No, that’s not exactly correct. My heroine, Mary, is a pampered former wife of a rock star. Her life has been one of privilege, private jets and non-stop parties. When she gets dropped into 1823 in the midst of an Indian camp, she knows nothing about how to survive in the wild. She is forced to rely on the mountain men who rescue her from the frightening Indians, but who are every bit as frightening themselves. Not exactly an ideal situation.
While doing the research for this story, and for my other stories about the expansion of the American west, I read the diaries of many women who crossed the country by covered wagon. These great, strong women were responsible for taming and civilizing the west. So why do we not know their names? Most of these women were placed in secondary roles, birthing and caring for children, and keeping the home fires burning, but not warranting a place in our history books.
Only one woman bucked the trend. Sacajawea. If not for this Indian woman, the expedition of Lewis and Clark would have been a failure. Quite possibly not one person would have survived. She guided this company of men across vast wildernesses, spoke to the Indians they encountered and acted as interpreter for the company, maintained the peace, and, oh yes—she had a child while they were traveling and carried the baby with her the rest of the trip.
So now, while I’ll eventually write a story about a pony express rider, being on a wagon train or marrying a fur trapper, the story of my heart is about this amazing woman. I’ll write her story someday. But in the meantime, I’m suffering Sacajawea envy.