Today I am hosting Christi Corbett, author of the new novel, Along the Way Home, about travelers on the Oregon Trail in 1843 (the year of Jesse Applegate’s migration).
Here is my interview with Christi about her book:
Theresa: Can you give us a brief synopsis of Along the Way Home?
Christi: Kate Davis is intrigued when her father reveals his dream of starting a horse ranch in Oregon Territory. Settlers out west value a strong woman. But in Virginia’s elite society, her ability to manage the financials of her father’s mercantile earns her ridicule, not respect.
Jake Fitzpatrick, an experienced trail guide, wants land out west to raise cattle and crops. But dreams require money, and he’s eating dandelion greens. So when a wealthy businessman offers double wages to guide his family across the Oregon Trail, Jake accepts with one stipulation – he is in complete control.
Life on the Oregon Trail is a battle of wills between Kate and Jake. Then tragedy strikes, stranding them a thousand miles from home in a treacherous land the United States doesn’t yet own or govern. Kate is left dependent upon the very man she despises. She faces a choice – go back to everything she’s ever known or toward everything she’s ever wanted?
Along the Way Home, by Christi Corbett
Theresa: What inspired you to write about the Oregon Trail?
Christi: Along the Way Home is a sweet historical romance set on the 1843 Oregon Trail, so it’s little wonder I got the idea for this book while on a cross-country road trip.
Allow me to set the scene:
My fiancé (now husband) and I are traveling from Green Bay, Wisconsin to Marysville, Washington, in my 1992 Hyundai Excel (compact car). The backseat and hatchback are loaded to the windows with all my worldly possessions. As an extra bonus, my husband is 6 feet 4 inches tall. Plus it’s February, and the Midwest winter is brutally cold, so we’re sporting layers of long underwear, flannel shirts, and puffy coats.
We stopped off at a number of landmarks, including Mt. Rushmore, the Badlands, and Wall Drug. By the time we reached the Montana border, hubby was ready to rip out the front seat and drive from the back, and I was beyond bored. In mid-Montana, I started whining about how long it was taking, how there was nothing to do but sit, and how the scenery never changed.
Theresa: Sounds like me in Kansas.
Christi: Mid-complaint, I realized we had traveled in one hour what would take nearly three days to accomplish in the 1800s. (Recall we’d just come from Wall Drug in South Dakota, so “the old times” were fresh on my mind.)
I whipped out my notebook, and ideas just started flowing. Soon I had pages of notes about a possible book. Here’s the actual first line that started it all: A fantastic idea just occurred to me in light of the journey I have just taken…
Occasionally, I pull out that notebook to see how far I’ve come. (For starters, I learned using “just” twice in one sentence is a big no-no.) My first descriptions of the main characters are completely different from Jake and Kate, and there wasn’t one mention of a covered wagon or the Oregon Trail.
But the basic idea was there: A man and woman travel west, each for their own reasons, to start a new life. And from that moment, a story was born.
Theresa: What has been the hardest part of being a writer for you?
Christi: Balancing writing life and family life. My husband and I have eight-year-old twins (boy/girl), and it’s nearly impossible to write while they are awake. They are both well-behaved, but they are also VERY creative. Here’s what happened the last time I tried writing during the day:
Summer break, Hour One: My twins invented a zipline that spans the living room. Created from a craft ribbon and clothes hanger. I walked into the room just as girl twin was poised to jump off an ottoman. I did the “STOP” yell just in time.
Summer break, Hour Two: I walked back into the living room to see them using dog treats like Hansel and Gretel to get the dog to go through an obstacle course.
No wonder I write at night, when they’re asleep!
Theresa: Tell us a little bit more about yourself.
Christi: I’m addicted to coffee, sticky notes, and the Oxford Comma. I live in a small town in Oregon with my husband and our twins. Our home’s location is especially inspiring, because the view from the back door is a hill travelers looked upon years ago as they explored the Oregon Territory and beyond.
Theresa: Well, there’s one difference between us. I merely tolerate the Oxford Comma. What are your readers saying about Along the Way Home?
Christi: Along the Way Home was released in ebook format on June 11, 2013, and will be available in print in July. It’s available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Bookstrand, Astraea Press (my publisher), OmniLit, and several other retailers.
Here are a few reviews:
… author Christi Corbett unfurls an unforgettable epic romance inside of an epic Western adventure. Beautifully crafted, this debut novel is a tender journey of the heart as well as a treacherous journey of many miles. Eve Paludan, author of Taking Back Tara (Ranch Lovers Romance series)
A breathtaking account of courage and adventure along the Oregon Trail. Jillian Kent, author of The Ravensmoore Chronicles.
A dash of action! A touch of intrigue! Loads of sweet, clean romantic promise… Reid Lance Rosenthal, Winner of 15 National Awards, #1 Best Selling Author of the Threads West, An American Saga series.
Theresa: Thanks, Christi. Readers, please check out Along the Way Home at the locations Christi mentioned above.
Christi: Thank you, Theresa. I hope your readers will visit me at:
Facebook: Christi Corbett—Author