WIPs and New Releases
1) Tell us about your work-in-progress, or WIP, as it’s known in the industry, or your New Release…
Ø What is the story about?
· A refined young widow sets out in search of her fortune during the 1849 Gold Rush. She is determined to be a respectable businesswoman in this rugged man's land. Though unskilled in domestic matters and lacking commerce know-how, she opens a restaurant, battles blackmail, and discovers independence doesn't always mean doing it alone.
Ø Who is the main character?
· Quinn MacCann, twenty-two, recently widowed, and nearly penniless.
2) What inspired this tale?
Ø How did the story come to you?
· I love simple, adorable Mail-Order bride stories, which is what I'd decided to write when this story began. It seems, however, that I can't let loose of my love for accurate, detailed historical novels, so this story quickly gained more depth than originally planned!
· It is Women's Historical Fiction with a romantic flair.
Ø Did you have to research for this novel, and if so, why?
· Oh my, yes! Lots and lots of research, but mostly focused on cooking in the 1840s.
· The East Coast had lots of luxuries the West Coast did not have at that time. It was a big deal to own a cooking stove in the Gold Rush settlements, so having a character determined to open her own restaurant caused many, many hours of research and experimental cooking with a cast iron pot over an open fire. Especially using authentic ingredients only!
Ø If you did research, what do you think surprised you most to learn, and why?
· Stagecoaches! In 1849, most of the country had access to stagecoaches. But in California's gold country, there were none yet. Quinn, the refined young widow, must get from Oregon to a town near Sutter's Creek in California. In the story's beginning, she certainly isn't a rugged woman, so to climb atop a horse, or grab the reins of a worthy wagon, just didn't fit. I had planned to put her on a stagecoach, but research showed that stagecoaches were not in operation until 6-12 months AFTER she was scheduled to arrive. What a surprise! Thank goodness, some in-depth research provided a solution.
3) Do you relate to your character?
Ø Is your protagonist anything like you, personally?
· Maybe a little.
Ø If yes, then how?
· Quinn is a determined woman, so we do have that in common! We are both of Irish descent. We are hard workers. We care about the "underdogs." Most importantly, neither of us will tolerate a bully.
Ø If no, how do you differ from one another?
· I learned to cook at an early age, and I still love to cook! Quinn hasn't learned to boil an egg or cook a pot of beans. She prefers Staffordshire china and a fine table setting, whereas I'm happy eating off paper plates around a campfire.
Ø What made you write this character; what made them important to you or made you want to tell their story?
· I love Pioneer stories, especially about women. They were strong, courageous, and inventive. Many women decided to leave civilized lives in the East when their husband's dream was to go west to the unsettled territories of Oregon or California. That's when I realized I had a story: A woman who rises from poverty to wealth and finds happiness is no match for the woman who falls from wealth into poverty and does the same.
4) Is there anything specific you want readers to know about this piece of work?
· One should never doubt the tenacity of an Irish woman already long mistreated by perhaps the one man she should always be able to trust.
5) When will the novel be available for purchase?
· This novel is almost finished, but needs a bit more polish.
Ø Has the book already been published, or is it available for pre-order?
· No, in fact, it is not ready to submit to a publisher yet. But soon, I promise!