Research sends us down endless trails as we look at how our characters live their daily lives. The year, the season, the location can change things. Will the winter be a hard one or mild?
As I write my diary of Clare Coleman, I’m also dealing with a woman who matures over the years. She started out as a slightly naive and idealist teen and eventually she hardens into a woman who isn’t phased by what the West and life tosses at her.
The mid through late 1800’s is also a time of change with the Civil War, its aftermath, and all the industrial inventions. These things impacted the West. And while fashion raised and lowered bustles, changed changed the hip lines on skirts and the shape of corsets in the East, women in the West didn’t have time for such nonsense. They wore practical fabrics and horrors upon horrors pants(!) because they were practical. They rolled up their sleeves.
But Clare had another influence on her. Indians. Tribal people that she and her husband had befriended. Their ways and customs were different and often shocking. She had to learn to accept the differences.
As Clare experiences and encounters life’s adventures, I must research so that the reader can follow along an accurate path. Timelines, maps, language translation, fashion, recipes and dozens of other things clutter my desk. It’s supposed to be Clare’s life, but it’s become my journey. I can't wait to share it with you.