Thursday, April 12, 2018

Historic Details in Every Day Life

by Shanna Hatfield

I truly enjoy history and researching it. It's fun for me when I begin writing a new book to dive into historical details that will help add depth and breadth to the story.

I especially think it's important when including historical tidbits to see them through the eyes of the characters in a story. How would the news of a major event cause them to react? What would they think about the event? How would it impact them? By sharing the character's reaction with readers, it helps draw them deeper into the story because it adds another layer of realism to the book.

When I began writing my soon-to-be-released sweet historical romance Quinn, I didn't set out with a plan to include one of the most talked about events in history.

 However, since the opening scene of the book is in early April 1912, right after Easter, it seemed important to include details about the  Titanic sinking.

I dug through issues of the newspaper in the town where the story takes place, Pendleton, Oregon. In the days leading up to the ship's departure, there were articles about the Titanic. Anyone who read the paper would have known it was touted as an unsinkable ship.

The Titanic struck an iceberg late the evening of April 14 and sank into the Atlantic ocean in the early hours of April 15, 1912.

The evening paper ran numerous tidbits of news gathered from articles printed around the world. And those first stories that appeared didn't mention the ship sinking. Most of the news centered on the ship being towed to safety and all passengers being accounted for.

It wasn't until the following day when the news broke that the ship had actually sank and many lives were lost.

The heroine in my story is a newspaper reporter. She would have been elbow-deep in the news, particularly when her editor asks her to take charge of reading the wire messages they received throughout the day and writing headlines.

For weeks, newspapers around the country (and world) ran articles about the Carpathia bringing the survivors to New York, who was at fault for the Titanic sinking, the coffin ships heading out to reclaim the dead, and the hearings that followed in both America and England. 

And people still wanted more. They were hungry for more details, more hope, more humanity from the tragedy.

I found a clipping in the newspaper a month after the Titanic sank from one of the moving picture show houses, advertising a Titanic reel that would show photographs of survivors, the coffin ships and more.

In  Quinn, I have a group of them go to see the reel and share the reactions to what they saw through the eyes and hearts of the characters.

She’s waging a war for women’s rights,
     He’s fighting a battle to win her heart…

There’s nothing typical about Quinn Fairfield. The outspoken suffragette spends her days writing sensational headlines as a newspaper reporter and indulging her natural curiosity. She’s much more likely to be found riding a bicycle around town than learning the social graces at which her sister, Caitlyn, excels. When Caitlyn announces her plans to wed a man Quinn doesn't trust, she sets out to find a reason to break up the happy couple. In the process, she finds herself falling for an intriguing, kind-hearted man.

After spending several years in Portland at college, Walker Williams returns to Pendleton, eager to make his mark on the world. He’s determined to become a legendary architect despite the challenges that arise from his upbringing on the nearby Umatilla Reservation. When a feisty red-headed newspaper reporter catches his eye and captures his heart, Walker fights his growing feelings for her. He’ll do anything to shelter Quinn from the prejudices aimed at him and his heritage.

Can the two of them overcome their fears, set aside the burdens of the past, and surrender to the sweet romance blossoming between them?

Filled with laughter, adventure, and historical tidbits from 1912, Quinn is a sweet historical romance brimming with hope and love.

Today, you can get three books for the price of one!

 AUNDY (Pendleton Petticoats, Book 1) is available for FREE downloads on Amazon today.

 MARNIE (Pendleton Petticoats, Book 4) is available for just 99 cents.

QUINN(Pendleton Petticoats Book 9) is available for pre-orders for the special price of $2.99 through April 19, when the book releases.


USA Today Bestselling Author Shanna Hatfield writes character-driven romances with relatable heroes and heroines. Her historical westerns have been described as “reminiscent of the era captured by Bonanza and The Virginian” while her contemporary works have been called “laugh-out-loud funny, and a little heart-pumping sexy without being explicit in any way.” Convinced everyone deserves a happy ending, this hopeless romantic is out to make it happen, one story at a time. When she isn’t writing or indulging in chocolate (dark and decadent, please), Shanna hangs out with her husband, lovingly known as Captain Cavedweller.
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