Love of History
At one time in my life I loathed history. So boring. All my teachers droned on and on, mostly focusing on wars. No doubt we covered other things, such as the pilgrims landing, and the early part of our country’s history. I mean, who doesn’t know about Paul Revere’s midnight ride? Although I do believe that story came from my literature class. “Listen my children, and you shall hear, of the midnight ride of Paul Revere….”
But soon the
lectures turned to war. The Revolutionary War, War of 1812, the Civil
War, World War I and II, the Vietnam war. The names of battlegrounds,
dates of surrenders. Frankly, who cared? Certainly not me.
Then in my senior year of high school I read Forever Amber and Gone With the Wind (the last one against Sister Amelia’s wishes). She didn’t think it was fitting for young girls. If poor Sister Amelia was alive today to see young girls devouring Twilight, she’d have a heart attack.
In any event, I suddenly became interested in history, and discovered in times past, there weren’t just battles and wars, but people. Women who watched their husbands go off to war, and kept the home fires burning. They wore dresses very different from ours, ate food different from ours, and worked a heck of a lot more than we do to put a meal on the table. The men worked hard in the fields, worrying about crop failures, the weather, and the health of children who died much too early.
I delved into historical fiction, and read The Six Wives of Henry the Eighth. Not exactly a candidate for husband of the year. From there, I moved onto the gothic novels. Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, all of Mary Stewart’s books.
I eventually gravitated from hating history to being obsessed with it. My husband and I visited re-enactment camps, historical sites, and anthropological digs. We scoured history museums in whatever city we found ourselves.
Naturally, when I returned to college after my children were grown, I became a history major, and feasted on people of the past every day.
So it was sort of a no-brainer when I decided to write my first book that it would be historical romance. In my mind, history had gone from being a place of war to a place of love.
My first published book, A Run For Love, relates the story of a woman who is left with the care of her four nieces and nephews when her brother dies. Not having any success in finding work to support them all, and on the verge of being homeless, she pulls up her bootstraps and makes a run for land in the Oklahoma Territorial Land Run of 1889.
Since I was raised and educated in New Jersey, I’m sure somewhere along the line, while I slept through history class, a teacher skimmed over the story of the Land Run. But when I heard the full story after moving to Oklahoma, I was enthralled. I read everything I could get my hands on about it, and the story of Tori and Jesse just seemed to unfold. (A Run For Love). Two other books about that family have joined the first one. (A Wife By Christmas and A Prescription For Love.)
Since that first book, I’ve written, and had fun researching, stories about a wagon train headed to Oregon (Emmaline’s Journey), a mail order bride also headed to Oregon from New York City (An Angel in the Mail), and an escaped Confederate soldier at the end of the Civil War (Daniel’s Desire). Then I jumped over the pond, and wrote two stories set in Regency England (The Elusive Wife and Miss Merry’s Christmas.)
What fun I’m having with a subject I used to despise. Except now I write it my way. Oh, sure, the facts and dates belong to history, but everything that happens to people belongs to me.
Callie has been making up stories since elementary school, and writing gave her a way to turn off the voices in her head. She’s had a number of articles and interviews published over the years, and about two years ago, decided to put her writing skills to the test and write a book.
Oklahoma is where she hangs her hat with her husband of thirty-six years, two young adult children, and three dogs.
You can catch her hanging out at Facebook, Twitter- @CallieHutton, and her home base, www.calliehutton.com. Stop by sometime and say hello. All of Callie Hutton’s books can be found at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Oklahoma Lovers series, #1, #2, #3 An Angel in the Mail Tessa’s Treasures Miss Merry’s Christmas, October 31st Daniel’s Desire, November 19th