Thursday, July 25, 2013

As a writer of mostly historical stories, I love the journey on which my research takes me.  I was fascinated by the granite quarry work that was done in Minnesota—especially in the 1800’s.  I was able to visit Quarry State Park near St. Cloud, Minnesota and get a first hand feel for the land and the quarry’s themselves.   I was able to visit the local museums and learn about historic quarrying techniques and speak with people who had actual knowledge of the old ways granite was quarried.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and I’ve found them to be absolutely critical to my work.  My husband is quite the photographer and as part of his help with the research, he also takes photos for me. On one of my trips to the St. Cloud area, we were able to get photos at Quarry State Park.  These are examples of the areas quarried and how with no one any longer pumping water from the quarry, they have filled and in some cases have become great swimming holes.

Other pictures include the equipment required.

This is a wonderful park and if you get a chance, and love a good walk in the woods, I highly suggest you visit it.  Here’s a website link.  

When I write a book, I find that visiting the area involved is an invaluable experience.  Even though we know the times have drastically altered the landscapes and people (most of the time), some of the best resources are available locally through museums, local records and oral histories. 

My husband Jim is a historian, so early on historical accuracy became important to me.  When I plot out a story, I like to get as much information as possible on the details of the time period and the occupations that I hope to include or events that I want to cover.  When researching for Quarryman’s Bride, I was fascinated by the quarry work to be sure,  but also the Scottish background boasted by many of the workers.  I love researching and find it to be one of the most rewarding aspects of the writing process.  For the reader, I hope it is also enjoyable.  Probably 90% of the information I learn will never go into the actual content of the book, but the knowledge for me as the writer helps me to bring the story alive.

Quarryman’s Bride also focuses on some difficult spiritual aspects.  How far should one go to honor their mother and father?  How do you forgive someone who doesn’t think they need to be forgiven?  How do you let go of the past and give the present over to God?  The spiritual battles within my stories are always ones that we face today.  Writing has always been a ministry for me and the spiritual education and encouragement the stories offer is given in hopes of uplifting the reader and bringing them closer to God.  I never think I have all the answers, but I try to point people back to the Bible, where I know the answers can be found.

Ultimately, I love the opportunity to share the blessings I’ve known in my life—through my faith in Jesus.  I also love to hear from you the reader and hope you will continue to visit my website and leave me messages.   

May God bless you in His love and give you peace.
Tracie Peterson

Come back tomorrow for a chance to win a copy of Quarryman's Bride!


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