Visuals play a big part in the process I go through when I prepare to write a new story.
Crumpets and Cowpies was no exception. I gathered my visuals, found some great resources for historic photos of Baker City, and let the story juices begin percolating. (Okay, that sounded a little weird, but you know what I mean.)
Here are some of the photographs I used to shape the story…
He provided a great inspiration for the character of Thane Jordan.
Thane can be tough as nails or incredibly tender. And he has this smirk that drives Jemma mad (and weakens her knees).
One thing about Jemma he can’t overlook (beyond her beauty) is her devotion and love for their niece and nephew. Thane’s brother Henry was married to Jemma’s sister Jane. The two children play an important role in the story.
Jack is nine but he carries a lot of weight on his young shoulders. He tends to be solemn and quiet, but he takes an instant liking to his Uncle Thane.
In the story, Lily is three with a head full of unruly curls, a sweet little rosebud mouth, button nose, and snapping copper eyes.
Honestly, if Lily were real, I’d claim her as my own and spend all day cuddling her , or playing dolls, or…
I shouldn’t play favorites, but I completely adore her!
This is Sir Rigsly, the family dog. Rigsly (a curly-coated retriever) was more than just a pet to Jemma and the children so Thane agreed to transport him from England to his ranch. It didn’t take long for the dog to settle in and become friends with Thane’s ranch dogs.
The trip back from England, Thane and his new family boarded a ship called the Teutonic. It was one of the first ships in the White Star Line to offer second class accommodations. This staircase reminds me of Titanic (also a White Star Line ship).
And this was the first class dining saloon, where Thane, Jemma and the children would have taken their meals (unless they were eating in their room). I confess, I spent hours and hours admiring photos of the Teutonic. It was an amazing, beautiful ship.
Even the town would have been vastly different from what Jemma and the children were accustomed. This is a sprinkler wagon in Baker City that drove up and down the streets, dripping out water to settle the dust.
And this was the saddle and harness shop in Baker City. They really did carry a line of sewing machines. You can see one in the far left side of the photo in front of the display case. It seemed like such an odd combination of wares to me.
There you have it – some of the photos I used to draw inspiration and ideas for the story.
A huge heart-felt thank you to those of you who helped launch the book yesterday. I so appreciate it – and you!