Historical Research

Anyone who writes about history must, of course, do plenty of research. I am very particular about getting my facts straight because doing so brings much more realism to my stories. I have at times even brought real historical characters into my books, as with a young George Washington in INTO THE WILDERNESS. Some people might dread the research. NOT ME! I enjoy reading for research more than general reading, and always, whatever I am researching not only helps me with facts I need for the book I am working on; but it also leads me to a wealth of new ideas. So the research only helps me find plot for future books.

Most of my hundreds of research books come from the University of Nebraska and the University of Oklahoma, where you can find information on just about anything and everything you’d ever want to know about America’s “Old West” and Native Americans. And I do use books most of the time, not the internet. I know exactly which book to turn to for whatever I am working on. And every book has been read, highlighted, underlined, dog-eared – you name it. The Time/Life books on the Old West are fantastic, as is ANYTHING by Alan Eckert. He takes history and beautifully brings it to life.

I couldn’t begin to name all my favorite reference books. There are too many. I will say, though, that for a chronological history of our Native Americans, you can’t beat BURY MY HEART AT WOUNDED KNEE by Dee Brown. My own paperback copy is falling to pieces, but I have a hard cover copy that Mr. Brown signed for me at a western writers’ conference. I truly treasure that book!


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