gold, silver and lead amounted to $15,000,000 annually.

Noelle isn’t quite so prosperous. But we sure are having fun with it! Myself, I’ve written two books that take place in Noelle. The Partridge: The First Day, 12 Day’s of Christmas Mail-Order Brides, and just released, Ophelia A Valentine’s Day Bride.

Our town is still growing and trying to become respectable. Though we don’t expect it to reach to 15,000 people in its first few years, it is growing. Slow but sure, one happy romance at a time.

 

  

 

Have you ever been to a gold rush town? What attracted you? I’m giving away one digital copy of the books above — one to two different winners. Leave a comment to enter.

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