Taking a Book and Making it REAL ~ Pam Crooks

Just this past Saturday, June 1st, I had the pleasure of releasing a new book.  TRACE is Book 1 in the Bachelors and Babies series, and I threw a baby shower in our readers group to celebrate.  It was fun, a little different, and the whole event was very celebratory.

But to get to that point–a finished book–is not nearly as much fun and much more stressful.  Since I was the launch book, the pressure doubled.  I had to have a book as good as I could possibly make it to build the buzz and give my sister-authors a boost.

One of the ways to make a book GOOD is to make it REAL.  To do that, I relied on pictures to help my writing about Trace and Morgana (the hero and heroine) be more vivid and to immerse the reader in the time period.

TRACE is set in Wallace, Kansas, which was an authentic cow town in 1881.  Today, it’s a shadow of its former self. Here’s a few of my pictures.

I based Morgana’s home on this photo, and a large portion of the book is set here.  It really was a house in Wallace and still stands today.

One of Morgana’s dresses.

After a terrible tragedy, Morgana immerses herself in music.  The harp is her favorite.

Another picture crucial to the story.  Baby’s carriage.  (You’ll just have to read the book to figure out why a baby carriage is crucial.  Ha!)

Any idea what this is?  It’s a vaporizer!  They were new to the medical community at the time, and I was thrilled to find that they were just beginning to use them in 1881.  This vaporizer is extra, extra crucial to the story.  Yep!  Read the book to find out how.

These are the books in the series.  They’ll come out the first of every month.  You’ll see some familiar names, including my sister-filly, WINNIE GRIGGS, and former filly, CHERYL ST.JOHN.


And the most important picture of all!

Buy on Amazon.



Let’s chat and you can win a copy of TRACE (ebook).

TRACE is Book 1 of the Bachelors and Babies series.  The books are not connected (except for the sudden arrival of a baby!) and stand on their own.

Do you like to read series books, connected or not?  What is their appeal to you?  Do you prefer a sweeter romance or something a little more gritty?

Join the Bachelors & Babies Readers Group on Facebook to meet the authors and learn about upcoming releases!  https://www.facebook.com/groups/2143576775865837/


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Pam has written 30 romances, most of them historical westerns, but her newest releases are contemporary sweet romances featuring the Blackstone Ranch series published by Tule Publishing. Stay up on the latest at www.pamcrooks.com

33 thoughts on “Taking a Book and Making it REAL ~ Pam Crooks”

  1. I read series and I love for characters from one book to make appearances in following books especially when the characters are Great and I don’t won’t to let go

    • And that’s the crux of their success, Glenda! Series with memorable characters that show up in subsequent books are great fun for the readers who are immersed in the series. You’re not alone in thinking that. I do, too!

    • If an author does her job right, Kim, the story should indeed end with the last book. But in Bachelors & Babies, the books are not connected and multiple authors are writing with the same premise. So there are different kinds of series.

      I hope you’ll give TRACE a try!

  2. I enjoy series books, but not my fav when they are by different authors, I love when one book leads into another and everything’s connected. I love sweet books but I really want some grit and mystery in them. Mystery keeps me wanting more. If it’s just plain romance and no deep plot I usually do not continue on in the series unless one of the authors is a fav then I’ll skip and read it.
    But I do love series books by same author if the 1st book grabs me. If it doesnt then I’m usually done with series and often times have a hard time reading other books by that author.

    • I agree that books, short or long, should have a stronger plot to keep the characters moving through the pages. I have never written a book without a strong (to me!) villain. Otherwise, what do I do with my characters? LOL. They need something to be afraid of.

      Good to see you this morning, Tonya. As always!

  3. I’ve only read a couple series before when I was a young girl. I enjoyed those. I’ve not read any since then. And I love the picture of that home! Sooo beautiful! 🙂 (Please, don’t enter me for the e-book. I just wanted to comment!) 😀

    • Well, I’m glad you DID comment!! Great to hear from you, and I agree, the house is beautiful. It had fallen into disrepair and the community renovated it, so it now has many more years of life.

      Nice to meet you, Sabrina! Thanks for stopping by.

  4. I do enjoy reading series books but I do like them to stand alone also. Sometimes its hard to find each book in the series to get them in order so it best if they are not connected. Also I like both type of romance the sweet ones and also the gritty ones it depends on the mood I am in to which I read. I can’t wait to read this new book of yours love books with babies in them.

    • Mornin’, Quilt Lady! Some series are large with many authors and the books come out very quickly. One series I know of had a book out every day for 50 days! Another one was once a week. In my last series, Widows of Wildcat Ridge, the books came out twice a month, and even that was hard for readers to keep up.

      Bachelors and Babies will have a book out once a month, and that’s more doable. But then, the books aren’t connected, so if one gets missed or picked up later in the series, it won’t matter.

      Yes, I love books with babies, too! They’re very popular and have been for decades.

    • Hi, Janine! Then Bachelors & Babies should be a good fit for you. Each story will have its own story arc that winds up at the end. Cliff-hangers at the end are more like serials where you really do need to read each book in order for the full storyline.

      Great to hear from you, as always!

  5. Yes, I like sweet romance unless it is too drippy sweet. That gets real boring fast. I prefer more grit and adventure. Humor too. I always read a complete series if the first book is interesting. Books I cherish, I keep them for “older age.” I have learned so much from you fillies and look forward to reading this blog almost everyday. I love when the complete series wraps up. Sometimes I bug the author (right Linda Broday) to know when the next book will be out. Life is good when you can get wrapped up in a book. Pam, I even tracked down a few of your older books in the used book store in central Minnesota. I was so happy! I wish Trace was in print … I don’t do ebooks …. yet.

    • Howdy, Kathy! Oh, I’m with you about drippy sweet. There are definitely some like that out there, and there’s a market for them. But I’m with you., I bore easily. Our time is precious, and we want to spend it engrossed when we read, not bored, right? LOL.

      Glad you found some books of mine. Please enjoy them. TRACE is different than those (shorter, a bit less gritty) and I hope to put him in paperback soon.

  6. Welcome Pam. What wonderful pictures. I agree with books that seem real. I love to read series, whether they are linked together or stand alone’s. I think because the story stretches out longer for me.

    • You nailed it, Lori. The story stretches out longer, the characters stay alive in our minds longer, too. Which means the author did her job, right? 🙂

  7. I just finished Trace. Very good book. I like to read stand alone books. But love a good series too.?

    • Thank you so much, Tonya! So glad you enjoyed it. And you know, if you can find a few minutes to leave me an honest review, I’d appreciate it more than you know.

      Reviews have become part of the business model for authors. Without them, the books look like a failure, and that is often not true. So thank you in advance if you would do that for me!

  8. I love a good series and these coming out the first of every month is a great time frame for them!

    • Hey, Teresa!! Great to hear from you this morning!

      Several readers at TRACE’s baby shower mentioned that they liked the once-a-month release, so you can be sure I passed that along to the rest of the B&B authors. We love feedback like that from loyal readers like you!

  9. I enjoy series books, but if it is by multiple authors or a really long series, I tend not to get them all…

    • I get it, Colleen. Unless you’re keeping up week after week, month after month, it’s hard to know whose book is what and when. But if you can only read a few and get true enjoyment, then the series was worth it, right?

  10. I’m reading TRACE now, Pam. It’s a great story. Congrats on the new release and HOWDY to all the Fillies! xoxo

    • Coming from someone who learned the ropes when I did and knows how hard the journey can be, that means alot, Cheryl. A nice surprise to see you, and I appreciate you stopping by to your old stomping grounds!

  11. I love the photos – and all the history and research on this site. I really enjoy series books with multiple authors. I enjoy the common theme that usually runs through them but also enjoy the variety of writing styles and the opportunity to read something by many of my favorite authors.

    • Yes, yes! The different writing styles, the fresh ideas, the appeal and excitement of discovering a new author is a huge benefit of series. That’s why they’re so popular with readers–and authors, too! They are a great way to meld into each other’s readership.

  12. The photos made it all too real and wonderful for me. I loved the book Trace, but the pictures added even more. Gritty is just fine if the scene calls for it. It’s part of life.

    • Hey, girl! What a nice surprise to see you here. And gosh, yes, gritty is part of life and a little grit sprinkled into a story raises the stakes and tension and makes for a more satisfying read, I think.

      Thank you for coming over!

  13. Love all those pictures you use for inspiration Pam. What a great idea. In the middle of reading Trace at the moment, but have had a few interruptions. I am not just saying this because I am in the series, but I think the idea of Bachelors and Babies is a great one.

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