When I research a book, I try to lock in on the every day life of people from the period I’m studying and their socio-economic status. When I create my characters, I strive to place them in a setting that evokes the historical facts as authentically as possible. Living on a wheat farm in the panhandle of Oklahoma during the Great Depression, during the dust storms, was ” hard and sad.” Most of the plot twists and turns came directly from the newspapers of the time. Everything that happened to Billie Jo, a fictional character, happened to real people first. That is not to say that during the most difficult times good things can’t happen. Good things happen every day, even for those living through great challenges, and I hope you find evidence of the things that brought Billie Jo relief in a time of great adversity. But I chose to tell this story of grim struggle against inner and outer elements because it had enormous potential to demonstrate the strength and resilience of the human spirit.
“Why did you make Billie Jo’s life so hard and sad?”