I have so enjoyed my time here with the fabulous Fillies here at Petticoats and Pistols. Unfortunately, I have to say goodbye for now. My plate has become too full to keep up a regular schedule of posts. That’s not to say you’ll never see me again in the Junction. I will stop in occasionally just to say hi and to comment on the wonderful posts. I might even post myself.
Like most historical romance authors I love researching the past and losing myself in another time, if only temporarily. I’m consistently amazed at the unusual facts and tidbits I’m able to uncover with a little digging. I’m not talking about the dates and timelines of true historical events, although those are certainly fun to know. I’m talking about the obscure pieces of information I never learned in high school or college.
Of all the time periods I’ve researched, the American West still fascinates me the most. Movies, television shows, books; you name the title, I’ve probably watched it, recorded it, or read it.
My fascination with the Old West started when I was a child. I grew up in the sixties, arguably the heyday for all things western. I remember watching Gunsmoke every Sunday night with my family. During the week, we tuned in to the Rifleman, Bonanza, Big Valley and a personal favorite, Wild Wild West. Best of all, I lived a few short miles east of a Florida theme park called Six Gun Territory. I kid you not!
As the name implies, Six Gun Territory was a modern-day rendering of a western boom town straight out of a 1960s television program. Can you hardly stand it? An entire amusement park devoted to the Old West! Main Street included an apothecary, a general store and, yes, a swinging-door saloon where I ordered my very own root beer with a big head of foam.
Aside from the nausea-inducing rides and sugar-coated junk food, the most exciting events held at Six Gun Territory were the mock shootouts. Looking back with my adult eyes, I realize these staged shows had to be the cheesiest demonstrations of good versus evil ever produced. But to a six-year-old little girl they were pure entertainment and a source of great hope. After all, the hero always won, no matter how many mean threats the bad guy dished out before the invisible “bullets” started flying.
Considering my love of westerns and the list of favorite movies mentioned above, it’s clear that I’ve always had a fascination for flawed people with jaded pasts, the men and women most in need of redemption. That’s why I appreciate writing for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Historical. With the faith element a part of every story, I’m able to walk with my characters through a temporary period of darkness into a life full of love, hope and happily-ever-after.
The road to redemption is never smooth in real life. Nor is it boring. With that in mind, I’ve tried to avoid using clichéd characters in my Charity House series. Although I’ve had a lawman or two, and even a schoolmarm, I’ve also highlighted a rebel preacher, a Shakespearean stage actress, a frontier doctor, an opera singer, a swanky hotel owner, a former Outlaw and even a pickpocket. Each book in the series is connected in some way to Charity House, a baby farm dedicated to caring for children born to prostitutes.
As a final goodbye gift, I’ll be giving away another full set of my Charity House books, that’s a copy each of all eight books to one lucky winner. Thanks again for the great memories. You will see me again.