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Michal Scott: Where Imagination Meets Fact (Contest & Excerpt)
Monday, November 8th, 2021

UPDATE: The winner is…Colleen C!

My love of historical fiction springs from the nexus of where imagination meets fact. Through her time-telescope book, Jubilee, poet author Margaret Walker hurls me back in time to the American Civil War as experienced by a slave family based on the life of her great-grandmother. James Michener does the same on the multicultural history of Colorado in Centennial. My erotic historicals don’t come anywhere near the scope of these sagas, yet in “The Patience of Unanswered Prayer” imagination meets fact as it does in Walker’s and Michener’s work.

As he brings my heroine Eleanor Taylor to safety, my hero Franklin Adams muses on family life that could have been his but for slavery. I created this life for him, i.e., the backstory of his ancestors in Africa from my research. The image above is from the New York Public Library’s Schomburg digital collection. It shows an African man feeding cattle. Michael Grauer, the McCasland Chair of Cowboy Culture and Curator of Cowboy Collections and Western Art at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, in Oklahoma City is quoted as saying “cowboy traditions originated in Africa, where cattle herders would rope cattle on foot, and the likes of the Maasai people drove them toward better lands for grazing.”

My research for this story also found that while Blacks enjoyed more respect and freedom driving cattle in the West, they rarely rose to trail boss or foreman. Yet reading about Bose Ikard, one of the most famous Black Texas frontiersmen and trail drivers, I learned this former slave, who worked on several of the Goodnight-Loving cattle drives, was so trustworthy Charles Goodnight often put him in charge of the cash collected at the end of the trail. Thus, I created Franklin, also a former slave, with an ancestral knowledge of the best way to handle cattle and equally trusted like Ikard. My imagination met these two facts and created one of those rare exceptions: a Black trail boss.

Other famous Black Westerners could have been models for Franklin as well. One was former slave Nat Love, also known as Deadwood Dick, who worked for large cattle spreads in Texas and Arizona. He recounts his life in his autobiography, The Life and Adventures of Nat Love. Another could have been Bill Pickett who is credited with creating bulldogging. While these facts did not meet imagination in my present story, I can easily see how they might in future ones.

So for a chance at a $10 Amazon gift card, share in the comments some interesting piece of history that may have sparked your imagination.

“The Patience of Unanswered Prayer”
in Cowboys: A Boys Behaving Badly Anthology

Cowboys: A Boys Behaving Badly Anthology

A feisty businesswoman about to become the next victim of Post-Civil War revenge receives rescue from an unexpected source

Excerpt from “The Patience of Unanswered Prayer”…

She prayed Flyte would ungag her quickly, prayed her gut was right that he wasn’t party to whatever Radcliffe had planned.

Flyte pulled down the gag.

“He’s going to kill me,” she rasped, her mouth free of the loathsome muzzle. “You have to stop him.”

“Kill you?” Flyte blenched. “He’s done this for your safety.”

“Taking me the long way round to Darlington City in the dead of night is for my safety?”

“A mob was waiting to lynch you.”

“You know that’s not true. Radcliffe trumped up these charges against me to put me at his mercy.”

“Gordon Daniels brought the charges against you.”

“At Radcliffe’s urging. Daniels is ex-Confederate and can’t cotton any Black—man or woman—doing better than Whites.”

“Why would the sheriff do that? He’s an ex-Yankee who hates confederates like Daniels.”

“Radcliffe hates me more. He wants revenge on me for rebuffing his attentions.”

“I can’t believe—” Flyte paused, then looked thoughtful. A frown filled his face. “Yet…”

His hesitation gave her hope. Her gut tensed, and her heart beat until her chest hurt.

“You know full well taking me from jail is either foolishness or mischief.”

The cock of a gun hammer turned them both in the same direction.


Buy link: Amazon –
Michal Scott Amazon Author Page –

15 comments to “Michal Scott: Where Imagination Meets Fact (Contest & Excerpt)”

  1. Anna Taylor Sweringen
    · November 8th, 2021 at 9:39 am · Link

    Hi Delilah, as always thanks for hosting me.

  2. Colleen C.
    · November 8th, 2021 at 11:59 am · Link

    I visited a Fort once… saw an old cannon… it made me wonder about the people that were there long ago… what they experienced, felt, etc.

  3. Anna Taylor Sweringen
    · November 8th, 2021 at 1:47 pm · Link

    Hi Colleen,

    I know what you mean. I visited the Alamo when I went to San Antonio, saw how small it was and wondered what it would have been like to be in there during an attack. Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Mary Preston
    · November 8th, 2021 at 3:39 pm · Link

    All history sparks my imagination. Lately it has been the heroics of those who faced torture and death for saving Jews during WWII.

  5. Jennifer Beyer
    · November 8th, 2021 at 4:19 pm · Link

    Ooooo…..I got so excited about the history of Williamsburg. We got lucky and got to meet a group of archeologists doing a dig. My husband and I couldn’t stop theorizing about the site because there is so much they don’t know yet.

  6. bn100
    · November 8th, 2021 at 6:48 pm · Link


  7. Anna Taylor Sweringen
    · November 8th, 2021 at 7:02 pm · Link

    Hi Mary,

    Yes. So much that was done back then needs to be lifted up. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Anna Taylor Sweringen
    · November 8th, 2021 at 7:04 pm · Link

    How cool, Jennifer. The history of the colonial era is territory I’ve yet to really explore. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Anna Taylor Sweringen
    · November 8th, 2021 at 7:05 pm · Link

    Every time he sees a bird, my husband says, “Flying dinosaur.” Thanks for sharing, bn100.

  10. Jean Torgeson White
    · November 9th, 2021 at 9:39 pm · Link

    The ancient Native American tribes in Arizona. The Anasazi that disappeared that many tribes claim are their ancestors. How the Mogollon describe their origin story and the Hohokam that created the canals in Phoenix that have been utilized still today.

  11. Pamela Reveal
    · November 10th, 2021 at 8:38 am · Link

    I visit washington Dc as a chikd wiukd like to go back. I love the life of Anerican Indians have visit few places new mexico its a beautuful culture hard but beautiful. I want to go out west follow the trails of ancestors

  12. Anna Taylor Sweringen
    · November 12th, 2021 at 1:40 pm · Link

    Hi Jean,

    How fascinating. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Anna Taylor Sweringen
    · November 12th, 2021 at 1:41 pm · Link

    Hi Pamela,

    Following the route ancestors have trod would be enlightening on so many levels. Thanks for sharing.

  14. Catherine M
    · November 14th, 2021 at 9:52 pm · Link

    Frank Lloyd Wright style of architecture is beautiful and timeless. He greatly influenced a lot of architects over the years. His “Prairie style” became the basis of 20th-century residential design in the United States.

  15. Delilah
    · November 16th, 2021 at 8:20 am · Link

    Thanks, Michal/Anna for another great post!

    Congratulations to Colleen C! You’re Michal’s winner!

Comments are closed.