Happy 6th Blog-o-versary!!!

Reinventing the Blog – Please Bear With Us!

Hear how Historical Mystery Author Alyssa Maxwell reinvented herself at our Meet Alyssa Maxwell Facebook Event!

Ask questions! Engage! There will be prizes.

9 - 10 pm EDT on Tuesday, May 23rd

MAY ALUMNI GUEST 05/27 – SUE HORSNELL

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Q&A with USA Today bestseller Stefanie London

Being a writer is a solitary existence—spending hours at the computer shutting out the real world in favor of creating imaginary ones. It's important to have the support and friendship of other writers, people who understand the highs and lows. Friends who can celebrate writing the words ‘The End’ and also commiserate spending hours editing a single paragraph one day, only to delete it the next.

One of the first friends I made in my writing journey was Stefanie London. We joined the Melbourne Romance Writers Guild on the same day and developed a quick friendship which has lasted almost five years and a move across the globe.

I’ve invited Stefanie to do a little Q&A.


Stefanie London is the USA Today bestselling author of over ten contemporary romances with humour, heat and heart.

Growing up, Stefanie came from a family of women who loved to read. Thus, it was no surprise Stefanie was the sort of student who would read her English books before the semester started. 

After sneaking several literature subjects into her ‘very practical’ Business degree, she got a job in Communications. When writing emails and newsletters didn’t fulfill her creative urges, she turned to fiction and was finally able to write the stories that kept her mind busy at night.


Originally from Australia, she now lives in Toronto with her very own hero and is currently in the process of doing her best to travel the world. She frequently indulges in her passions for good coffee, lipstick, romance novels and zombie movies.

How long have you been writing, and what (or who) inspired you to start?

I started writing in late 2012, although I have wanted to be a writer ever since I was a little girl. When I told my family that I was thinking of writing a romance novel, I got overwhelming support. My mum even went to our local charity shop and bought me a stack of Mills & Boon (Harlequin) books so I could get some inspiration.

I think I wanted to be a writer because of Agatha Christie, RL Stine, Ann M Martin and Francine Pascal. The Babysitters Club and Sweet Valley books dominated my childhood, and I moved on to Fear Street and Agatha Christie's mysteries as I got older. These authors were the ones who made me rush to the bookstore after school with my pocket money in hand.

What do you like best about being a writer? What is the most challenging part?

I love most things about being a writer. The flexibility to work when I’m feeling at my most energized is great. And I love love love being my own boss! I also love being able to do something creative every day, it makes me feel incredibly satisfied. As for the challenging stuff…probably trying not to compare my career to other author’s careers. I really think constantly comparing yourself is the death of creativity.

What are your favorite types of stories to read?

I’m a really broad reader. I love contemporary romance and romantic comedies, erotic romance, YA (especially fantasy and dystopian), anything post-apocalyptic (especially zombies!), crime and thrillers, mysteries, general commercial fiction, non fiction…the list goes on. Variety is the spice of life, as they say!

What 5 things should readers know about you?
  1. I was born in Australia and, even though I live in Canada now, I still love my Tim Tams, Flat Whites, Lamingtons, Freddo Frogs and Caramello Koalas…but I hate Vegemite.
  2. I love llamas. I have a little collection of stuffed llamas, one in particular that comes to conferences with me and always sits at my table whenever I’m signing books.
  3. Because of fact #2, The Emperor’s New Groove is one of my all-time favourite movies.
  4. Game of Thrones is the only TV show that I’ve watched every episode of while it was still airing.
  5. I love hearing from readers! Interacting with people who love romance novels if one of the best parts of being an author, so if you ever want to catch me on social media or email to say hi, please do so.
Can you tell us a little about your book? 

Betting the Bad Boy is the third and final book in the Behind the Bar series. But not to fear, each book can be read as a standalone so feel free to jump in with whichever book takes your fancy! The series revolves around three sexy men who run a bar and restaurant in the funky suburb of South Melbourne, Australia.



Blurb:
Self-confessed perfectionist Paige Thomas isn’t used to failing. But when a critical error in romantic judgment sends all her big city career dreams crashing down, she scrambles to find a job—any job—to make ends meet.

Noah Reid may as well have “trust issues” tattooed on his forehead. Being raised in the foster system didn’t give him a positive outlook on relationships, but now he’s looking after his best friend’s bar for one month, and he can’t do it alone.

Things get steamy when Noah hires Paige, but she’s determined not to repeat her mistakes and she bets Noah that she can keep her hands to herself while they’re working together. Too bad for her, Noah is an expert at breaking the rules…

For an excerpt, reviews and buy links visit Stefanie's website 
http://stefanie-london.com/books/betting-the-bad-boy/


Thanks for joining us at Romancing the Genres, Stefanie!



Lauren James is a country girl at heart. Raised on a small property surrounded by animals, it's no surprise she writes small town romance with lots of love for creatures great and small.

Having failed fabulously at painting, sewing and playing guitar, she finally found her creative outlet in writing strong, quirky heroines, and tough, handsome heroes with gooey animal-loving centers.

Lauren lives on the outskirts of Melbourne, Australia, with her beloved rescue greyhound, Daisy.

You can contact Lauren via her websiteFacebook or Twitter.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Reinvention or Invention? (a game of Warmer-Cooler)

by M. L. Buchman

I remember a game in a personal growth workshop that I took ages ago. There's a simple kid's game called "Warmer-Cooler." For those of you who missed it, one kid is blindfolded. They take a step and the target answers with warmer or cooler depending on if you are moving toward or away from them. Eventually, the blindfolded kid reaches the target by following the general trends of "warmer" and avoiding the "cooler" directions. (Does this mean we were all uncool as kids? Hmm...)

At the workshop, the instructor reminded us of this game, then he stepped onto the floor. Warmer, cooler, warmer...a big jump in the wrong direction earned him a "cold!" And then he simply stood still and waited. And waited. And waited. No movement by the instructor equaled no response of the target.

Well, that was a huge lesson for me in a Duh! sort of way. If you don't take action (and listen), you don't move forward. I had never stopped moving, I was still too young and excited by possibilities. Since then I've done it with intent and attention.

A second story. My Dad got out of college, looked at the world, and decided that it sucked. His comment, "I gave up introspection at twenty-five as a waste of time." He was very successful at this career, and as far as my sister and I could tell, happy for none of it. He'd stopped trying. He saw the track ahead and followed it relentlessly without any thought to, well, anything.

I spent thirty years as a corporate project manager. I built computer systems, changed policies, and made office operations more efficient. I saved corporations thousands and occasionally millions. I was hard on that track to success. 

But I was also always looking for what was interesting. I think I was more excited about the challenges of each of my jobs than my father was for his at almost any time.

Warmer. Cooler.

Here's where the writing comes in.

There I was in full corporate mode...well, sorta. I'd burned out badly and was taking a break, but I knew I'd go back to corporate--as I eventually did. However, I also decided to write a story. A silly story. One that turned into my first novel and eventually my first novel sale.

http://www.mlbuchman.com/deities-anonymous/
A fantasy novel made perfect sense to me. I loved science fiction and fantasy. There'd been decades where I wrote nothing else. My next big book was a massive science fiction epic (still one of my personal favorites even if it is early writing).
http://www.mlbuchman.com/books/nara-reaction/
That was the path of my reinventing my project manager self as a writer. But I was a long, long way from making this into a career. I moved a major step closer when I decided to plunge in and try my hand at writing romance.

I hadn't known about romances growing up; I was an SF/F geek after all. Then I was dragged to my first ever romance conference at about the same time as the initial release of Cookbook From Hell. I read my first romances during the nights...rather than sleeping. Totally hooked! Though it would be another ten years before I felt I'd read enough of them to try my own hand at them.
http://www.mlbuchman.com/where-dreams/

The Where Dreams series was the result. Five romances set in the heart of Seattle's Pike Place Market. (BTW, this title is currently on a rare $0.99 sale to celebrate all new covers for the series if you want to try it out.)

From there I launched into the military romantic suspense series that I'm now known for: The Night Stalkers, Firehawks, and Delta Force.

I'm a corporate project manager...except I'm not anymore. I'm a full-time writer.

I'm an SF/F writer, except I'm not anymore. I now have series in: SF/F, contemporary romance (3), military romantic suspense (3), and even thrillers.

By not buying into anyone's view of myself other than my own, I have avoided stagnating to others' stereotypes. By not buying into my own view of myself, I grow and evolve as a writer. (You've all read those writers who stop growing? The ones you stopped reading because they just weren't fun anymore? Well, guess what, they weren't having fun either...and it shows.)

I finally decided that I haven't reinvented myself. Instead, I've never stopped inventing myself. I just read an interview with Nicole Kidman: I Still Act Like I'm 21. Is it any wonder that she has four separate films up for awards at the Cannes festival?

I want to always write like I'm 21. Unafraid, seeking to always be better than I was yesterday. Taking risks. Because guess what?

Every single time I take a risk, I get a response: Warmer / Cooler. 

I'm getting warmer all the time.

M.L. Buchman started the first of, what is now over 50 novels and as many short stories, while flying from South Korea to ride his bicycle across the Australian Outback. Part of a solo around the world trip that ultimately launched his writing career.

All three of his military romantic suspense series—The Night Stalkers, Firehawks, and Delta Force—have had a title named “Top 10 Romance of the Year” by the American Library Association’s Booklist. NPR and Barnes & Noble have named other titles “Top 5 Romance of the Year.” In 2016 he was a finalist for Romance Writers of America prestigious RITA award. He also writes: contemporary romance, thrillers, and fantasy.


Past lives include: years as a project manager, rebuilding and single-handing a fifty-foot sailboat, both flying and jumping out of airplanes, and he has designed and built two houses. He is now making his living as a full-time writer on the Oregon Coast with his beloved wife and is constantly amazed at what you can do with a degree in Geophysics. You may keep up with his writing and receive a free starter e-library by subscribing to his newsletter at: www.mlbuchman.com

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Embracing My Inner Free-Range Chicken



Hi, I'm Sarah Raplee, author of the Pychic Agents Series
(romantic suspense). 

WHAT A LIFE!!!
Although I have yet to be eligible for Medicare or Social Security, I do qualify for the “Honored Citizens” menu at Shari’s Restaurants. Recently, I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m no longer a “spring chicken”, as my grandmas used to say. 

I like to think I’m evolving to become more like the pet free-range hen that will never lay another egg, but who digs grubs like nobody’s business. Her antics keep her city-transplant family so entertained that they forgive her when she doesn’t always come when called.

Instead, they stumble around in the dark with flashlights, call fruitlessly and forge through the row of ancient arbor vitae standing tall above the fence line. There they find her roosting on a wooden fence rail. She greets them with a purring chuckle that elicits a fond shake of the head.  “Silly old chicken! What have you been up to?”
WHY DID THE CHICKEN CROSS THE ROAD?
TO GET OUT OF THE SNOW!

Delighted to have another country life story to tell their city friends, they carry her back to the safety of the hen house and give her a handful of meal worms (aka “chicken treats”) to boot.

That’s my rambling fantasy of me reinventing myself as an elderly person. I’m holding onto it, beak and claw! ~ Sarah Raplee


A tenacious FBI Psychic Agent who can find anything…
A lonely blind woman with a dangerous kiss…
A brutal psychic criminal obsessed with killing one and controlling the other…

EXCERPT:
Glancing around to make sure no one was watching, the undercover FBI agent poured his champagne into his neighbor’s empty glass. He couldn't take a chance on dulling his thought processes. Being Hector was like wearing an ill-fitting-but-familiar old suit that pinched in a couple of places, but not so badly he couldn’t ignore the discomfort most of the time. But he had to be at the top of his game, one-hundred per cent in character to survive long enough to bring down the Mendoza Cartel.

The murmur of the crowd muted. Casting a glance over his shoulder, Hector spotted Killingsworth staring through the open French doors beside the musician’s dais like a lion spotting a threat—or prey. The back of the agent’s neck prickled.

Turning his head for a better look, he made out a shadowy female figure wearing a long gown. Why was Killingsworth so interested in her?

A swirl of iridescent fabric the color of sagebrush in springtime accompanied a dainty, green-slippered foot into the soft circle of light spilling from the ballroom. Conversation near the doorway hushed. Every male in the room homed in on the woman who left the shadows, a woman like no other the agent had encountered in the underworld of the Cartel.

Coppery curls spilled over the curve of one shoulder in a long, loose ponytail. Rhinestones shimmered in her burnished hair and winked from the frames of her mysterious dark glasses. Her demure, floor-length gown failed to curb the sweet, girl-next-door sexiness she exuded.

For the first time in four years, desire unfolded in the agent’s belly.

In the world of the Cartel, women survived and sometimes thrived using a combination of cold cunning and artifice. They grew cynical and hard, or worn-down and resigned. Yet everything about this woman sang the siren song of wholesome, soul-deep beauty. Even the warm, humid air smelled fresher with her in the room.

She hesitated, brushing back an errant curl with a small hand covered in sage-green lace to match her gown. Her wide mouth curved in a tremulous smile.

One of the blue-suited mariachis descended the dais steps and spoke softly to her. She nodded. Tucking one of her hands into the crook of his arm he led her to the little stage. He murmured something into her ear and she smiled. They ascended the three steps and crossed to the middle of the raised stage. The mariachi guided her gloved hand to a microphone stand.

Hector’s heart bucked like a wild burro. ¡Carajo! The woman was blind.



Monday, May 22, 2017

Holy Mother's Day, Batman!

By Courtney Pierce

This year marked fifty-eight years of Mother’s Days for me. Fifty-seven of them have been celebrated for my mother, a central figure of my latest trilogy: The Executrix, Indigo Lake, and the final soon-to-be released installment, Indigo Legacy. Of course I don’t use her real name―and thankfully she is still with us―although she did give me permission to kill her off in the first ten pages. Mom laughed about it, knowing her spirit would hijack all three books. She looms over her three daughters as the unseen main character, guiding and controlling their every move through DNA. .

My mother. The woman who guided my life makes me want to give back to her ten-fold. I’ve always been a giver kind of gal, not one who receives easily. Mom loves a lily plant at Easter, gifts for no reason, and heartfelt cards on holidays . . . like Mother’s Day. Her garden releases a stream of trivia and wisdom as we pick vegetables. Mom still calls me at 5:05 a.m. on my birthday, the exact time I was born.

There is one thing, though, I’ve never presented to her: Mom always wanted a granddaughter. Instead, I gave her my independence.

But this year, May 14th held something new, a first in my life. The day heralded my very own Mother’s Day. Even before the June wedding, I have an eleven-year-old stepdaughter. How can I even put into prose what it feels like for this budding girl to crawl into bed with me, set her head on my chest, and wrap her arms around me. My throat tightens. I swallow hard in an attempt to keep my voice even as we talk about nothing. All those words I said to my own mother boomerang back to me ―like I know only now how much they were understood.

When I delivered my soon-to-be stepdaughter to school with a boatload of birthday cupcakes for her class, her friends hovered around me like an exotic animal on display at the zoo. Curious. Lots of warm smiles. Wonderment filled their eyes at what it would be like to have a new mother. (Apparently, I’d been the real-life subject of dinner talk in homes not my own. The fiancĂ©.) Can I tell you I felt more like Mary Poppins? What would they have done if I’d pulled a coat rack from purse?

My first Mother's Day present
Being introduced as “this is my new Stepmom” makes me whip my head around to see who she’s talking about. Then the wake of her words echoes in my head and taps me on the shoulder to say, “Yeah, you, dummy. She means you.” The realization fills me with trepidation for the enormous responsibility. So fragile is the psyche of a young girl, but she needs to know she’s not the boss. Discipline is necessary to turn a girl into a lady. The difference between being happy or alone for the rest of her life will be to think outside herself―beyond Music.lys, Instagram, and Selfies on her phone.

My husband-to-be has placed his trust in me to be an associate moral guide, to help him teach his daughter manners and refinement, parental respect, and to eat healthy. I will be his partner-in-love, with principled fiber to germinate her future independence. That’s a big deal. I don’t make light of what lies ahead. But as I always do with serious subjects, I dig to find the humor. Pre-pubescence shouts my new daughter's eminent transformation like a guttural war cry in Braveheart. Her bedroom floor is littered with sports bras that hold only padding. My missing lipstick is magically found in the back seat of the car, post-raid of my bathroom. And my favorite cotton top is marked by an empty hanger. Who could have predicted I’d be buying zit cream after decades of being zit-free.

The man of my dreams is thrilled to not have to deal with the embarrassing questions, ones that only seasoned, battle-worn women know the answers to. The relief in his expression is priceless when the bathroom door closes behind me.

“We’ll be out in a minute,” I say and stick out my tongue.

A faint chuckle decorates the air in the kitchen, punctuated by the pop of a cork. “Take your time,” he says. “I’ll pour you a glass of wine.”

Mother’s Day, 2017. The next day, May 15th, was my birthday. When the phone rang at 5:05 a.m., my Mom and I had a very different conversation.

Photo: Loma Smith
Courtney Pierce is a fiction writer living in Milwaukie, Oregon, with her new family. She writes for baby boomers. By day, Courtney is an executive in the entertainment industry and uses her time in a theater seat to create stories that are filled with heart, humor and mystery. She has studied craft and storytelling at the Attic Institute and has completed the Hawthorne Fellows Program for writing and publishing. Active in the writing community, she is a board member of the Northwest Independent Writers Association and on the Advisory Council of the Independent Publishing Resource Center. She is a member of Willamette Writers Pacific Northwest Writers Association, and She Writes. The Executrix received the Library Journal Self-E recommendation seal. 

Check out all of Courtney's books at:
courtney-pierce.com and windtreepress.com. Both print and E-books are available through most major online retailers, including Amazon.com
 

The Dushane Sisters are back in Indigo LakeMore laughs, more tears...and more trouble. Protecting Mom's reputation might get the sisters killed―or give one of them the story she's been dying to live.

New York Times best-selling author Karen Karbo says, "Courtney Pierce spins a madcap tale of family grudges, sisterly love, unexpected romance, mysterious mobsters and dog love. Reading Indigo Lake is like drinking champagne with a chaser of Mountain Dew. Pure Delight."

Colorful characters come alive in Courtney's trilogy about the Dushane sisters. Beginning with The Executrixthree middle-age sisters find a manuscript for a murder mystery in their mother's safe after her death. Mom’s book gives them a whole new view of their mother and their future. Is it fiction . . . or truth? 

Get out the popcorn as the Dushane Sisters Trilogy comes to a scrumptious conclusion with Indigo Legacy. Due out in summer, 2017.


Saturday, May 20, 2017

Catching up with Deanne Wilsted

If life is a journey, then the Genre-istas can certainly celebrate having enjoyed every mile along the way. Thank you so much to the crew for having me back to help celebrate this Sixth Blog-O-Versary! I am so proud to be counted among the amazing group of writers that have helped contribute to the blog’s success. 

To help celebrate the success of Romancing the Genres, I’m offering all of my Kindle books for just $.99 on Amazon for a short time from May  22nd. You can find them here: amazon.com/author/deannewilsted

Throughout the ups and downs of parenting, moving, and publishing, my characters have continued to inspire my writing and driven me to get their stories out there. 

I completed and published my third novel, Molto Mayhem, set entirely in Italy. It has received great 4 and 5 Star reviews on Amazon… especially for my descriptions of Italy. Part Letters to Juliet, part Notting Hill, Molto Mayhem captures the reader's heart with quirky characters and delicious descriptions of food and setting. I tried to treat perceptions of grief, religion, and Italy in the book with my usual trademarks of humor and honesty. 

After receiving my rights back from my publisher for my second novel, Untangling the Knot, I have redesigned the cover and re-published so people can continue to find this sweet romantic story about Gabriella the church wedding coordinator who unintentionally gets all the plans wrong due to her growing attraction to the groom and his kids. In particular readers have really resonated with my depiction of the kids and the church priest in the story. And I wanted to make sure the novel would continue to be available (with some edits, but otherwise unchanged) along with my first novel, Betting Jessica, and my newer one, Molto Mayhem. 

Finally, my creative brain is back in gear with the start of a new novel set in England. It is a mother daughter journey this time…. With a little romance thrown in. The conflict? Mother wants to visit Jane Austen tourist sites, while her daughter is only interested in Harry Potter. Can commercial and literary fiction co-exist for this mother daughter duo? Or are the two genres, and the two characters’ personalities, perhaps not as far apart as they might imagine? 


I’m writing my own journey as I go along but love to share it with fellow travelers. 

You can drop me a note at dwilstedauthor@outlook.com or follow along on my journeys inspired by love at 



Friday, May 19, 2017

Celebrating Marvellous May! #giveaway #scifi #romance

Hi, I'm Pippa Jay, author of SciFi and supernatural stories to engage your emotions.

May has always been a favourite month of mine. Spring is well and truly in and moving toward summer, and it marks two special anniversaries for me as well as Romancing the Genre's Blog-o-versary.
Me with hubs and his
parents on a bright but
windy wedding day!
The first is my marriage, reaching twenty four years as of the 8th. The 7th marks my anniversary as an author. This year is extra special because it's my debut novel's fifth anniversary and mine as a published author.
Original cover,
five years ago
The current cover

















It feels like a long time, especially when publishing has changed so much in that five years. I couldn't have imagined where I would be back then, now with 12 titles available but my original series still incomplete, and my publishing life currently stuck in limbo as poor sales and real life demands conflict with my compulsion to keep writing regardless of my situation. I don't regret any of it, but things have never gone quite as I might have expected. But that's not a bad thing.
To celebrate my fifth anniversary I'm running a special giveaway for a pair of custom-made crocheted dragonscale gloves in Keir blue, created by Hoot and Luna. This is open internationally but PLEASE BE AWARE - any import/shipping taxes will be the responsibility of the recipient as these cannot be paid in advance by the sender.
And if you'd like to sample some SciFi romances for free, there are 26 titles to choose from HERE.

Enjoy!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Reinventing vs Realigning


“Don’t reinvent the wheel, just realign it.” Anthony J. D’Angelo

I had deemed the year 2016 as the year of my reinvention. I had motivation signs – dream big, it’s never too, etc. I had received most of the right back for the books I had published (for various reasons) so I needed to do something if I was going to continue to be a published author.

So I hung the signs, made plans, did some market research and braced myself. This was it, I would be an author first. The time was prefect. The kids grown on their own. Rumors were the crazy day job was being phased out.

Like Anthony J. D’Angelo said, I basically just had to realign my wheel. I had completed novels to submit, novels that could be self-published. Author life it was.

2016 did turn out to a big year of reinvention…but little had to do with my writing. Life through a curve ball so instead of embarking on the path of author life, I found myself gaining custody of my four-year-old grandson and reinventing myself as a parent.

Now it’s May 2017 and I’m still trying to reinvent myself as an author….and well how to keep up with a very high energy five-year-old. The publishing world seems to change as often as my grandson’s favorite toy.

The key thing I forgot to incorporate in my grand scheme to reinvent myself as super author is that my wheel is turned by more than writing….I still had to be a wife, a grandmother (who became the sole parent), and mother to grown children who would still have hiccups.

So as I move through the remainder of 2017 instead of reinventing myself, I’m trying to realign myself so that writing has the focus and time it needs to move from ‘hobby’ to ‘career.’

2017 – the year of realignment!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

This Day in History: May 16



I am fascinated by the tidbits gleaned from historic newspapers. Whether that's because I'm always on the lookout for story ideas (I write Victorian-era Sweet Romance, set in the American West), or because I'm fascinated by history, I can't say. Probably  both.

Let's take a look at May 16, 1881. Only 136 years ago today. Specifically, in the frontier city of Atchison, Kansas. The Monday edition of Atchison Daily Patriot of Atchison, Kansas, issued (Monday) May 16, 1881 shows two sides of an ongoing debate--despite the legislation.
 

Atchison Daily Patriot of Atchison, Kansas on May 16, 1881.
Wet vs. Dry. 

The above snip of the newspaper says the prohibition law has been in complete operation for three months.


Prohibition in the early 1900s is the stuff of legends. Everybody knows about speakeasies, bootleggers, and the like. Did you know the temperance movement was all the rage in the early 1880s?

Atchison Daily Patriot of Atchison, Kansas on May 16, 1881.

We all know the category of citizen with whom beer and whisky had fallen out of favor--and the citizenry with whom such beverages were very much desired. Doesn't take a PhD in sociology or history to understand that.

 

Atchison Daily Patriot of Atchison, Kansas on May 16, 1881.



Atchison Daily Patriot of Atchison, Kansas on May 16, 1881.
Atchison Daily Patriot of Atchsion, Kansas on May 16, 1881.
But as an amateur historian who writes novels set in the historic American West, getting the details right MATTERS.

I heavily research details of my novels...and I'm getting better at this. My earliest books weren't as thoroughly researched, but like playing the piano, we get better at things we keep working at, right?

If I were to set a story in Atchison (North-Eastern corner of the state of Kansas), in 1881, I'd make sure much of the conflict in the story arose between those who wanted liquor and alcohol to remain available and those who didn't.


Because the ONLY person who didn't know about the prohibition efforts might be the ONE man in history who ended up in the paper...a man in 1881.
Atchison Daily Patriot of Atchison, Kansas on May 16, 1881.
 
Where is Atchison, Kansas? Courtesy of Wikipedia.


Why? Why does it matter?

This same issue of the historic city newspaper tells far more of the story than a simple "success" of prohibition laws.


I'd have to research far more to understand what prohibition law was in place, and why some businesses were able to sell wine, liquor, and beer--apparently with full appreciation by the populace and in the good graces of the law. Because if I didn't, sure as shootin', one of my readers would, and they'd call me on it.




Atchison Daily Patriot of Atchison, Kansas on May 16, 1881.
Atchison Daily Patriot of Atchison, Kansas on May 16, 1881.



Readers are savvy. They come from all walks of life--some hold PhDs (and yes, they read romance!), some LIVE in the historic city of Atchison, Kansas. Some are amateur historians and for one reason or another know a great deal about the social issues of the day.

An even better reason? I never have to wonder what to write about. Story ideas leap into place when I study primary sources (such as vintage newspapers), understanding that merely because something is in print does not guarantee it's a fact--lies are easy to print). Vintage newspapers, books published in the era, public addresses, everything along those lines are a treasure trove for authors of historical fiction. A bonus: readers appreciate historical accuracy.
 

Atchison Daily Patriot of Atchison, Kansas on May 16, 1881.



Atchison Daily Patriot of Atchison, Kansas on May 16, 1881.
As referenced in the following notice about cases brought before the judge, public intoxication was still against the law, though alcoholic beverages could be purchased in town...despite the prohibition laws.

Atchison Daily Patriot of Atchison, Kansas on May 16, 1881.


Another fun tidbit about Atchison, entirely unrelated to the 1881 published differences in alcoholic tolerance: Atchison is purportedly the most haunted city in Kansas. Now that could be fun to write about.

 Related Articles:
http://www.kristinholt.com/archives/9217

http://www.kristinholt.com/archives/11915
This Post will be live in a few days--on May 21, 2017 and thereafter.

www.KristinHolt.com

Hi! I'm Kristin Holt, USA Today Bestselling Author.
I write frequent articles (or view recent posts easily on my Home Page, scroll down) about the nineteenth century American West–every subject of possible interest to readers, amateur historians, authors…as all of these tidbits surfaced while researching for my books. I also blog monthly at Sweet Romance Reads, Sweet Americana Sweethearts, and Romancing the Genres.

I love to hear from readers! Please drop me a note. Or find me on Facebook.


 

Copyright © 2017 Kristin Holt LC