Two days before Thanksgiving this year, I had the privilege of making a presentation to guests at the Heritage Park Senior Facility in Henderson, Nevada. My talk, supported with Power Point slides, was on why and how I wrote The Iron Horse Chronicles. The Adult Services department of the Henderson Libraries sponsored the program. The management of the Senior Facility provided donuts and coffee for those who attended.
I informed the participants that my original inspiration was to provide children the age of my grandchildren (they were middle-grade students at the time I commenced the project nine years ago) with a stimulating way to learn about the importance of the building of the first transcontinental railroad and the impact westward expansion had on the development of the country. I pointed out that by the time the final book in my trilogy is published, both grandchildren will be college students. I walked them through the lengthy process of getting from an original idea to a published book, and encouraged them to not think it is too late for them to commence such a project themselves. Most of the audience and I were of an age.
I explained to the attendees the extensive research I conducted to ensure I wrote an accurate historical novel. I walked the members of the audience through how I used a “writer’s bible” to aid me in the writing process. I told them how and why I chose the point of view I used in the books, and how I selected the mixture of fictional and historical characters that populate the trilogy. I informed them I received great support from my participation in various professional organizations and critique groups. At the end of my presentation, many asked questions and demonstrated they had an interest in what I had said. That was the most gratifying part of the one-hour program.
Following the talk, I autographed copies of Eagle Talons, the first book in the trilogy. The participants were very interested in seeing the Will Rogers Medallion Award that had been won by Eagle Talons this year. I had hoped to have copies of the second book available since it had been released by Five Star Publishing just a few days prior to my presentation. Regrettably, the shipment of Bear Claws did not arrive in time.