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What inspires an author who writes historical fiction? There are probably as many answers to that question as there are authors. Ok, so what inspires ME to write romantic historical fiction? Two things, primarily. First, 

Laura Ingalls Wilder books which I read over and over and over again as a child and second, my heritage in growing up in a rural community around parents and grandparents who loved to talk about how things were in their youth. How I wish I could go back and record some of those conversations.

One thing I have vivid memories of was how my dad enjoyed TV westerns when I was growing up. He didn’t watch them a lot, but when he did he hooped and hollered and got so into the show you couldn’t help but be excited with him. In all honesty, I’d have to attribute my love for anything cowboy to my dad, a true cowboy if there ever was one.

I especially remember him enjoying Bonanza and Gunsmoke.

There were others too, like Rawhide, Wagon Train, The Big Valley, and The Rifleman. We kids enjoyed Daniel Boone, Roy Rogers and the Lone Ranger. Now days I could watch those reruns ad nauseam if only I didn’t have to do things like go to work. I especially love watching The Rifleman because I adore the character of Mark McKain, son of the rifle-toting rancher Lucas McKain played by Chuck Conners.

Mark was played by Johnny Crawford and in my opinion he made the show. (Yeah, take or leave Chuck Conners, but Johnny Crawford was the real star!) He actually recorded a song that made it fairly high on Billboard charts in 1962 called Cindy’s Birthday. He probably sang it for me – right?

The shows I’ve mentioned aired mostly in the 1960s and 1970s but their settings were long before that, probably in the late 1800s or early 1900s in most cases. That little fact makes them timeless. We can still watch those reruns today for an enjoyable hour spent in the past. A helpful hint here: the same thing is true with historical fiction – it never gets too old.

So there you have it, my inspiration is my daddy and the romance of the old west. Check out a rerun or maybe one of the current cowboy type dramas. (IMHO – not quite as good as the old ones.) Who doesn’t love Little Joe Cartwright? I think he looks a lot like Rand Stratford. . .


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