A Big Welcome To Historical Author Susan Payne

We have guest author Susan Payne with us this week and we hope you show her a warm welcome. She has a giveaway so don’t overlook that.

Sitting down to write this post, I thought I would discuss a unique project I’ve been thinking about for a few months now. I usually sit down in front of my computer and the words flow. After a week or two I have a novel ready for others to read. I pride myself on my continuity, well rounded characters and happy-ever-afters. This next novel, or rather sequels, concerns a train in 1872 that gets trapped inside a tunnel collapse. Of course, the train is full of people and they find themselves captive for well over a year. I don’t want to give out any secrets, but to say they feel as if they live a lifetime underground would not be untrue.

Now my readers may ask ‘how is that possible’? Well, I think I have that part covered with a few well-chosen passengers and a train full of products being carried to the capital. Food and fresh water are covered for the most part and the main burden is on the people involved and how they relate to one another.  How they adapt to life underground in a world made-up of just themselves. How they keep morale up and arguments down. How they communicate and make decisions although many do not speak English and come from different backgrounds.

I know expectations are high as we meet the passengers. A group of high-school graduates heading to the capital to take their final exams led by their young female teacher and a couple of the students’ mothers. Their city mayor and his family travelling with them mostly for the free trip. A man running from his criminal past and a Pinkerton Agent chasing him. An engineer afraid to admit his part in building the tunnel in the first place and a myriad of others all having cameo appearances in their story as they come up. Some are so real to me it is as if I read their diaries while others remain shadowy figures in the darkness of the rocks surrounding them. I hope to get to know them more later. That they tell me their own personal hopes and dreams. The obstacles placed in their pathway by the entrapment.

I know I haven’t met them all and I want each to be a person my readers can relate to. Hopefully, readers can see as they read the story and know how it could have been for all the characters. How each of them could contribute, lose heart, and carry through what might appear to be the rest of their lives. I mean, after months, I’m not sure I’d be able to keep trying to find a way out, try to keep optimism up or try to keep working toward the common good.

I want to show the desperation they felt yet the strength of the American spirit of those who chose America to be their home.  How the tenacity needed to keep a homestead going was put to use to keep the people of Traintown going.  Never giving up, or at least fighting to the bitter end, was something ingrained in these early settlers. It’s what made America the country other nations tried to immolate.  Where those with little chose to settle in for the opportunity to be more than they had ever dreamed.

What do you think the hardest thing would be having to live underground for so long?

I’m giving away a copy of REPEATING THE PAST to one commenter.

I hope I can come up to my own expectations. I like to pull from my knowledge and add new along with it. It will be tricky to give each novel enough background information without being redundant. I’m looking forward to several novels flowing from one to another while remaining a story onto itself. Mayor of Traintown should have its first novel out in late 2022.  As always, I hope you enjoy.

But now, I want to tell you about the second book of my Second Chance Romance series – REPEATING THE PAST. Can two brothers be more alike and yet so different? Could their separation at 3 years old mean they can never forge the bond they should have? And now, 20 years later, can they agree that love is the strongest bond in anyone’s life? Cain and Abel find their own way to forgive those who should have cared for them the best and failed them the most.


Susan began writing when she was still a young mother, trying to find time to type on the old Smith-Corona from hand written notes that she was able to scribble off between children’s naps and cleaning.  Cleaning always came first, before any amusements; but she has decided that dust can be interesting and shirts don’t need to be ironed to be wearable.  She now spends her time writing stories as dictated by her new friends so others can enjoy them as much as she does. Since my first published work in December 2019, I have completed the Sweetwater Series and gone on to several novels both in historical western romance and Regency romance.


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34 thoughts on “A Big Welcome To Historical Author Susan Payne”

  1. I think it would be the condition called “cabin fever” , which we’ve all heard of or experienced in some way! When cooped up for too long, a human being has a tendency to go a little insane, or “stir crazy”, to be nice about it. But, it could surely become a terrible problem after a length of time, such as in your book!! I sure wouldn’t want to be around people who had nerve problems to begin with and then mix them in with people arguing about how to take care of the situation, crying babies, brothers and sisters fighting, couples arguing…PLEASE LET ME OUT OF HERE!!! That’s what I think, anyway, and what if people fellill, or women were giving birth and there were no doctors or midwives and there were complications??? Lots to think about…

    • There will be a birth occurring. This had been meant to be a short trip for most passengers. It was left to the women to handle things which was the usual back then. As for cabin fever, the teacher with her students spent many an hour thinking up things to keep them busy without them catching on although kids being kids they got up to their own mischief as well.

  2. What an interesting premise. I think the lack of sunlight would be hard. You lose your sense of time when you don’t have sunrise and sunset, even if you can keep an actual account of the days.

    • How perceptive of you – they did miss the sun and placed a clock from the train in a prominent position. The kids got creative and were able to bring sunlight into a space known as the “green” like a central park many towns had back then. thank you for the suggestion.

  3. No sunshine, No way to come and go as you please, people asking you what you are doing. Mental Health I think would be the biggest challenge. Not losing your mind.

    • That sunshine is a big one esp for people used to being outside. Mental health esp when someone wanted to give up took its toll. Worry about those left at home probably was another biggie. That’s why I knew this would become a series since so many people would react differently to each event. Thanks for helping.

  4. There would certainly be a plethora of problems in this situation. Lack of sunshine, the amount of human waste and how to dispose of it, rats getting in even if the people couldn’t get out, rationing provisions, needed medication, too many people in a confined space, deciding who’s in charge, etc.

    • Yes, all that and more. The rats/mice were already on the train in the hay and grain bags. Also had cows for a while and where there are cows there is cow ****. They had a lot to contend with a long with the worry of rescue that’s for sure. thanks for your response. susan

    • There is a wider area that becomes their community area and ‘green’. I am still trying to figure out the median temperature in a cave in a mountain. Not too cold and not too warm but sustainable.

    • I had a problem about the bathing, too. Trains had lavatories, but the waste was dumped onto the tracks so it becomes an issue of health and safety as to use them or not. I think the Pullman had a tub so they could pull it out and place it somewhere water could be disposed of. People didn’t bathe often back then – weekly would have been considered more than often enough.

  5. Welcome, Susan! We’re so happy to have you. What an interesting concept for your new series! WOW! I can’t imagine living underground for so long. The challenges would be enormous and stretch a person’s endurance. For me, the biggest challenge would be mental. That would be hard. Eventually, you’d run out of food. Wishing you much success with your books.

    • Thank you, Linda. I kept thinking about each character I had met so far and how they personally dealt with the issues facing them. A mother would handle things differently than a man without a family, etc. I had a lot of fun so far.

  6. Living underground would intolerable for those with claustrophobia or a fear of being too close to others. If there is no light or very little light your abilities to read, write or knit would be next to none. What would one do with themselves all this time without being a screaming maniac or feel like harming someone? I Imagine this particular scenario was quite a challenge to write. It sounds like a very interesting read.

  7. Thank you, I did a lot of conjecture as to how any one character would respond and how that could change over time. Facing a life without a future relief. How the children handled it, as well.

  8. Hello and welcome Susan, wow, your series sounds so good! I love trains. What I think they would miss the most would be the rest of their family. I think other than that, if needed we can all adapt to something different. Your other books sound like great reads also. I love your book covers. Have a great weekend and stay safe.

    • Thanks for the idea. I have them with some sunlight part of the day, but not enough for sun worshipers who need that extra amount to feel ‘normal’. My family is always short of vitamin D and told to go outside more. We live in Michigan which doesn’t always mean there is sunshine outside. Best wishes, susan

  9. I think the biggest problem of being trapped in a tunnel or cave would be echoes. Every person breathing, moving, and talking would be added to water dripping as if a bunch of faucets were dripping at the same time. A sort of Tell-Tale Heart sort of thing.
    As for brothers, my nephews are over 20-years apart and have the closest relationship and always have.

    • There is a central cavern – a partial cave that was used to build the tunnel in the first place where passengers congregate. I have spent some time in bat caves and used that experience…don’t ask. A misspent youth. Family worries plagued them all pretty much – and became their savior at the same time. Best wishes to you, susan

      • I am sure that Alfred took care of your needs in the Batcave. 🙂 One should never miss the chance to make a Batman joke even if it is unrelated to the genre. It does not sound as such a misspent youth as long-term research for a book. 🙂 Just tell people that is your story and you are sticking to it.

  10. I think not having sunshine everyday would bother me. I know right now if we go for days with it raining like it suppose to now it bothers me being stuck inside with now sun.

    • Yeah, they get some sunlight but not like they would have working outside in the fields, etc. The eventual boredom was difficult for them all. The Leaders (Mayor) had to keep everyone from thinking dark thoughts. Not easy when his were going in the same direction.

  11. Hello and Welcome Susan, I think it would be hard not having any fresh air or sunshine being stuck in an underground tunnel Have a Blessed Day! Your Book sounds amazing

  12. Dealing with the darkness and not knowing the time of day, date, or what is going on in the world would be difficult. It would also be hard to be in such close quarters for such a long time. It would be easy for people to not get along. That would be difficult to handle. There likely wouldn’t be anywhere to get away from everyone for a while. It definitely sounds like an interesting book.

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