Where Do You Get Your Ideas?
Any writer hears that question quite often. I usually quip, "At the Idea Shop on the corner of Third and Main." But, seriously, they come from everywhere. I'll tell you where I got my idea for the novel being released in just a few days -- June 1, 2013, to be exact.
I was watching a PBS TV program about the sinking of the Titanic. Out of the blue, the narrator mentioned a survivor who had lived briefly in Guthrie, Indian Territory where she had gone to seek a divorce from her husband. Huh? So, I went online and searched her name. Sure enough, this lady had traveled to Guthrie, which it turned out, was the divorce capital of the whole country in the late 1800's and early 1900's. In other parts of the country if you wanted a divorce, you had to prove that your better half was crazy or was trying to kill you. However, in Guthrie you could claim abandonment or several other reasons and get a divorce. Your spouse didn't even have to show up in court with you. There were a few stipulations, including that those seeking a divorce had to live in Guthrie for three months before the court would hear their case.
The writer in me kicked in and I thought of not one, but four different books all centered on women who came to Indian Territory seeking their freedom from a bad union. I hadn't been excited about writing another historical romance in years, but now I was bursting with ideas and enthusiasm. I enjoyed researching Guthrie, the Land Runs, and the court system in Indian Territory. I had been to Guthrie many times because it is one of my favorite places in Oklahoma. The center of town still looks like it did in 1880, except for the cars, of course. The buildings are still there. The history oozes from every sidewalk, every pillar, every post. That's why I was amazed that I had never heard anything about it being a destination for women (and men) who were desperate to end their marriages.
If I hadn't been watching that PBS show about the Titanic, I would never have stumbled upon these fascinating stories that happened in Guthrie (and my imagination). The first book -- see how I said "first" because I'm a positive person! -- is TO SEDUCE AND DEFEND. It centers on a woman who comes to Guthrie to claim land her deceased husband purchased. However, she finds instead that she has stepped into a web of lies and deceit that lay to waste everything she believed about her husband, her marriage, and her own heart.
I'm proud of it and so glad to shine a light on a part of Guthrie's colorful history that most people haven't yet discovered.