Wednesday, January 15, 2020


Post by Doris McCraw
writing as Angela Raines

As January rolls along, I have been taking some time to look at what I'd like for the year to be for me as a writer and what I can share with my readers and hopefully find some new readers who enjoy the type of stories I tell.

So what kind of stories am I drawn to write? I enjoy stories that move, have action if you will, along with emotions that will move the reader. I love history and enjoy sharing what I find. Almost every story whether Medieval or Western contain or were inspired by pieces of research.

"Josie's Dream" came about because of my love and research of the early women doctors in Colorado. No, that does not include the TV show Dr. Quinn, which was fiction or Doc Susie the Colorado doctor the show was based on. Dr. Susan Anderson did not arrive in Colorado until 1894/5. The women who inspire me were here in the 1870s. Their stories and the reasons they came to this state informed my character, Josephine Forrester. The rest of the story played out in research on railroads, ranching and the land in which Josie walked.

When I was looking at what became "Chasing a Chance" I had read a book called "Holding the Ace Card" and done some research on the town of Boston, Colorado, located in the southeast portion of Colorado. In the case of this story, the location and events that occurred in the doomed town of Boston became the basis of the story.

I was writing a paper on the research I had done on a Colorado criminal names 'Joe Ward' when I began what was the novel "The Outlaw's Letter". Most of the characters in the story came almost directly from extrapolating characteristics of the outlaws and people I'd come across. Places and events were as in sync as I could make them with what was happening in Colorado during that time. I sometimes changed location or names, but as they say, writing is ninety-nine percent perspiration and one percent inspiration.

So who do I go about researching the past? Many times all I do is read old newspapers and city directories at my local library's special collections department. I find names and occupations that catch my eye. Then I will sometimes to an ancestry search on those people to find where they came from, what occupation they had before arriving here.

Additionally from my own background in the criminal justice field, I find myself drawn to crimes that occur during the timeframe I'm writing about. Sometimes, like the town of Boston, Colorado, I will try to find all I can about a location I will be writing about. My current WIP takes place in Colorado in one of the mountain valley's, so I'm reading the newspapers from the towns in that area. All of this serves to add an authentic feel to my story.

So as readers, watch for what your favorite author has to say about the time they are writing about. As authors, what do you do when you're starting or writing a story? I really would love to know. Each piece we share can only make what we do more exciting.

I wish everyone a wonderful and productive year of books read and written. Thank you for taking the time to read my process. If you have enjoyed mine or other author's works, please share a testimonial. We appreciate the feedback.

Doris Gardner-McCraw -
Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in
Colorado and Women's History
Angela Raines - author: Where Love & History Meet
Angela Raines FaceBook: Click Here


  1. Angela, thanks for sharing your process. Newspapers of the era are great resources.

    1. They really are, and I've learned to love the advertisements. Doris

    2. I tried replying the other day, but the comment has not shown up yet. Linda, thank you for stopping to comment. I greatly appreciate it. I also agree, newspapers of the era are priceless resources. Doris