Monday, May 15, 2017

Historical Romance

Written by Samantha Bayarr

When I think of historical romance, one thing comes to mind; the old west. From dime novels to mining towns and outlaws, the old west is full of a sort of "romance" that is unmatched by anything else in our history. As a writer, I found the old west to be the perfect backdrop for several of my historical romance books, Tombstone, Arizona, holding a particular interest for me because of its romantic history. Don't get me wrong, violence played a big part in the romantic interest of this rough and rowdy town, a place known as The Town too Tough to Die. 

{Reenactment of the famous Gunfight at the OK Corral in Tombstone, AZ}

  
  

We know better today, but the stories have become more romanticized as the days have gone by. Back then, women seemed to love tough men who’d strap a six-gun to his hips and a badge on his chest, but they were also quick to mourn the men who were hanged.  Men like Doc Holliday and the Earp brothers have been romanticized since the famous Gunfight at the OK Corral in Tombstone, Arizona, in Cochise County, on October 26, 1881. That afternoon, approximately 30 shots were fired in the span of about 30 seconds’ time, and 3 were killed, 3 wounded.

{Reproduction of the Tombstone Epitaph (a gift from my friend, Lisa Towns Myers)}

Doctor Goodfellow, a man I've characterized in my books, was the treating physician for the wounded lawmen after the gunfight, which included deputized, Doc Holliday. There was no shortage of gunfights in the old west, but that fated afternoon at the OK Corral was the one most remembered in our western history.

In the old west, the term Cowboy was used for an outlaw, and ranchers were referred to as cattlemen, their hired hands often referred to as saddle-tramps because they were often drifters and spent a lot of time in the saddle. If a cattleman was called a “cowboy”, it was considered an insult. The term cowboy today means something entirely different. The word alone stirs up plenty of romance, and many a book has been written (mine included) where the cowboy was the hero and not the outlaw, as was the reality back then.

When I began to research Arizona territory, Tombstone, in particular, for a series of mail-order-brides books I was working on, I was amazed at the amount of information on the area. I was able to find an old fire marshal's street map of the area in the 1880’s, allowing me to take my characters and readers accurately through the town just as it was back then. Although my books were set in 1885, after the famous gunfight, I was able to include Doctor Goodfellow and the sheriff at the time in my stories, although I added fictitious other sheriffs, deputies, and marshals.

For more interesting tidbits on Tombstone, Arizona, please look for my future posts every third Monday of the month. In the meantime, enjoy the other wonderful posts right here almost daily.

All original pictures were used with permission from the photographer, Lisa Towns Myers. You can find more of her wonderful pictures here: Lisa's Country Photos


Best-Selling Author, Samantha Bayarr, has written over 100 books in Contemporary Romance, Historical Romance, Western Romance, Amish Romance, and Amish Suspense. Her favorite genre is Historical Romance. 

A former Paralegal, Samantha lives in an historical home in a small town in Florida with her husband, John Foster, who writes Christian Children’s Books. She spends her free time illustrating her husband's books, drawing and painting each by hand.

Please look for The Bride Dowry, The Bride Duel, and The Bride Raffle HERE
Connect with Samantha on Facebook HERE
  


24 comments:

  1. Fun to learn the proper lingo of the land. Great article!

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    1. Thank you, Diane. Thanks for taking the time to read it :)

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  2. Hey Samantha. Just dropping in to say hello and saw the post on Facebook for a sound off. :) By the way I am loving the western photos.

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    1. Thank you. My friend is an awesome photographer and was kind enough to lend them to me :)

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    2. Thank you, Patty! I had a blast the day my best friend & I went to Tombstone, although it was way too hot for my comfort. She also took me to Boothill Cemetery.

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    3. Thank you for posting my pictures, Samantha. I had fun with them. I also had fun with Civil War Days re-enactment in my hometown of Hartford City, Indiana this past Saturday. Sadly, I didn't get to shoot any of the battle, but I did get a few pictures of some of the actors out on the field & got some good shots of the night-firing of the cannons. :)

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  3. Interesting comments! Changes of term definitions, like cowboys versus cattlemen. How does an author deal with that? It would seem the historical romance authors would have to make a choice. Or, at least explain the terms, if they are using the definition based on the time of their use, rather than the time of writing.

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    1. It does get tricky sometimes, but I've found that most of my readers accept cowboy as a general term for any eligible man in a saddle LOL

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  4. Lots of new interesting facts that I didn't know. Love how you're able share the efforts of your research. It's encouraging me to research more about the history here in Kansas City. Thanks for sharing on facebook.

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to read. It's an interesting subject and there is a wealth of information on our western history that is so interesting to read. :)

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  5. I do enjoy the Western movies & books..

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    1. Me too :) Thank you for reading my post,

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  6. What a wonderful post Samantha. If you want to know even more about Dr. Goodfellow, Dr. Keith Souter has done a lot of research on the man and his practice.

    Isn't it amazing how much can happen in such a short period of time. 30 seconds and life changed for so many people. I look forward to your future posts. Doris

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    1. I agree; that 30 seconds changed history and will always be remembered.
      I will check that out. Thank you for your response :)

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  7. Tombstone is one of my favorite movies. I love reading new and unusual facts about that era.

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    1. I do too, but I love writing about it too. Thank you for reading my post. :)

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    2. You're welcome! I really enjoyed it!

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  8. I love the western romance books and love learning about that period of history

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    1. Me too! I love learning all I can about the old west.

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  9. Tombstone has always fascinated me. One of my favorite movies and time periods to read about. Very interested article. Thank you.

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    1. Thank you! My husband and I loved that movie too :)

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  10. Tombstone has always fascinated me. One of my favorite movies and time periods to read about. Very interested article. Thank you.

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  11. I love cowboy romance novels. I have always wished I could have been born in that era...

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  12. Wow!! Some very interesting facts that i didnt know. I love westerns and look forward to checking out yours. You are a new author to me. I saw the post on fb , that directed me here. I love the photos!! Would love to go visit such historic towns!!

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