Monday, April 22, 2019


Post by Doris McCraw
writing as Angela Raines

The story's done. All the research you did can be put away. But how many really ever do that? For me research is never ending. Even tonight as I sat at the dinner table with friends, the subject of research and writing came up. I shared some of my favorite sites for finding information. I thought for this post I would share a few with you.

Photo property of the author
How many have used stories found on Ancestry to add to your story? When I was researching the paper on 'Joe Ward', I found he had used different names over time. Of course, in searching the areas he lived in, I found a plethora of information. The state of Missouri has digitized the histories of the counties, written by historians who lived there. For those who would like to see what they have to offer for Vernon County here is a link: Vernon County Missouri

Then of course there is Google Books: Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, Wyoming and Arizona Business Directory 1884
Library of Congress: Dance instruction manuals from 1490-1920
National Archives: Main Research Page

Of course, I also use my local library's special collections section; which include magazines and books which focus on Colorado and the Pikes Peak Region. This includes the various digitized newspapers, from Colorado Historic Newspapers, Pikes Peak Newsfinder, 19th Century Newspapers and Newspaper Archives. There is nothing like finding those little tidbits that add to the authenticity and joy to a story.

Arkansas River, Canon City, Colorado
Photo property of the author
In "The Outlaw's Letter", my heroine is traveling back to Colorado Springs to take in a horse and goat show. Yes, there really was a show that was advertised during the time she would have been in the area. It is those little gems I love including to add color.

"The Outlaw's Letter" has more specific historic information than most of my previous works. Those tidbits made writing the story so much fun.

How do you use research in your stories? I would love to know.

Below is a short excerpt from the above mentioned book:

Grant rode toward Canon City, the town he tried to avoid. He would just deal with whatever happened there. Hetty was more important.
An hour later, he came to a small cabin. "Hello the house?" Even when he called out, Hetty didn't respond. She was dead weight in his arms. If it weren't for the rise and fall of her chest, he'd have sworn she was dead.
A middle aged-looking woman came to the door. "What can I…" She began, then seeing Hetty she hurried forward. "What happened?"
"She fell from her horse and hit her head. She's still breathing, but…" Grant stopped, he didn't want to continue, didn't want to think what might happen. Taking a deep breath, Grant continued, "If I could leave her here while I go for a doctor?"
"Who is she?"
"My wife."
The woman nodded, heading to the door of the cabin. "Come on in. I'll have my boy go for the doctor, it'll be quicker."
Grant tried dismounting while he still held Hetty. He didn't want to let her go.
"Let me help. Know you want to hold on to her, but if you drop her..." the woman insisted.
Grant finally accepted the woman's help, but the minute his feet hit the ground he took Hetty back into his arms.
Purchase Here

Doris Gardner-McCraw -
Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in
Colorado and Women's History
Angela Raines - author: Where Love & History Meet
For a list of Angela Raines Books: Here 
Angela Raines FaceBook: Click Here


  1. I finished this book last night. I think it is your best book so far. I loved reading about some of the towns I visited while in Colorado seeing family.

    1. Thank you for the kind words about the story. I loved these two and telling their story and the story of Colorado. I'm also thrilled you could make the connection to the places you'd visited. Doris

  2. Doris, I love researching almost more than writing. You are right, it's fun to include historical tidbits in our stories.

    1. It is, isn't it, Lyn? I'm like you, give me research and the time to do it. I could spend hours traveling down those rabbit holes. And the addition to stories, priceless. Doris

  3. Research is more fun than actually writing. ;-) But writing is pretty okay, too. lol

    1. I agree Kaye. Like my friend at the library told me, "What's the good of all your work if you don't share it." I've not stopped sharing it since. LOL Doris

  4. Doris,
    I often get lost in the "plethora of information" as I research and love it! I often wind up with oodles more than I can use,stored in my book bible... like many other writers.

    1. Isn't it wonderful, Arletta? I love having more than I can use for the book. Sometimes it ends up in new works or on blogs like this one. LOL Thank you for stopping by and interacting with me. Doris


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