Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Dangerous Times in 1918


When I started writing Love On the Range, I didn't know much about the time period. I only knew that the influenza pandemic had started and my heroine needed a safe place to go.

Enter Oregon.
As you can see by the map, the Spanish Flu struck there at a later date. My heroine's parents think if they can get her out of Boston, maybe she won't contract the virus, so they send her to an uncle's house.

As I researched 1918 though, I realized a ton more was happening than just the pandemic. WWI was ending, the Bureau of Investigation was growing more organized and stronger (which prompted a secret agent hero) and the traditional role of women in American culture was rapidly changing.

Recently Romantic Times Reviewer Susan Mobley said about my story, "Nelson takes an exciting look at a time of sorrow, but also hope, in America, with a heroine struggling to respect her upbringing while embracing her independence."

I didn't realize it fully until I read this review, but the early twentieth century really does excite me!

Which era do you find yourself intrigued by? If you could choose a time period to visit, which one would it be?

33 comments:

  1. I have to laugh because the time period of your book does excite me because of the influenza! I have a BS degree in microbiology. You should have seen me when I realized Downton Abbey was not going to skip over the flu pandemic.

    I am intrigued by the Civil War, WWII and those times when people had to rise above themselves. So many unsung heroes who put their lives on the line in the Underground Railroad and saving those affected by the Holocaust.

    Can't wait to read your book!!!! Ordering tomorrow through eharlequin!

    Peace, Julie

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  2. This is why I leave the historical writing to those of you who are so good at it! :) Your book sounds great!

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  3. I wouldn't know which one to pick. But I do think the flu pandemic and your secret agent hero sound pretty cool. :-)

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  4. Eighteenth century in England interests me, as does the mid-19th century (1850s) in Texas and California. I love history, though, even though I have only written contemporary stories. :P

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  5. You got me at secret agent!
    Although I enjoy the occasional camping trip, I appreciate modern comforts and medicine too much to want to travel back very far in time. I prefer to do it vicariously through books in the comfort of my easy chair with central heating. :)

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  6. I think I'd pick the roaring 20's. I'd be a flapper. But WWII also interest me. I write contemporary though, and delved into WWII with a few short stories, but the research......I'll stick to contemp. Hats off to you historical ladies. :)

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  7. Jessica,
    The Spanish Flu has always intrigued me, probably because of my medical background. Love the way you used it in your novel. Congrats on the great review!

    I'm a contemporary gal. No time travel. :) I keep my feet firmly planted in 2012. Although 1918 and the flu pandemic does cause me to ask "what if..."

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  8. For someone who loves most things historical, this is a tough question! :) But I'd probably say any time from say the 1840s through the 1930s.

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  9. Julie S, too cool about your degree! You smartie. :-)The pandemic is fascinating and yet scary because I've heard we're "due" for another. I'm also fascinated by the Underground Railroad and Holocaust too! So much potential there for heroism. Thanks for your sweet comment!

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  10. Hi Jessica,
    I'm intrigued by many periods, but want to stay right where I am.

    My great aunt Carrie died in IL of that awful flu pandemic.

    And I've written a few books about that era too. A time of huge changes in our county.

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  11. I didn't realize its then that the spanish influenza happened then. I did know it was the year the war ended.
    Like Julie the Civil war era fascinates me and the underground railroad.
    I like reading about most eras, I am not a fan of regency. but would like to read more of australian history.

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  12. Ha!! Julie J., I'm not certain I'm good at it. lol

    Heehee, thanks Naomi. :-)

    So Lindsay, would that be like the Gold Rush times?

    Sandra, lol, secret agents get me too and I wouldn't want to travel back in time either!

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  13. Kim, roaring 20s sounds like such a fun time!! Too bad we all know what followed...:-(

    Hey Debby!!! You stay planted in the here and now and give us more of that cont. suspense. :-)

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  14. Hi Jessica, this was so interesting! Your book sounds great. I love to read and write by historical and contemporary stories. I do love all the comforts we enjoy today, but it would be fun to travel back to the 1880's or 1890's and see what that was like.
    Blessings,
    Carrie

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  15. Congrats on the nice review!

    I'm fascinated by Colonial/Revolutionary War times because of the birth of our nation. As far as visiting that time period, no thanks. I would, however, love to sit down with the key players and interview them. :)

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  16. Hi Lyn, that's so sad about your aunt. It was def. a time of changes.

    Stacy,
    That's a nice huge gap! lol

    Jenny, I'd think Australian history would be super interesting. Victoria Holt is one of my fave authors and she set a few of her books in the "outback".

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  17. Hi Carrie! I agree, traveling back for a peek would be fun, but I would want to come back home. :-)

    LOL Susan!! Why am I not surprised. ;-)

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  18. I'm not sure which one I would pick. Can I get back to you? Thanks for the info about your book. Looking forward to reading it!

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  19. Wonderful post Jessica!
    So many great time periods I'm reading about in the comments - I don't think I could just pick one! :)

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  20. The Old West inspires me but I don't think I'd want to visit or live there--given it's penchant for violence. Nevertheless, there are many things romantic about the lone cowboy on the range, the Native American warrior bringing down a buffalo, and the frontier people themselves. Amid their struggles, they were a strong, resilient people.

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  21. Get back to me, Karen. *wink*

    Thanks Eva!

    Traci, that's sooo true!

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  22. Colonial times, Civil War era, and WWII all fascinate me, but I'd only go back if I could take a number of modern amenities with me. =)

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  23. Like, say, a coffee maker? Or hot showers? lol

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  24. I'm all about the Victorian Era. The mores, the fashion, the galas. Yeah, I'm totally into that. LOL

    Great post, Jessie!

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  25. I'm all about the Victorian Era. The mores, the fashion, the galas. Yeah, I'm totally into that. LOL

    Great post, Jessie!

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  26. I think it is cool that you found a time period that you can really get into.It's also neat how you used those events to write a full complete story.

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  27. Wow, that time period does sound interesting!
    Everytime I watch something on the History channel, I get interested in that particular time period they're focusing on. LOL

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  28. I loved your book, Jessica, and learned from it, too. I hadn't heard about the flu pandemic of this era, but I enjoyed how you wove it into the story so artfully. You're a great writer!

    My favorite eras to study are Civil War and Wild West, but I would not want to live in them, thank you ma'am! I'm happy being spoiled in this century.

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  29. I also love the early 20th century and one of my manuscripts takes place in 1908. I love writing stories set in the past.

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  30. This is fantastic! I'm very interested in the late 1800s / early 1900s, especially in England, but now I'm excited to read your book!

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  31. Awww! Thanks Faith. :-)

    Ooh, you got it read already! I'm so glad you enjoyed it, Jeanette. *big grin*

    Hahaaa, I know what you mean Jennifer!

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  32. Thanks Terri. It was funny, but the story really probably started out plot-driven since it was the influenza that put the events into motion.

    Anita, you are SO good at it too. I love how you weave these details I've never heard of before but are sooo interesting.

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  33. Hey Janet! 1908? That sounds cool. I actually don't know too much about that time except I think it was when the Bureau of Investigation kind of started. ;-)

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