Shannon here: Debbi Migit shares how a family road trip to a ghost town when she was a child inspired her debut novel. Heads up, this is one of my editing babies. Comment or answer the question at the end of any post dated Feb 2nd – 5th to enter the drawing for a copy. Winner’s choice or e-book or print. Deadline: Feb 13th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Debbi:
When I was about seven years old, my family traveled to Arizona to visit relatives. I’d never left Illinois, so the mountains were a revelation to me. With my dad at the wheel of our Studebaker, we zig-zagged through the switchbacks that only allowed one car at a time. My poor grandmother was so terrified she plastered herself to the floorboard of the tiny car and missed the entire show. But I was hooked, so it’s no surprise that my Justice, Montana series is set at the base of a mountain range.
The highlight of that trip (at least for me!) was when we visited Apacheland in the Superstition Mountains. This western town was used as the set for several movies, and while it technically wasn’t a true ghost town, it stirred my imagination and fueled my fascination of all things ‘old west’.
I started my research for the series by searching for ghost towns. When I discovered Bannack, Montana, I knew I’d struck gold (please pardon the pun.) Bannack is located on Grasshopper Creek in Beaverhead County, Montana. Not only is Bannack one of the best-preserved ghost towns in America, but it also has an intriguing history. In 1862, gold was discovered in a creek near where Bannack stands today. A mining camp was quickly built and within a year Bannack was officially home to over 3,000 people. A year later nearly 10,000 people crowded the town and hillsides, focused on one thing. Gold.
Lawlessness was everywhere and soon Henry Plummer was elected sheriff, pledging to stop the robberies that plagued the settlement. But eventually Sheriff Plummer came under suspicion as the ringleader of the roaming gangs and he met an…unfortunate… fate.
Eventually the gold disappeared and so did the settlers. Bannack was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1961 and the last residents left the town in the 1970’s. Today, sixty log, brick, and frame structures remain to be explored year-round. And for one weekend every July, the town is revived for “Bannack Days’, when Bannack is transformed from ghost-town to boom-town once again.
Bannack makes a brief debut in September Shadows when Jess makes a very unwise decision that almost costs her life. It will be featured even more in subsequent books; after all the fascinated seven-year-old in me insists. 😊
Bannack Photos used by permission: (C) Copyrigth by Daniel Ter-Nedden / http://www.ghosttowngallery.com
About Debbi: Award-winning author and speaker, Debbi Migit, lives in central Illinois, surrounded by pumpkin patches and cornfields. Her first book, Child of Promise, is the true love story of a family formed through adoption. After ten years of infertility, Debbi and her husband, Phil, were just months from adopting when God said, “Not this way.” Child of Promise is the story of audacious faith resulting in multiple miracles; it encourages readers to remember their own promises and believe again.
She has won multiple awards and contests, writing stories that are filled with faith and hope. She loves to share personal anecdotes about God’s faithfulness, infusing her talks with authenticity and humor.
Debbi and Phil are the adoptive parents of Alex (31), Ethan (20), and Kate (19). The God-ordained spacing of their children offered the unique opportunity to parent a teen and two toddlers-at the same time. This is the season Debbi fondly calls the TNT years!
Debbi’s hobbies include reading, writing, and avoiding arithmetic. Her favorite color is turquoise, and she collects Trixie Belden books and typewriters. If playing Candy Crush was a paying gig, she would be rich.
Debbi’s new romance/suspense series begins with September Shadows, and is set in Montana. After the mysterious death of their parents, three young sisters are determined to stay together and make a new life for themselves. This new life includes faith-testing danger, adventure, and romance. Watch for the release of September Shadows in spring 2021.
About the book – September Shadows: After the sudden death of their parents, Jess Thomas and her sisters, Sly and Maggie, start creating a new life for themselves. But when Sly is accused of a crime she didn’t commit, the young sisters are threatened with separation through foster care. Jess is determined to prove Sly’s innocence, even at the cost of her own life.
Cole McBride has been Jess’s best friend since they were children. Now his feelings are deepening, just as Jess takes risks to protect her family. Can Cole convince Jess to trust him−and God−to help her?
Question for Reader: If you wrote a book, what real-life event would you feature?
Come back on Feb 9th for Amy R. Anguish!