Fàilte to my guest, Jodie Wolfe, sharing about the research behind her latest romantic mail-order bride novel, Taming Julia. Take it away, Jodie!
I love writing historical romance because I get to research and learn fascinating things as I’m writing. Taming Julia is no different than some other books I’ve written. When researching, I find it’s hard not to get distracted and go off on bunny trails.
There were two major things I studied as I wrote Taming Julia, Texas and mail-order brides. While the majority of my novel occurs in Kansas, I had one scene that takes place in the book when my heroine was in Texas with her brother. My husband’s aunt lives real close to the actual area I was trying to describe, so she sent me photos of the countryside. She told me about different plants, birds, and wildlife in the area.
After I wrote the scene, I had her double check it. Everything seemed to be accurate, but it wasn’t until I traveled to the area myself that I noticed some things that were a little off. Part of my scene happens in an area called the ‘Narrows’, inside a small cave. It’s on private property and we received special permission to see it. In fact, we had a personal tour. Seeing the cave up close, I realized there were some subtle changes I needed to make to better depict the area. Now, not many people travel to the spot I described, but I wanted to make sure it was as accurate as possible.
The other part of my research included reading about the era of mail-order brides. Such a fascinating time in history. I read personal accounts of the men and women who participated. Sometimes things worked out great. Other times… not so much. I recently read an advertisement of a man looking for an ‘ugly wife’. That’s something I hadn’t seen before. Can’t imagine either.
As a child and even in high school, history was not a favorite subject. I think because we mostly memorized dates, something I wasn’t good at recalling. But the beauty of writing historical fiction lets me delve into the stories that are part of history. That’s what makes the period I’m writing about come alive. Those personal accounts, diaries, journals, etc. provide a rich resource of material for a fiction writer. Now I love history.
How about you, are you a history buff?
Jodie Wolfe creates novels where hope and quirky meet. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), Romance Writers of America (RWA), and COMPEL Training. She’s been a semi-finalist and finalist in various writing contests. A former columnist for Home School Enrichment magazine, her articles can be found online at: Crosswalk, Christian Devotions, and Heirloom Audio. She’s a contributor and co-founder of Stitches Thru Time blog. When not writing she enjoys spending time with her husband in Pennsylvania, reading, walking, and being a Grammie. Learn more at www.jodiewolfe.com.
About Taming Julia:
In 1875, Kansas bachelor Drew Montgomery’s sole desire is to serve God, but his congregation’s ultimatum that he marry or leave, forces him to advertise for a wife by proxy.
Jules Walker strides into Drew’s life wearing breeches and toting a gun and saddle—more cowboy than bride. After years on the trail, she’s not exactly wife material, but she longs for home and family, and will do anything to ensure Drew never discovers what she really is.
Purchase Links for Taming Julia:
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Jodie-Wolfe/e/B01EAWOHXO/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1