On one of the boards I follow, the Question was posed: Who in history would you like to have met? I answered Dora Hand. She was a dancehall singer in Dodge City who was killed by a jealous drover in from Texas. Dora interacts with my two characters in my next book in The Soiled Dove Sagas, Queen of the Cow Towns. One of my characters is a fine pianist and I had them meeting in that regard. Upon doing some more research, I found that Dora was thought to be a high-dollar prostitute who catered to the elite in Dodge City also. My characters are prostitutes. That bit of information changed the whole dynamic of how they may have interacted. Damned Research! But you have to get it right.
Dora was a classically trained opera soprano from the East Coast, probably Baltimore. I would love to chat with her to ask why she would leave that behind to travel to the unsophisticated West to sing to drunken drovers and gamblers in a dancehall. She was having an ongoing affair with mayor Dog Kelley and was killed in his house when the jealous drover tried to kill Kelley but hit Dora instead.
After doing some further thinking on the subject, I would also like to meet a couple of my very distant grandparents from the 15th century. While doing a family name search some years ago, I tracked my mother’s Treat family back to find a marriage record tat read: William Treat (formerly Trott) weds Nan Trott. Interesting! Wouldn’t that make for a great Romance novel? As publishers will not publish romances embracing incest, I would like to know how far they were removed or simply had the same last name without being related closely at all. Towns were small back then and I do not believe a priest would have married them had he known they were related with only a name changed by the groom. Whoever recorded the marriage knew of the name change because it is recorded as such. Interesting!
Others wrote that they wanted to talk to Kings, Queens, World leaders, and of course, other great writers. That is all well and good, but I think the simple man’s or woman’s story makes for a more interesting chat. If I met Hitler, I’d kill him and change European and Middle Eastern history. If I met Cleopatra, I’d tell her to avoid Roman men. If I met Lincoln, I’d tell him the theatre sucks. I’d just end up throwing a monkey wrench in to the whole time continuem thing.
Until tomorrow; Write On!