I didn’t, not really. What I have always wanted to do was write an Eastern but there does not seem to be a genre that fits. I have read several such fictions and I learned more history from them than I ever did in school.
Books like “Westward the River” by Dale Van Every, a story of flatboats on the Ohio river bringing settlers to Kentucky and stories about the Revolution like “Trumpet to Arms” and “Guns of Burgoyne” by Bruce Lancaster. These books are certainly historical, they all have the element of romance, action, danger and they are set in the east. This is my idea of an Eastern.
I chose to write about the early history of the middle Hudson River mostly because I grew up in the area and I did learn a lot about local history in seventh grade. The story starts about 24 years after Henry Hudson first sailed up the river to what is now Albany. A sailing ship carrying 25 families leaves England in January 1637 and arrives at the mouth of the Hudson River on March 5. In the first week of April the ice is finally out of the river and it sails up the river to what is now Stuyvesant and left Sarah and her family.
Think for a minute what it must have been like to find yourself facing an unending wilderness totally unprepared and without the skills to survive on your own. My story is about a young woman and her family struggling to cope with the wilderness as they learn to harvest its bounties. There is action, humor and of course romance for romance is what makes the struggle worthwhile.