Monday, 09 December 2019

I Interviews

Interview: Regina Scott

Can you provide a brief description of A Distance Too Grand?

A Distance Too Grand is a romantic adventure that pits a spunky lady photographer against the determined Army engineer who once courted heras they seek not only to survey the North Rim of the Grand Canyon but to uncover its secrets. Their work will test their resolve, their faith, and the love neither completely left behind.

 

Scott ReginaWhy did you choose the Grand Canyon as the setting for A Distance Too Grand?

Photographers were critical to the U.S. Army’s surveys of the West. Some of our best early pictures of Yosemite, Yellowstone, and other scenic wonders came from those commissioned photographers. I wanted to give Meg Pero, my heroine, something equally amazing to photograph. What better than the majesty of the Grand Canyon?

 

A Distance Too Grand is book one in the American Wonders Collection. Which other national parks will you be featuring in your novels?

Book two will be set in Yellowstone, book three in my own backyard—Mt. Rainier.

 

Meg faces some hardships as a photographer in the 1870s. Can you please expound on the type of struggles she encountered?

Although women were successfully leading their own photography studios in the bigger cities by the 1870s, few would have been accepted on an Army expedition. The rugged travel over lands with no roads, the chance that clean water might not be found or hunting would prove challenging, and the sometimes rough companionship of the trail meant women were generally considered unsuitable for the role of expedition photographer. Then too, the profession itself was not without its difficulties. Cameras, particularly those for landscapes like the Grand Canyon, were massive and heavy. The chemicals used to develop the plates were toxic. All the more reason for us to be in awe of what early photographers like Timothy O’Sullivan created.

 

Do you have a favorite character in A Distance Too Grand? Who is it and why?

Though I’m always close to my heroine and hero, one of my favorite characters is Dot Newcomb, the expedition cook. Dot has been working with her cartographer husband for years. She knows what the army expects and what she can manage with the supplies and rations she’s been given. And she isn’t afraid to speak her mind! Dot will be your best encourager, the one who has your back. Just don’t get between Dot and her cinnamon.

 

What type of research was required for writing your new novel?

A wide variety! I studied what plants were historic to the North Rim and the slopes as you descend from it into the Canyon. I poured over maps to confirm camping sites, springs, and trails. I looked up details on the U.S. Army surveys—the procedures, equipment, and results—as well as who led them, what they wore, and how they lived on the survey. And I had to find something for a lady to wear riding sidesaddle over

difficult terrain at a time when bustles were the rage, but you were allowed only one small trunk for two months on the trail and little time to wash!

 

You have written more than 45 historical romances. What do you enjoy the most about writing historical novels?

As you could probably tell from my last answer, I love the research! Discovering our past opens my mind to so many ideas. People haven’t changed much over the hundreds of years I generally write about. But the world and their place in it has. Like the Grand Canyon, we need to preserve these precious details.

 

What do you hope readers gain from reading A Distance Too Grand?A Distance Too Grand Book Cover

I hope they are swept away to another time, another place, that they marvel like Meg and Ben over the grandeurs of creation, and that they root for Meg and Ben to learn the truth about his father and their love.

 

What is next on your writing to-do list?

I’m starting the research phase for the second book in the series, set in Yellowstone in 1886, when the U.S. government gave control of our country’s first national park to the cavalry to stop the predation by poachers, hunters, and vandals. My book features a heavyhearted cavalry officer assigned there, who recruits a beleaguered widow running one of the first hotels in the park to be his guide.Those two wounded hearts could lead to one powerful love.

 

How can readers connect with you?

Readers can find me online at my website at www.reginascott.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/authorreginascott, and blogging at www.nineteenteen.com.

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