Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Say Hello to Vickie McDonough

Seasoned author Vickie McDonough weighs in on her delightful entry in A Pioneer Christmas Collection. Vickie has written 28 novels and novellas including Buckskin Bride, her featured novella. To learn more about Vickie and her wide selection of titles, visit her website at 

Vickie, what made you write about your period in time?
I love historical novels, and that’s mostly what I write. I chose 1889 because it was the year of the first Oklahoma land run, and I wanted my story to take place during the winter after that. My hero won land in the land run, and that’s the setting for my story, Buckskin Bride.

Oklahoma Land Rush

How is Christmas celebrated in your family and what effect did it have on your writing this story?
Even though our boys are all grown now, we still put up a tree and have lights and decorations all over the living room. I hang stockings on the mantel but we no longer fill them since our sons are grown. We eat cinnamon rolls for breakfast on Christmas morning, then open presents, and later, have a big dinner mid-afternoon with the whole family. Christmas has been even more fun the past seven years since my granddaughter was born. I don’t know that my personal Christmas celebrations had any bearing on my story, except that the families in my novella gather together for Christmas dinner.

What research did you do to authenticate Christmas celebrations in your story? 
I didn’t do anything research since the Christmas celebration in my story focused mainly around the dinner and it’s set in Oklahoma, a place I’m very familiar with.

When you dreamed up your story idea, what came first, the time period, the story, or the location?

I’d have to say the location because I wanted to set my story in the Oklahoma Territory.

What was the "germ" of your story idea and how did you flesh it out?
Actually, it was a tipi (teepee). One of the criteria for this novella collection was that your hero or heroine needed to live in an unusual type of home. I decided on a tipi and made up a story to fit with that.

Would you like to have been there?
I think it would have been exciting to have ridden in one of the land runs, just like Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman did in the movie, Far and Away. There was so much anticipation and expectations for the families hoping to win free land. Many did but thousands of people did not get land. I have friends who have family still living on the land their ancestors won in the land rush.

What aspects of your characters are reflected in yours?
My heroine, Maddie, has dressed in buckskin most of her life. She’s comfortable in them, and it makes riding horses, hunting, and doing chores easier. She has no desire to wear dresses—and neither do I, although I don’t wear buckskins. J I don’t care for dresses, and I only own two. One of them is the one I wore in my son’s wedding, thirteen years ago.

Have you been to the locations in which your story is set?
I was born and raised in Oklahoma, and have traveled to much of the state. I don’t know that I’ve been to the exact spot where my story takes place, though, because I was rather vague about where it is located exactly.

What surprised you the most about your story?
That my heroine finally dons a dress. I had my doubts that she actually would.

Would you have made a good pioneer?
In some ways. I love horses and have always been a tomboy and even dreamed of growing up and marrying a rancher. But, I love my modern conveniences like my laptop, air conditioning, kitchen appliances, and indoor plumbing and would hate to leave them all behind.

Were any of your ancestors pioneers? If so, where and when?
My dad’s parents were born in 1874 & 1876. I know that’s hard to believe but it’s true.

I’ve never been able to verify it, but my dad told me that my grandma rode in one of the Oklahoma land rushes with her parents. I do know that my grandparents left the Pennsylvania Dutch country and traveled to El Dorado, Kansas, where my dad—the youngest of their ten children—was born. Then my grandpa got a job with an oil company, and they moved the family to Oklahoma. I still have family in Pennsylvania.

What spiritual themes did you deliberately incorporate into your story?
Trusting God when times are hard is a common theme I write about and one I used for Buckskin Bride.  Which ones did you discover later?  I pretty much stuck to that theme and can’t think of anything that popped up later in the book.

 A Pioneer Christmas Collection Giveaway!
Comment below to enter. Every day that you leave a comment is a new entry. At the end of our 12 Days of Christmas Promotion, two winners will be chosen at random. First prize is a $50 gift certificate from The second prize (but best in my opinion) is an autographed copy of A Pioneer Christmas Collection signed by all 9 Authors!  
Each day you have a new opportunity to enter! You may comment all you like, but only one entry per day will be counted.


gail borden said...

I agree with you Vickie. The thought of just racing a lot of people for a good piece of land sounds so exciting. I just read a book about a woman living in a tipi and it sounded so amazing. They were cool in the summer and had an open area at the top so you could have a fire inside in winter, but not get rained on. I think I could handle it:) I look forward to reading your story.

Marcia Gruver said...

That book sounds fascinating, Gail. I know you'll enjoy Vickie's story. She's an awesome writer, and amazing person. Thanks for stopping by.

Heidi said...

I love Vickie's stories! I'm looking forward to picking up this book. Far and Away was a great movie for teaching about the history of the land run.


Marcia Gruver said...

Thanks for stopping by, Heidi! Yes, Vickie's amazing. I just looked up Far and Away (which I've never seen). I had no idea it was about the Land run. It's going on my Netflix list right away. Best of luck in the drawing.

Anonymous said...

All of these ladies have interesting stuff to tell us. I'm sure hoping to win this book, so can read the stories that they have told us about. GOD bless you all.
MAXIE mac262(at)me(dot)com

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