I love getting to the end of a book and reading the author's notes. Discovering tidbits about the writing process, those who helped shape the story, the facts and the fiction, and the things the author really wanted to share through the writing make books even more interesting for me. Such was the case this week with Kirby Larson's notes about HATTIE EVER AFTER. Set in 1919, it follows Hattie from Great Falls (where she has gone after failing to save her uncle's claim) to San Francisco (with the Venturing Varietals).
"When I left Hattie at the end of Hattie Big Sky, I had no intention of writing another book about her." p.225
Most author friends seems to feel that way about their books and characters, but I was glad to read about how she thought Hattie should do one thing and how the character had other ideas.
"A chance encounter with an article about love tokens fashioned from old coins (learn more at lovetokensociety.org) paved the way for Ruby Danvers and a delicious dilemma for Hattie." p. 226
I loved the way she wove that into the story regarding Uncle Chester, the man from whom Hattie inherited the Montana farm.
"One of the reasons I am drawn to writing historical fiction is that it can help us understand ourselves in the here and now. To be fair, I should say it helps me understand myself in the here and now." p. 229
In those lines she summed up my love for historical fiction. I sometimes wish I could experience time travel.
"Yes, I did a copious amount of research for this book. But my efforts were fueled by the desire to get this story - the story of seventeen-year-old orphan Hattie Inez Brooks trying to find her place in the world - absolutely right." p. 230
I think this story was told in absolutely the right way.