Today I was going through some pictures, and I realized I never posted anything about my research trip to Fredericksburg, Texas. How did that never happen? Well, I'm going to make up for it today.
When I was writing THE HAUNTING OF RED BLOOD HILL, I ran into a few problems. Most of them stemmed from lack of knowledge about the time period because the story is set in 1939, which is the tail end of the Great Depression and shortly before we engaged in World War II. If you go to the library, you can find hundreds of books on life during the Depression, but usually they center around big city living and leave out what country living was like during this time.
Since my fictional town is set in the Texas Hill Country, I started looking for books about real-life towns to see if I could learn about their specific history to use as a model for my story. No such luck. What I did find was a website for the Pioneer Museum in Fredericksburg, Texas.
I tossed around the idea of calling and seeing if someone would just talk to me about it, but I got nervous and put it off. After the first rough draft was complete, I knew I was going to need some help in order to make this story close to accurate. So, I sucked it up and called, and it turns out, I was able to get in touch with a historian there that said she wouldn't mind chatting to me at all.
We set the date, and I lugged myself and my children to Fredericksburg for the weekend so I could interview her. It was such a wonderful experience, and I really learned a whole lot. Things I thought I knew were waaay off, and others were spot on.
When I went back to write in these details, I decided to stretch some to fit my timeline since I didn't want to have to explain things like tank houses and windmills. Some of the aspects of farm life in the late '30's are so foreign to our modern lives that I felt like many of them would take the readers out of the story. So while running water wasn't necessarily indoors for farm houses during this time, I conceded that one and gave the house a kitchen pitcher pump. Hopefully, the details will be enough to get you into the feeling of the time period without overwhelming you with the more ancient technologies of the time.
While I was there, I hike Enchanted Rock with the family. It was so beautiful and the weather was PERFECT! The characters in RED BLOOD spend a lot of time outdoors, especially on the aptly named, Red Blood Hill. I used these pictures as inspiration for the story, and hope that by the time you read it, you will feel like you were there too! Check them out!!
I can't wait to share this story with you!