Shannon here: Angela Breidenbach shares her interesting research that led to her latest title, Right on Time, included in the Historical Romance collection, The Mail-Order Standoff. Comment or answer the question in this post to enter the drawing for a copy, US Only. Deadline: March 7th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Angela:
Time Will Tell…
I’m a curious person. It comes in handy for a writer. One day while researching the book before The Mail-Order Standoff, I stumbled on a link that led me to another link that led me to… you get where this is going. On that rabbit trail, I landed on how time zones came into existence. Fascinated, I took notes. I finally understood that time is merely a concept.
Happily, I had the opportunity to use those notes in the story, Right On Time, for this book. My goodness, what a sense of joyous satisfaction! My little writer’s heart had a terrific time exploring how something that seems so mundane today could be such a radical change for the world not so long ago. What would that mean to a woman waiting for her man to arrive? What would it mean for a man hoping to meet his new bride that he’d only written letters with for months?
The discovery that the huge railroad companies in North America actually created time zones to stop train wrecks triggered every “what-if” scenario possible. That led me to imagining what it must have been like for people during and before that time in history. Another recognition clicked. The year time zones were implemented, 1883, is the year my grandfather was born. His generation was the first to experience time zones as normal. But his parents, my great grands, had a radical life shift. They literally understood time differently before Nov. 18, 1883.
All the generations prior, time was set by the ringing the main church bell at high noon. Each time someone arrived in a new town, they’d have to reset their watches because high noon is different at any given point on the globe. Trains crashed because time inched seconds to minutes in different directions. Any train could have dozens of expected times. Passengers had complicated schedules that could have over eighty different departure times for the same train. Heaven help you if you had to connect or wanted to meet a loved one on time. My hero, Timothy, had a complicated schedule to follow coming from Kentucky to Montana!
Trains ran late for many reasons. Cows could wander onto tracks and topple an engine and cars. Robbers had easy pickings out in the middle of nowhere. Snow had to be plowed off tracks. Floods, riots, strikes… It’s this Wild West setting that creates thousands of outcomes. But the brilliant people who wanted to minimize the dangers created the ability to match up clocks regionally. Train wrecks immediately diminished. How many millions of lives were saved after so many were lost? Timothy and Tara experience more than I expected as I wrote a scene that surprised even me! I can’t wait to hear if you saw it coming! Time becomes a very important element, almost a character, as the world changes all around Timothy and Tara. Then Tara has to face a very real fear. Can she take control of her life or will her fear take control of her? Time will tell…
But did you know the US didn’t officially adopt time zones for thirty-five more years? Not until 1918! And, the first country to implement a standard time was New Zealand back in 1868! Though time zones had been suggested a few years prior to the railroads’ industrial needs, it took transcontinental travel to create this need for a radical lifestyle change. I hope you’ll enjoy imagining with me what people might have experienced while reading The Mail-Order Standoff.
About Angela: Angela Breidenbach is a screenwriter, broadcaster, professional genealogist, bestselling author, and president of the Christian Authors Network. She was recently awarded Outstanding Broadcasting from the Daughters of the American Revolution. 5×5 Productions manages Angela’s screenwriting to Hollywood. Angela lives in Missoula, MT with her hubby and Muse, a trained fe-lion, who can shake hands, lay down and roll over, and jump through a hoop. Surprisingly, Angela can also. Learn more & connect:
About the book – The Mail-Order Standoff: Four books in one. Marriage plans are put on hold in the Old West when four mail-order brides have second thoughts. Tara didn’t know her father wrote letters in her name. Elizabeth shoots her groom. Rachel doubts her ability to live on a ranch. Katie and her twin concoct delay tactics. How will their grooms win their trust?
Right on Time by Angela Breidenbach
Could two people be less suited than an English gentleman and a western gal who is used to giving the orders? From the wild Montana Territory to the refined Kentucky horse farms, can Timothy prove worthy of Tara’s heart?
Pistol-Packin’ Bride by Margaret Brownley
Attorney Wade Bronson didn’t expect to get shot on his wedding day—and certainly not by his mail-order bride….
The Bride Who Declined by Susan Page Davis
Rachel Paxton turns down a mail-order proposal, but a few months later she learns the man she rejected has died—and left his ranch to her in his will.
Twice the Trouble by Vickie McDonough
When Connor McLoughlin and his cousin Brian order a pair of mail-order brides, they think they’re getting two sweet Irish lasses. But what they get is a stage load of shenanigans.
Question for Readers: I’m curious again… What invention do you think radically changed our modern lifestyle?
Come back March 6th for Becky Lyles!