How the Tulsa Series Came to Be

Be A NovelistFascinated

When I first moved to the  Tulsa area as a young married, I remember hearing bits and pieces about the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921.  Nothing specific. Very few details.  I later learned that the most I heard back then was fabrication.

The story fascinated me even all those years ago.  Not a morbid fascination; more like an incredulous fascination – wondering how such a thing could have happened.

Need Historical Fiction

Fast forward to the point where I am writing novels for Barbour Publishing.  I was writing inspirational romances and each time I finished one, my editor would remind me of how he needed historical fiction.

I let his plea go in one ear and out the other.  Contemporary fiction was much easier – much less research.

When I finished the fourth contemporary title for Barbour, I remember feeling as though I was dusting off my hands.  That was the last. I was through. Now I would  go back to writing juvenile and teen fiction – my first love.

I Saw Tessa

It was a Labor Day weekend; I had sent off the final edited copy of the fourth contemporary title to my editor. It was late when I went to bed.  But I couldn’t sleep. I kept thinking about the Tulsa Race Riot. I saw a young girl dressed in a plain cotton housedress, carrying a basket, walking through a crowd of angry gun-toting men into the courthouse in downtown Tulsa.  That was little Tessa Jurgen, but I didn’t know her yet.

I was hooked.  Lights on. Pen and paper. That night I wrote the thumbnail sketches for all four books in the Tulsa series. My editor loved them and within a week I had a four-book contract in my hand.

My Exhilarating Journey

Thus began a wonderful, exhilarating journey back into the history of Tulsa. I made a transfer from earth to seventh heaven.  I love the stories; love the characters; love writing historical fiction. Surprise.

Be A NovelistI also became addicted to research.  Ever study an oldBe A Novelist Sears catalog?  (In the picture on the right — a new innovation — enclose your car! They called them winter sides.)

How about a studying 1921 Tulsa High School yearbook? I did, and I loved it. I have to say, I was on a two-year high as I created these 4 books.

In my next blog, I’ll share a little more about the history of the riot itself. Stay tuned!

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Book #1 (Tulsa Tempest)

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You can read Chapter 1 of Tulsa Tempest right HERE!

Free Download! 

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Book #2 (Tulsa Turning),

(Click the cover for more information.)

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I’ve launched a YouTube video series that I call (for obvious reasons!) The Writing Life These episodes reveal the ins and outs, and the ups and downs of a published author.

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