The original seed for my latest release Fool’s Notion was planted long before I put pen to paper (fingers to keyboard). When I was nine years old, my family packed foodstuffs, clothing, and my grandmother in our brown panel van and drove eighteen hundred miles to Los Angeles for a vacation. We toured the amazing Disneyland, Universal Studios, and Knott’s Berry Farm.
While visiting Knott’s Berry Farm, I became separated from the rest of my family and discovered an interactive map of the Oregon Trail. I was fascinated by the miniature covered wagons and little lights glowing on the surface as a voice narrated the history of various places along the trail. Eventually my parents found me, but my fascination continued. I consumed the Little House on the Prairie series and began collecting late eighteenth century antiques, a hobby which continues to this day.
So, I had the idea of where the story should take place, Oregon Trail, but I didn’t have the idea of why the story should take place. The why occurred to me in the laundry room. While trying to get my “whites whiter,” I noticed the picture of a large wagon pulled by a 20 mule team on the box of borax detergent. Upon further investigation into the origin of the soap, I discovered the borax rush of the early 1880’s. The mineral borate was mined in Death Valley California to produce borax which was not only used in laundry detergent but also cosmetics, insecticides and fire retardants. The Borax Rush became the perfect motivation for my character’s trip with a mule string across the country on the Oregon/California Trail from her home in Missouri.
After the where and the why fell into place, the who was easy. I met my characters, Alda and Cord, and a novel grew out of their experiences.
Have a wonderful day!
Lisa J. Flickinger, author of historical novels Fool’s Notion, Ella, and All That Glitters, lives and writes from the cliff of a river along the majestic Rocky Mountains. When she is not writing or reading, you will find her scouring antique shops or sipping a maple latte with friends and family. To learn more about her, visit
http://www.lisajflickinger.com or her Facebook author page Lisa J. Flickinger.
Click here to read the first two chapters of Fool’s Notion on Amazon.