Research in Jackson Hole

jackson hole jenny lakeI spent last week in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where I attended a writer’s conference and took advantage of the opportunity to do research for the next book in my King’s Brat series, SURRENDER. I also hiked in Grand Teton National Forest, where there were numerous bright yellow “bear warning” signs. I ended up humming “The Farmer in the Dell” all the way to Phelps Lake, just so the grizzlies would know I was there. You really wouldn’t want to meet a bear like this all alone on the trail!jackson hole bear

At the Jackson Hole Fire Station, I asked Battalion Chief Fire Marshall Kathy Clay a myriad of questions
about firefighters and firefighting in Jackson Hole, information I need to make Brian Flynn realistic as a JH firefighter. Kathy then pointed me toward former smoke jumper Lesley Williams-Gomez who, along with former smoke jumper Chip Gerdin, provided suggestions and anecdotes about jumping from a plane to fight a blazing fire in the forest below that will keep SURRENDER both accurate and thrilling.

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Photo Credit: Chip Gerdin

Kathy (Wyoming’s first female battalion chief fire marshal) and her husband Mike invited me to their home for a delicious dinner that included elk steak, homemade bread, and cherry pie made with locjackson hole elk dinnerally picked and pitted cherries. Of course I asked them where they met and fell in love (I do this wherever I go). They met working together as outfitters, Kathy cooking and Mike as a guide, a vocation he continues to this day with hunters. Mike also serves as a volunteer firefighter.

I’ll be speaking at the national Romance Writers of America conference at the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina on Friday, July 15 from 12:45-1:45 on “Writing Conflict That Will Keep Readers Turning the Pages” by putting your characters in terrible trouble-and keeping them there. I’ll also be signing FREE books at the Penguin Random House signing at the conference at 9:00 on Saturday morning, July 16. See you there!

I’m still looking for suggestions for two-word titles for SURRENDER. If I choose your title, you’ll receive an autographed copy of the book when it comes out-with an acknowledgement in the book of your contribution of the title. So keep those suggestions coming to me through my website Contact page. If you’ve already sent me a suggestion through my Facebook page, please send it again to my website so I can include you in this contest.

Take care and happy reading,

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