Ann Parker, on the second day of a two-week (plus a bit) virtual tour for Mercury's Rise, the newest book in the Silver Rush series.
Today is a "home stop" at my own blog, which features random musings on writing, history, mystery, or whatever crosses my mind. This time (rubbing hands together gleefully), I'm going to talk about using real people in my latest mystery.
Now, there are several kinds of "real" people. There are the people who existed in that time and place. There are a few of that kind wandering through the pages, including Colorado photographer Anna Galbreaith, who is a source of curiosity and mystery to me (I would *love* to know more about her and her life). I do know she was a landscape photographer in Manitou, Colorado, during the mid-1880s and also ran a boarding house called the Ohio House. Since she signed her photographs "Mrs. Anna Galbreaith," I assume she was a widow... or possibly a divorcée? You can read more about Anna and see an example of her work here in a post I did yesterday to kick off this virtual tour. Other people of the day are mentioned in Mercury's Rise: William Palmer Jackson (founder of Colorado Springs and the Denver & Rio Grande) and Dr. William Bell (founder of Manitou Springs).
|The real Robert Calder|
|The real Dr. Prochazka|
Finally, there are the Paces. While I was working with Aure, I also worked with Kirsten Pace and her husband Eric Cummings. I decided it would be fun to put Kirsten and her family (kids and all) in the story. She was fine with that, even after I gave her a much older, cantankerous husband (WHO IS NOT YOU, ERIC. Just want to make that clear. You appear at the end as a nice guy.) Kirsten just finished reading the book the other day and said she enjoyed it (well, she'd better say that! ;-) ) and then added it was odd to see her name crop up page after page after page... Just one of the hazards of being a key character in a novel!
There are shades of other "real people" in some of the continuing characters in my series. My protagonist, Inez Stannert is named after my grandmother. (You can read a bit about her and why she ended up my protagonist in another guest post here on Gayle Gresham's Colorado Reflections blog.) Doctor Cramer embodies elements of my own father, a kindly physician with a real knack for listening to his patients. Susan Carothers has a spirit much like a dear friend of mine from childhood, also named Susan, who like my fictional character forged a life to match her inner passions.
And then... there are those real people whom I shadow in darkness, twist their genders and their names, and gleefully make them murderers or victims and do horrible things to them (in fiction!) because at some point in my life they really ticked me off or hurt someone I loved. But I'm not going to say anything more about them. They will remain a mystery. ;-)
Leave a comment on this post to be eligible to win a Silver Rush mystery prize! To see the rest of my blog tour schedule, check out my News page.