Friday, August 20, 2010

An interesting historical mystery: The Clarks

I'm (hopefully, fingers crossed) about to sell a Western short novella that I've been working on for months. The editor likes it, but wants some changes, and we're in the midst of a lot of back-and-forth that will hopefully result in the manuscript being purchased. Anyway, when I was writing the story, I did some research into the Clark family. Nowadays, the heiress to the Clark fortune is best-known as a mysterious hermit. I did my research on her father, however: William Andrews Clark, a man who made his money selling goods and supplies to miners in Montana, and also through copper mining ventures of his own. He later wound up as a (very undistinguished) U.S. Senator who was forced to resign due to corruption. My hero is based (in terms of work history, not character!) on Senator Clark. The Clark family is the basis of this fascinating slide show because of renewed media interest in the hermit-like life of Huguette Clark:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35266269/displaymode/1247?beginSlide=1

4 comments:

Mary Ricksen said...

How interesting to find out more about them. Did it help you with your WIP?
Good luck with it!

Linda Kage said...

Oh, wow, you're writing about a real family? That sounds interesting. Do you have to change name to protect the guilty, er, innocent?

Caroline Clemmons said...

Linda, that was fascinating. What if the lawyer is lying and she would like contact from her family? What if she's died and he's reluctant to reveal that fact due to his hefty retainer? Yes, I do have a weird mind--that's why I write. LOL

Linda Morris, Romance writer said...

Oh, yes, when I say my characters are "based" on them, I mean very loosely, so I did change the names. This flurry of media interest unfortunately came along long after I'd done all the research--I'm just in the tweaking phase at this point, but there is a gold mine of interesting info here for future stories, I'm sure!

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