BRAINSTORMING ROMANCE FICTION WITH HISTORICAL FACTS
As a writer, brainstorming my historical romances begins with the question, “What if?” Many writers come up with their stories this way. It can be fun. I usually start with the basic character of both the hero and heroine. Next comes their goals, and what they want to accomplish. And the conflict follows: what if the story takes place after the Civil War, in a small town in Texas? What if the historical facts I use include General Shelby, who led his Confederate forces across Texas to Mexico after the war, plagued by horse thieves for most of the way? What if the hero from Texas actually joined the northern army? What if he met General Shelby in San Antonio, and over drinks in a local bar he agreed to help the general solve his horse thief problems? What if the hero’s a werewolf and he joins a gang of raiders to discover if they’re the horse thieves? What if the raiders are guys he knew growing up? What if they’re also werewolves? What if they stop one night at the home of the heroine? What if her parents are out of town?
In my werewolf western historical, Moonlight Desperado, out now at Siren-Bookstrand Publishing, the hero’s original goal is inspired by actual incidents in Texas history. Besides the historical facts about General Shelby, I was inspired by a family story that happened after the Civil War and involved my great great grandmother. Raiders passing through Texas stopped at her home and demanded bedding to sleep on in her yard. Of course the real life characters have been changed in my story, Moonlight Desperado.
While researching this time period in Texas, I found an article about General Shelby passing through Texas on his way to Mexico. He did stop in San Antonio for a short time. In a book I browsed through at the local library, a historian recounts the devilish time General Shelby suffered from horse thieves stealing their horses at night. The year that General Shelby crossed Texas turned out to be the same year my great great grandmother was ordered by raiders to provide bedding for them. The same raiders later came back and demanded money from her at gunpoint.
With brainstorming, my hero took shape, so to speak, as a spy for General Shelby, trying to discover the men stealing the General’s horses. My heroine became the woman alone that night with two little sisters asleep upstairs. Ordered to provide bedding for the raiders, she stands up to the men, including the hero, unaware they’re shape shifters.
I find it challenging to incorporate historical facts within my fictional romances. I hope you’ll look for Moonlight Desperado out now at www.sirenbookstrand.com and enjoy reading this story about Captain Craig Wolfe and Mary Ann Beauclere.
Here’s a blurb:
In Texas after the Civil War, Mary Ann Beauclere is imprisoned by soldiers turned raiders. Outraged when Captain Craig Wolfe steals a kiss, and more, in front of the men, she follows his orders, desperate to protect her little sisters asleep upstairs. The outlaws demand bedding and food. Captain Wolfe helps her, and she softens toward the desperado, allowing his kisses, drawn to him as to no other.
Confederate spy, Craig despairs of finding his life mate. Hiding his assignment from the raiders, he only intends to protect Miss Beauclere, until he recognizes Mary Ann as the woman he will love forever. Her courage tempts him to dream of a future together. Will she love him, a werewolf? If not, he’ll spend his life alone. When Craig claims her as his life mate, secret identities and a vicious pack member threaten their future and their lives. Can they save each other?
If you leave a comment on this post today, January 12, 2010, you’ll be entered in a drawing to win a PDF copy of Moonlight Desperado.