My First Book: The Ultimate Road Trip

Flaming Heart

As a lifelong reader and longtime journalist, a part of me secretly always wanted to be a novelist.

Finally, one day, I decided why not.

Why not write a novel.

So, I decided to give it a go.

Of course, I quickly discovered it wasn’t that easy.

The first thing I needed to do was select a genre. What would I write? Mystery, international intrigue, science fiction or romance? I’ve always been drawn to love stories (my favorite movies are romantic comedies, and it’s even better if they are also musicals). So, the obvious answer was romance.

But what kind? Contemporary? Paranormal? Romantic suspense? Historical? Since I have always been fascinated by history (I was a history major in college) historical was the obvious choice.

Next came plot. Again, far from easy. Studying the craft of fiction, I quickly discovered how complicated and multi-layered it is. So,

 I decided to make my first book a road-trip story. That way, the journey could help structure the plot.

But what road trip? I was writing historical, and wanted to set my story in the United States, so I asked myself what was the ultimate road trip in American history? And the obvious answer came back: the Oregon Trail.

So that is why my first novel, a historical romance called “Mercy’s Way,” takes place in 1845 along the Oregon Trail.

I had never been to the Oregon Trail. I knew as much about it as the average person. So I embarked upon several months of research, incorporated the real Trail into my fictional story with fictional characters, and strove to make it one of the characters too.

When you read “Mercy’s Way,” I hope you love the story. And while whisked back in time—to where love is part of the adventure—I hope you enjoy learning about the Oregon Trail along the way.

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