As I am flowing to the end of the next Gabriel Hawke book, my mind has already started “stewing and brewing” the next book on my list. It will be another book where I write about an ethnicity not my own. It will require some reading and research. But as was said at the Diversity Conference I attended last year.
All emotions are universal. As long as I portray the correct emotions and bring the character to life as a human being, I will have done my job.
My next book is Freedom– Book 3 in the Silver Dollar Saloon series. Freedom is an African American woman who was born after the Civil War but still suffered at the hands of man who whipped his workers and withheld food if he thought they weren’t giving their all to their work.
She’d been caught visiting with her employer’s son when she was supposed to be doing the laundry. The man whipped her, leaving scars across her back, and put her on a train to North Dakota with only a few dollars. He didn’t want his son to be friendly with girl like her.
When she’d run out of money and couldn’t find anyone who would hire her, Beau Gentry came along. He told her he owned the Silver Dollar Saloon in Shady Gulch, ND and she could work for him. Unsure if she could trust another rich White man, she declined his offer.
Within an hour of declining his offer, a man of color walked up to where she stood on the street, asking the women who passed by if they needed help. He told her he was partners with Beau Gentry and if she came along with them, she wouldn’t have to beg or ward off advances from men.
And that is how she ended up working at the Silver Dollar Saloon. Her book will be about how she finds love and the life she’d been hoping for that matched the name her parents gave her- Freedom.
The research I’ll be working on is how African Americans were treated in the late 1880s and how to use a scenario I started with her in the other two books to work in her book. She is the best Shoo-fly pie maker in North Dakota which caught the eye of a trapper, but do I want him to be the man who sweeps her off her feet, or, do I want more conflict and her discovering he is a lot like the man who put her on the train?
If you have suggestion for books that would help me learn more about the life of African Americans settling the West, I’d appreciate it.