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“I like how the author wove the stories from the
present and the past in such a way as to appeal to
someone interested in ...
DISCLAIMER
This is a work of fiction. Any
references to real
people, events, institutions, or
locales are intended solely ...
You have to do your homework
first if you want to be
historically accurate.
And even if I have change a
few things so the ...
One reviewer described the series as “unique, a cross
between Back to the Future and Touched by an Angel.”
Abby’s weird co...
She can see, hear, and know
everything about the people she sees,
even know that they’re thinking—sort
of like reading a g...
Every Hill and Mountain Is Set in
Equality’s “Old Slave House”
Abby agrees to use the program to help her friend Kate find...
Some of my research topics in EHM. . .
Equality. History. stores and businesses.
The salt festival. The Red Onion Restaura...
Abolitionists, the Underground Railroad
--Its routes, conductors, logistics, fines, risks
Slave accounts of life and escap...
Time and Again is set in Miles
Station, Brighton, and Alton.
Woodburn, Illinois
Growing up in an old house. . .
Glimpses of the past
whetted my curiosity.
Miles Station, Illinois
Col. Jonathan Miles
Col. Jonathan Miles
• Born in Kentucky 1820
• Settled in Brighton Township with his
parents in 1832
• Married Eliza Stratt...
Col. Jonathan Miles
Built the first steam grain mill in Brighton
Township. You couldn’t make bread, that staple
of life, w...
Col. Jonathan Miles
Miles was instrumental in getting the
Chicago & Alton Railway through—and
through Miles Station.
Later...
The Lincoln/Douglas Debate
Alton, October 16, 1858
The second book of the trilogy
was released September 2012. It is
set in Wood River and Alton in
Madison County.
Shake Rag Corner today
This time, the featured heroes are
Lewis and Clark.
What was Illinois like in 1803?
Were there people there?
What was their camp like?
What did they do all that winter?
Who w...
“Thick timber and wild rivers
restricted any kind of movement in
southernmost Illinois.… To travel
from Vincennes on the W...
For a century and a half after their
arrival at Wood River no one knew much
about Camp River Dubois.
Then in 1953 Clark’s ...
According to the 1800 census, about 2500
people resided in what is now Illinois:
719 at Cahokia,
467 at Kaskaskia
212 at P...
When Captain Clark discovered that four of
the men assigned to the hunting party—a
constant chore to keep the men in meat ...
Lewis and Clark weren’t the only ones to
write journals.
President Jefferson encouraged all the men
to write so there woul...
Camp River Dubois
April the 8th 1804
Honored Parence,
I now embrace this opportunity of writing to
you once more to let yo...
This place is on the Mississippi River opposite to
the Mouth of the Missouri River and we are to
Start in ten days up the ...
and if I should not live to return my heirs
can get that and all the pay Due me from
the U.S. by applying to the Seat of
G...
Three Historical “Loopholes”
1. There were approximately 50, but “Even
after assembling all the military records and
journ...
Let me know how I did at
weaving history into fiction.
If you read and like the trilogy, I’d
really appreciate it it if yo...
The trilogy is available at
Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com
in paper or e-book format.
Thanks!
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Writing Historical Fiction: Ability to Weave Recommended

I explain the research behind my historical young adult trilogy, Time and Again, Unclaimed Legacy, and Every Hill and Mountain. Only after doing the research homework are writers able to smoothly weave facts into fiction ("faction?") so that readers can suspend disbelief and enjoy the story.

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Writing Historical Fiction: Ability to Weave Recommended

  1. 1. “I like how the author wove the stories from the present and the past in such a way as to appeal to someone interested in history, yet firmly living in the technological world of today.” --Amazon reviewer To this reviewer and others who said similar things, I say thank you very much. I do try to be a good weaver.
  2. 2. DISCLAIMER This is a work of fiction. Any references to real people, events, institutions, or locales are intended solely to give a sense of authenticity. While every effort was made to be historically accurate, it should be remembered that these references are used fictionally.
  3. 3. You have to do your homework first if you want to be historically accurate. And even if I have change a few things so the plot will work, I try to be true to the logic of the time period and location.
  4. 4. One reviewer described the series as “unique, a cross between Back to the Future and Touched by an Angel.” Abby’s weird computer program lets her fast-forward and rewind life. Not her own, of course, but those of the people who used to live in old houses.
  5. 5. She can see, hear, and know everything about the people she sees, even know that they’re thinking—sort of like reading a good book—but no one knows she’s there. “I call it time- surfing,” Abby explained. “It’s like being there only better.” Visiting another century. . .not the summer vacation she had planned.
  6. 6. Every Hill and Mountain Is Set in Equality’s “Old Slave House” Abby agrees to use the program to help her friend Kate find her ancestor Ned Greenfield, born at a place called Hickory Hill in tiny Equality, Illinois. The mansion, built in 1834 with blood-tainted money from the Half Moon Salt Mine, stands in lonely isolation on Hickory Hill. They “time-surf” on the third floor and find information almost too much to bear.
  7. 7. Some of my research topics in EHM. . . Equality. History. stores and businesses. The salt festival. The Red Onion Restaurant. Its menu. Half Moon Salt Mine. The national salines. Salt making. Thomas Jefferson’s connection to Equality. Ninian Edwards and other early Illinois politicians John Crenshaw. His mansion. Its date and structure. Abraham Lincoln’s visit to Equality. --the party at the Crenshaw mansion. Illinois state constitution and the black laws Shawneetown. History, courthouse, the slave registry Conditions in southern Illinois for Blacks —free, “indentured,” and enslaved. Outright slavery in the free state of Illinois Slave labor at the salt mines Slave dialect, grammar rules
  8. 8. Abolitionists, the Underground Railroad --Its routes, conductors, logistics, fines, risks Slave accounts of life and escape --Frederick Douglas, Booker T. Washington, etc. The “Perverse Underground Railroad. John Crenshaw’s kidnapping activities and trial Slave breeding programs. Bob Wilson The Goshen Trail and other early roads Churches and their denominational stances on slavery Hymns that might have been sung. Sermons Martin Luther King’s Dream Speech Minerals in the southern Illinois region Coal mining and its effect, methods, hype “Passing” how and why Chicago geography. Street names The Trump Tower. “Sixteen” D. L. Moody. His church and work
  9. 9. Time and Again is set in Miles Station, Brighton, and Alton.
  10. 10. Woodburn, Illinois Growing up in an old house. . .
  11. 11. Glimpses of the past whetted my curiosity.
  12. 12. Miles Station, Illinois Col. Jonathan Miles
  13. 13. Col. Jonathan Miles • Born in Kentucky 1820 • Settled in Brighton Township with his parents in 1832 • Married Eliza Stratton, also from Kentucky • Had three children, including a daughter named Charlotte • Organized a company of soldiers from the area, the Twenty-Seventh Illinois Cavalry • Had a brilliant career in the Union Army, being promoted to the rank of colonel in 1862.
  14. 14. Col. Jonathan Miles Built the first steam grain mill in Brighton Township. You couldn’t make bread, that staple of life, without a mill. Settlers road by horseback for a week to get to the nearest mill until Miles built his.
  15. 15. Col. Jonathan Miles Miles was instrumental in getting the Chicago & Alton Railway through—and through Miles Station. Later, Lincoln represented Miles in a suit against the railroad. Lincoln visited Miles Station on several occasions to discuss the case.
  16. 16. The Lincoln/Douglas Debate Alton, October 16, 1858
  17. 17. The second book of the trilogy was released September 2012. It is set in Wood River and Alton in Madison County.
  18. 18. Shake Rag Corner today
  19. 19. This time, the featured heroes are Lewis and Clark.
  20. 20. What was Illinois like in 1803? Were there people there? What was their camp like? What did they do all that winter? Who were the men of the expedition and where did they come from? Time for more research!
  21. 21. “Thick timber and wild rivers restricted any kind of movement in southernmost Illinois.… To travel from Vincennes on the Wabash River to Kaskaskia on the Mississippi River required more than 40 hours on horseback through forests and over prairies covered in summer with thick grasses 10-12 feet high…” John Reynolds, a distinguished citizen of Illinois, who served in Congress and as governor recalled that it had taken his family four weeks to travel 110 miles from Fort Massac to Kaskaskia in 1800. –Robert Hartley
  22. 22. For a century and a half after their arrival at Wood River no one knew much about Camp River Dubois. Then in 1953 Clark’s field notes, taken during that time were discovered in a Minnesota attic and published. And now we have glimpses into their time in Illinois. Within the scraps of Clark’s notes, a word here or there, maddening in their lack of detail are some of the facts I wanted to know:
  23. 23. According to the 1800 census, about 2500 people resided in what is now Illinois: 719 at Cahokia, 467 at Kaskaskia 212 at Prairie du Rocher 250 along the southern border of St. Clair County 334 in scattered parts of Monroe County 90 at Fort Massac 100 in Peoria. There were people nearby. And they came to visit the men that winter from isolated farms in the area, the group of Indians camping just upriver, and from the Goshen settlement near Collinsville. Whitesides, probably some from Goshen and others from Whiteside Station, showed up periodically at winter camp. From Clark’s notes, we know of visits on January 2, January 4 and January 31.
  24. 24. When Captain Clark discovered that four of the men assigned to the hunting party—a constant chore to keep the men in meat that long winter—had sneaked away from the hunt, bought whiskey at the local shop, got drunk and commenced to beat each other to a pulp he. . . “Ordered those men who had fought got Drunk & neglected Duty to go and build a hut for a Woman who promises to wash & sow etc.” (from Clark’s field notes January 6, 1804)
  25. 25. Lewis and Clark weren’t the only ones to write journals. President Jefferson encouraged all the men to write so there would be different perspectives of the journey. Sergeant John Ordway, next in command after co-captains, was only one of the men who also wrote a journal.
  26. 26. Camp River Dubois April the 8th 1804 Honored Parence, I now embrace this opportunity of writing to you once more to let you know where I am and where I am going, I am well thank God, and in high Spirits. I am now on an expedition to the westward, with Capt. Lewis and Capt. Clark, who are appointed by the President of the united States to go on an expedition through the interior parts of North America. We are to ascent the Missouri River with a boat as far as it is navigable and then to go by land, to the western ocean, if nothing prevents, &c. This party consists of 25 picked Men of the armey & country likewise and I am So happy as to be one of them pick’d Men from the armey, and I and all the party are, if we live, to Return to Receive our Discharge when ever we return again to the united States.
  27. 27. This place is on the Mississippi River opposite to the Mouth of the Missouri River and we are to Start in ten days up the Missouri River. This has been our winter quarters. We expect to be gone 18 months or two years. We are to Receive a great Reward for this expedition, when we Return. I am to Receive 15 dollars pr. month and at least 400 ackers of first Rate land, and if we make Great Discoveries as we expect, the united States, has promised to make us Great Rewards more than we are promised. For fear of exidants I wish to inform you that I left 200 dollars in cash, at Kaskaskia. Put it on interest with a Substantial man by the name of Charles Smith &c. partnership which were three more Substantial men binding with him and Capt. Clark is bound to See me paid at the time and place where I receive my discharge. . .
  28. 28. and if I should not live to return my heirs can get that and all the pay Due me from the U.S. by applying to the Seat of Government. I have Recd. no letters Since Betseys yet, but will write next winter if I have a chance. yours, Etc. John Ordway Sergt.
  29. 29. Three Historical “Loopholes” 1. There were approximately 50, but “Even after assembling all the military records and journals, and with diligent work of historians, there never has been a precise roster of the full company that traveled from the Illinois country to Fort Mandan.” 2. We don’t actually know how many of them did write journals. “At least six members started journals of the voyage…Others may have kept journals or diaries, but none has been found.” 3. And we don’t know exactly who the washer woman was.
  30. 30. Let me know how I did at weaving history into fiction. If you read and like the trilogy, I’d really appreciate it it if you’d post reviews for them. Authors can never get too many reviews! A few of my sources
  31. 31. The trilogy is available at Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com in paper or e-book format. Thanks!

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