Western Wednesday: Gold Rush Bride Hannah
I’m often asked where I get my story ideas and whether I’ll ever run out. With a folder chock-full of scraps and notes, I’ve got enough plotlines to keep me writing for a long time. My inspiration comes from numerous places: books or movies that I think should have been done differently, twists on Bible stories or fairy tales, newspaper headlines or magazine articles, museum displays, documentaries about people, places, or events, and snippets of conversation.
The idea for Gold Rush Bride Hannah
is partially the result of reading H.W. Brand’s The Age of Gold
(about the California gold rush). Jessie Benton Fremont, daughter of Missouri Senator Thomas Hart Benton, is mentioned prominently in the book. She and her husband were two of the thousands who participated in the California rush.
Descriptions of her exploits got me curious about other female prospectors. In my research, I discovered that there were two major rushes prior to the one in California: one in North Carolina in 1799, and one in Georgia in 1829. Further study unearthed mention of women miners in Georgia, and I was able to find a couple of diaries as well.
Many, like Jessie Fremont, came with their husbands, some of whom stayed to work the claim after being widowed. Others came with brothers or fathers. A small percentage were single and arrived on their own. My research revealed that the reasons for their desire to work the goldfields were as numerous as the women themselves: escaping a bad situation or tarnished reputation, few or no marriage prospects, a desire for financial independence, an opportunity for adventure, and as mentioned, following a husband or relative. Whatever their motivation, these women had grit and gumption, and I knew I had to share their exploits.
Gold Rush Bride Hannah is the first in an exciting new multi-author series. Each month from now until December, a stand-alone gold rush story will be released.
About Gold Rush Bride Hannah:
A brand-new widow, she doesn’t need another man in her life. He’s not looking for a wife. But when danger thrusts them together, will they change their minds...and hearts?
Hannah Lauman’s husband has been murdered, but rather than grief, she feels...relief. She decides to remain in Georgia to work their gold claim, but a series of incidents makes it clear someone wants her gone...dead or alive. Is a chance at being a woman of means and independence worth risking her life?
Jess Vogel never breaks a promise, so when he receives a letter from a former platoon mate about being in danger, he drops everything to help his old friend. Unfortunately, he arrives just in time for the funeral. Can he convince the man’s widow he’s there for her protection not for her money?
Linda, this is great. Did not know about Gold Rush in Georgia or S.C. Also did not know that about Mrs. Fremont. Wow, what a life she had.ReplyDelete
I get story ideas pretty much everywhere too, especially for my Western work. Seriously, who DOESN'T want to put their own stamp on a cattle drive, the Oklahoma Land Rush, or a barroom brawl? Everyone who went West had a story, even if I have to make it up.