“You can’t just make things up, Courtney! You have to do some research.”—my mom
If you search through the VHS tapes at my mom and dad’s house, you’ll come across one that contains shaky frames of my sister learning to ride her bike. She’s so cute in her little helmet on her little pink bike. But, it’s the background conversation that catches your attention about 15 minutes into the videotape.
It’s a conversation between my mom and I, actually a heated argument. I was in 5th grade and tasked with writing a report about sharks, this was during my “I want to be a marine biologist” phase. She is yelling at me that I need to actually open some books and research before I go writing a report. “You can’t just make things up” she tells me.
To this day, I like to make things up. I’m an author and a writer. Most of what I’ve cobbled together to this point has been private.
I also learned to love research, I consider it a scavenger hunt for facts. In particular, I love historical research.
Put the love of history and writing together and I’ve come naturally to historical fiction. More specifically, I’m interested in historical fiction that focuses on the lives of everyday folk. This is probably rooted in the time I spent with my mom rooting around in cemeteries and historical societies looking for that one record that would prove great, great-grandfather someone had lived in some small rural Midwest town.
What are the stories that lie beneath those marriage certificates and obituaries? That’s where my “making things up” comes into play.
I’m working on my first novel, as yet unnamed, that takes place in western Oklahoma during the 30s and 40s. It was a time of great upheaval for the nation, but also the people of the Dust Bowl. I’m following one young lady as she’s trying to find order in a world where winds of change sweep all of it away.
I live in central Oklahoma with my husband and two children. Here are a few things to know about me:
- Stick around here long and you’ll read about my children. I like them a lot.
- Reading is an Olympic sport for me. I can’t simply read for enjoyment…I must devour all the books.
- Family genealogy is an addiction for me. My mom has my family history under control, so I’ve started snooping in my husband’s family tree. He mostly just indulges me.
- My husband and I love to cook and experiment with recipes all the time. Baking bread is soothing to me. Canning our own produce is therapeutic.
- I’m a sucker for all things time travel. Back to the Future, Quantum Leap, Doctor Who…you name it, I love it.
- My love for Science Fiction is a burgeoning one.
- British TV is the reason I binge watch Netflix.