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Historical Fiction

Writing My First Novel

Historical Fiction Page - Wagon“What an intriguing story.  You should write a book about it.”  This was the common response from friends and acquaintances as I related my discoveries of my paternal grandparent’s story.  I had done genealogical research at the National Archives in Washington, more than twenty five years ago to explore the mystery of my grandfather. Although I heard the encouragement to write about it again through the ensuing years, I was focused on my career and other professional projects.

Historical Fiction Page - Ellen ScottAs I approached my seventieth birthday, I began to reflect more on what goals and aspirations I had not yet pursued.  At the top of my “bucket list” was writing my family story. I had uncovered some juicy tidbits and family secrets, but most of the context, background and character motivations were unknown. I determined that it needed to be fiction, using the facts of my grandparent’s lives as a framework.

I took a long road trip through New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska and Wyoming to visit the significant locations of my grandparent’s story.  It was quite an odyssey, searching for my grandfather’s grave, visiting museums, discovering the surprising fact that they probably lived in a dugout (a shelter dug out of the ground often where lumber was scarce), finding resources in libraries and chancing on a book compiled by a distant relative about the family in a small historical museum in Nebraska.

Historical Fiction Page - Scott GravesiteI absorbed the image and feel of the landscape and the survival challenges of homesteading in the late nineteenth century. But I didn’t discover any information to close the gaps of my story.  It would still need to be a fictionalized version.

I put the story outline together, described the characters and researched more history of the time. I wrote drafts and re-wrote drafts. I solicited feedback and had the book professionally edited.  I asked for input on the title choices and the cover design.  I learned about self-publishing.  I loved the creativity and all the learning opportunities I have had.  Now, Sarah’s Secret: A Western Tale of Betrayal and Forgiveness is published.  How exciting it has been to launch this book into the world.

“Sarah’s Secret: A Western Tale of Betrayal and Forgiveness” now available! Amazon or Your Local Independent Bookstore.

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