The past two years have been enriching because of two trips to the western arena of the stories about the Mountain Men. The first journey started in Taos, NM and then up through the southern Rockies into Pueblo, Las Animas and Durango, CO. Especial attention to Bent's Old Fort.
The next trip was a river search to be done: the Platte River in Wyoming and the Missouri RIver in Dakota. This vast region is certainly a force of nature, a source of grand inspiration. It fed the imagery of my Warner Novels and my Ogden series as well as the three Lewis and Clark novels.
Much of the life of my western characters like Jeremiah Warner and Sam Ogden has to do with "processing," the animals the trap or kill. Of course, that means skinning, butchering, cooking the animals of the wilderness. In order to have a better sense of this, I have been visiting a friend in Georgia, who is a deer hunter. He loves to skin and butcher the deer he kills while hunting. Needless to say, he eats venison all year round. Although not a hunter myself, spending time with him has helped me better understand the life of my frontiersmen!
In February of 2018, we took an ocean cruise out of Baltimore MD to the Bahamas. On the last days of the 8-day voyage, we hit some harsh Atlantic weather, quite an experience. Those days however, were valuable when it came to writing the ocean voyages of Sam Ogden and his family from Boston to London. As a young man, I took that voyage by ocean liner, but arrived in LeHavre France instead of London. All these experiences naturally appear in the fiction of my character, Sam Ogden.