I’m making one of the three sisters in my upcoming new series an inventor.
It’s 1870-ish California. The three girls are the daughters of a wealthy man who owns a mountain full of forests and he’s raised his daughters to take over.
In my research into a new area…I’ve never set a book in California before. And a new industry…logging. (relax there are cowboys!) I found that this age is just amazingly full of inventions.
The oldest daughter is an inventor. She’s other things, too…but she already has two patents at age twenty-one and has a head just brimming with ideas.
Highly educated by her father, always treated with respect, her brilliance acknowledged by her parents, she’s a little shocked when circumstances force the three sisters to run from an evil man and hide out acting as servants.
Well, they are lousy servants. As smart as they are, they realize how completely all these basic needs have been met all their lives while they were doing ‘important stuff’. And now someone expects them, based on their disguises, to know how to mend clothes, darn socks, do laundry and cook. These three brilliant women are incompetent and they start to understand that they’ve really not respected enough the people who have seen to all their basic needs all their lives.
Anyway, back to the inventor. While other people cook and clean and care for her, she’s wild to invent things.
And in the research I did for her I just found SO MANY INVENTIONS. This was a crazy age for newer, more modern inventions. (I suppose that’s true of every age though?)
The progress they were making with oil and gas, with engines, with updating everything. There were so many small (and yet HUGE) inventions. The undercarriage of a railroad train, the braking systems, the use of water power, steam power, wind power. And now here she is, Michelle, hiding from a bad man and expected to know how to turn a haunch of venison into supper for twenty people and all she can do is hope to not poison or starve everyone.
I really loved this research. Oddly enough, the strange, small inventions caught most of my attention. The most rudimentary automobiles (which were modified bicycles but with motors, but BAD motors) had been invented. Then with one tiny speck of progress at a time, I read somewhere there were over 100,000 patents for cars by the time Henry Ford created his assembly line, crude first steps became what we have today.
I read for a long time about the four stroke cycle engine, which is the engine inside a car, at it’s most basic at least, was theorized for a decade before someone managed to build a working model. My heroine is fascinated by that and, later in the series, when her husband is getting VERY TIRED of her blowing stuff up, especially herself, we mention that’s she’s working on that theory.
Anyway, necessity is the mother of inventions but for me and this book? Inventions were the mother of the necessity of me writing this story.
Book #1 coming in February, this is the little sister who likes dynamite. I’ll write about that next! The Element of Love
Then next book comes in July #2 Inventions of the Heart
And finally next October, not available for preorder yet, we’ll have A Model of Devotion for the sister who likes building bridges.
Lots to talk about during an age that is just full of progress.