Daddy's Christmas Angel

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

What Inspires a Writer Years Down the Road?

Phoenix Gold Mine
First western romanceA few years ago, we were exploring an area of Colorado we had not visited before. In Idaho Springs, we came across the Phoenix Gold Mine and met the co-owner, Al Mosch, who gave us a tour we will never forget. Besides sharing his story of an eye-to-eye encounter with a mountain lion, Mosch related other mining tales and gave me a piece of gold-flecked ore from the mine. Because of this unusual character, I will never forget our mine visit. Not only did I include the Phoenix Gold Mine as a side trip for the Brown Palace Hotel in Denver when I wrote Hotels to Remember, but I also used some of what I learned that day in my novel, A Rainbow for Christmas.

That novel was also inspired by books I found on that same Colorado trip that were written by women who crossed the plains from Missouri traveling by wagon train. In museums, I saw items from some of those journeys. I also viewed actual wagons from those trains and stared in wonderment, amazed at how small they actually were.

Using inspiration years down the road is one of the things that especially excites me as a writer. I keep notebooks, take photos everywhere, and put everything together in my "gathering books". You never know when you'll have a chance to use some of that information.

What inspires you?

A Rainbow for Christmas and Daddy's Christmas Angel are two of the books I'll be signing on Friday, November 22 at the William and Mary Barnes and Noble on Duke of Gloucester Street in Williamsburg, Virginia from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. I will also feature A Rainbow for Christmas on the Neal Steele radio show, 8:15 a.m., Monday, December 9.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Is A Rainbow for Christmas new?
It's side adventures like getting to see that mine that stick in our memory strongest.

Mary Montague Sikes said...

A Rainbow for Christmas was released in Dec. 2011, Alex. You are right. I love side adventures!