This post is for my friend and fellow 18th-century writer, Lori Benton, over at www.loribenton.blogspot.com. She asked me to post about the research I did, or the bibliography, for The Frontiersman's Daughter. Lori is very close to publication and has a terrific blog about her writing journey. Since she creates (and illustrates!) incredible children's stories I wondered why she even bothered with historical fiction. But then I read her excerpts of Kindred:) She writes in the style that I like - rich, detailed, and lyrical. And she has a fondness for Scotsmen like I do:)
Recently I went out into the garage and found a drawer full of research notes for TFD in an antique dresser. Since my house is small I have to keep things out there and I smiled when I saw them. I'd forgotten all the research involved in that 412 page book! Loads of it:) But I love research almost as much as writing itself so don't feel sorry for me. Once I was accepted to law school and nearly became a research attorney. But I think book research is so much better!
When researching TFD, I couldn't afford many research books so I used inter-library loan A LOT. It's free and fast and you can get nearly any book out there, even the very expensive ones. The only drawback is your time limit. So I hauled the books home and took copious notes and saved my pennies to buy my favorites. Here are the primary sources for Lael's journey:
The Foxfire Book: Hog Dressing, Log Cabin Building, Mountain Crafts and Foods, Planting by the Signs, Snake Lore, Hunting Tales, Faith Healing, Moonshining (I love all the Foxfire books - there are many and they are exceptional)
The Writer's Guide to Everyday Life in Colonial America by Dale Taylor
The Land of Saddlebags by James Watt Raine
Southern Mountain Speech by Cratis D. Williams
Smoky Mountain Voices by Harold Farwell and Karl Nicholas
Scottish Customs from the Cradle to the Grave by Margaret Bennett
Colonial Living and Colonial Craftsmen by Edwin Tunis (my very favorite research books which I now have - Tunis was a master writer/illustrator)
The Frontiersmen by Allan Eckert (each and every book in his Winning of America series is incredible and gave me a feel for the people and events of that time)
Collector's Illustrated Encyclopedia of the American Revolution by George Neumann and Frank Kravic
A Sorrow in Our Heart, The Life of Tecumseh by Allan Eckert
My two favorite Boone books by Lyman C. Draper and Ted F. Belue, The Life of Daniel Boone and John Mack Faragher's Daniel Boone: The Life and Legend of an American Pioneer
This is just a partial list. I'm not able to include all the books and history I grew up with or those that are secondary sources. But I love every one and they helped make Lael's journey believable.
Do you enjoy research? If you write, what parts of the process do you enjoy most? Least?