Monday, April 5, 2010

I'm a Time Traveler and Love It!

Behind the Scenes of my Time Travel Romance
Creighton Manor

To write my historical time travel, Creighton Manor and give it a ring of truth, I had to do a little time traveling myself. I came across these wonderful books documenting life in Natchez during the 1870’s. Henry C. Norman obsession with photography gives us a vivid account of Natchez life through the years. He took portraits, street scenes, parades, ceremonies, news events and just ordinary day to day life photos. We have Joan W. Gandy and Thomas H. Gandy to thank for saving these photos and restoring them. They put together a fine collection of books with Mr. Norman’s photos, giving me a chance to walk the streets of Natchez in 1870 and observed life there. I didn’t have to visualize what the woman or men wore, I could see the dresses, kid shoes and bowler hats. I stepped into the mercantile and saw what I could purchase for the week and on the seedier side of town, a dram of whiskey would suffice at the Under-the-Hill Saloon. Natchez Collections can be purchased at Amazon:

In 1970, Natchez still relied on the steamboats for traveling and transporting goods. Mr. Norman’s photos are the only ones in existence to tell us what the steamboats looked like from the inside out. His photos of the steamboats gave me another idea for my story.

The Great Mississippi Steamboat Race took place in 1870. Captain John W. Cannon and T.P. Leathers were at one time partners. When they ended their partnership, a mutual hatred developed between them.

Leathers took the Natchez on a fast trip to St. Louis. He beat the J.M White record that had stood for twenty-five years. Everyone believed this is what brought about the race from New Orleans to St. Louis. Both Leathers and Cannon insisted they wouldn’t race, but no one believed them.

Cannon stripped The Robert E. Lee and took no passengers. He arranged a refueling in midstream. Leathers was confident that he would win and took freight and passengers with no preparations. Unfortunately, for the Natchez, the Robert E. Lee broke the New Orleans to St. Louis record with three days, eighteen hours and thirteen minutes. This speed has never been bettered by another steamboat.

Since my main character was a gambler, what could be better than having him place a bet on this race? I found my information in Time Life Books, The Old West: The Gamblers. I love this series it is full of facts and photos of long ago. The series was given to me from my parents in 1981 and the books still have a home on my bookshelf today. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve referred back to these books for tidbits about the old west.

You can still find used copies of this series at Amazon:

With these research books, I was able to travel back in time, walk the streets of Natchez and hear the distinct trills of the steamboat whistles without ever leaving my desk.

*If you wish to travel back in time, I'm offering one pdf copy of Creighton Manor to one lucky winner. To be entered in the drawing, all you have to do is tell me where you heard about my blog and what time period you'd like to visit.

Contest ends midnight April 11th.


Purchase Creighton Manor at Amazon


Mindy said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi Karen,
LOVE your books, I'm a Time Traveler, Reader and Love it.
I heard about your blog on your website and your newsie too.
If I could Time Travel to any time period it would be the 60's.
I could leave my younger geeky self notes and mentor myself in being cool . Wouldn't that be a hoot

Sarah Simas said... Best Blogger Tips

Heya KMN!! :)

I so adore that cover. It's just sexy! Plus, I love your hunky side bar treats. Sheesh! I'll take all four and a diet coke. lol

If I could go back in time, I'd want to go to either the Regency era or the early 1900's in America. I'm fascinated by both time periods. Fun question!

Karen Michelle Nutt said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi Mindy,

Wouldn't that be wonderful to give yourself pointers. I could think of a few things I might want to avoid, but then the experiences have made what I am today.

Thanks for stopping by.

jellybelly82158 said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi Karen, I heard about your blog on Paranormal Mondays.

If I could Time Travel it would either be the wild west or the future

Karen Michelle Nutt said... Best Blogger Tips


I couldn't decide on which hunk I like best either. lol

Do you have a favorite Regency Rogue you'd look for?

Karen Michelle Nutt said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi JellyBelly,

The wild west with outlaws needing a strong woman to tame them.

Or the future-- hmm... what do you imagine the future to be like?

Audra said... Best Blogger Tips

I would love to visit the pre civil war era. I heard about your Blog as a email from trsblue

Karen Michelle Nutt said... Best Blogger Tips


Thanks for stopping by. Civil War-Would you want to be a Southern Bell?

Debra St. John said... Best Blogger Tips

I'd love to travel back in time to Civil War days here in the U.S.

I heard about your blog from The Wild Rose Press loop. I'm looking forward to visiting on Friday!

Karen Michelle Nutt said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi Debra,

I hope you meet your Rhett Butler. :)

Thanks for stopping by.

booklover0226 said... Best Blogger Tips

I heard about your from Just Another Paranormal Monday!

If I could go back in time, I would love to go to ancient Egypt; land of Pharoahs and pyramids.

Tracey D
booklover0226 at gmail dot com

Karen Michelle Nutt said... Best Blogger Tips


Egypt-definitely an interesting choice.

Thanks for sharing.

MarthaE said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi Karen. I heard about your blog and the contest at SaSR Group. If I could travel back in time... I think I would say the times of King Arthur and I would want to be a wealthy lady (a nice one of course). Thanks for a chance to win!

Carol North said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi Karen:
I thoroughly enjoyed your article and love to read your books.

Amy J Ramsey said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi Karen,

I had to stop in to read your article and I found it very interesting. Its amazing what we can do with researching history and our imaginations. Thank you for sharing your behind the scenes with us.

I am fascinated with the middle ages and would not mind visiting that time period, even though it was a rough era. I still feel mystified with it.

Amy J Ramsey said... Best Blogger Tips
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karen Michelle Nutt said... Best Blogger Tips

MarthaE aka "Nice Lady",

I love stories about King Arthur even ones with a new spin, like TV Series Merlin. What can I say, I like different.

Thanks for stopping by.

Karen Michelle Nutt said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi Carol,

Thanks for coming by for a spell. You're entered in the drawing, but it'll be up to my daughter's magic fingers to pick the name.

Take Care!

Karen Michelle Nutt said... Best Blogger Tips


You're a doll, always supportive. I love reading about the Middle Ages, not sure I'd want to live in the time without an escape route back the future. lol

Karen Michelle Nutt said... Best Blogger Tips

***Forward for Sarah McNeal

First, let me say thank you for visiting my website and for commenting about Acorn, Karen. I still miss him.

I saw your contest posted at The Romance Room. If I were time traveling I would like to be in the time between the end of The

American Civil War and the fall of the stock market.
I have wanted Creighton Manor for quite some time so I hope I can win it. LOL

THE VIOLIN (Time Travel Romance) Amira Press
BITTER NOTES (Contemporary Romance) Amira Press Available NOW

Karen Michelle Nutt said... Best Blogger Tips

I want to thank everyone who participated in the Time Travel contest. Now for what you all have been waiting for.

Drum roll please….and the winner is....Mindy! Congratulations!!!