About Carol Buchanan
People in Montana Territory made dangerous decisions in order to achieve their dreams or just to survive. My novels depict their courage, faith, and hope as they fought a gang of secret outlaws, brutal winters, and the earth's granite shell. Some of the people in my novels once walked the earth; the fictional ones walk only in the landscape of my mind.
Where I Live
Together with my husband, Richard, I live in the Flathead Valley in Northwest Montana. Glacier National Park is 30 miles from us. Although it's tough to make a living and winters can be harsh (-26 F), we feel blessed to live here. Every morning I wake up to the Swan Rrange mountains, where both Tundra and Trumpeter swans make their homes part of the year.
I also like the attitude of the people. My father was a cowboy in his early working life. Around here, the word "cowboy" is not an insult, and we understand the "cowboy way."
Returning to Montana, I discovered my own "True North." Lisa Simon, Producer of "Reflections West," a program on Montana Public Radio (MTPR) asked me to write something about the West. You can listen to the essay here.
Writing Historical Fiction
I write historical Westerns. To do justice to the people and the times, I blend accurate research with imaginative - but logical - speculation based on fact, historical figures with fictional characters, historical incidents with fictional conflicts, and fact with feeling. No other form of writing has allowed me to engage my imagination to such a great degree. .
Instead of growing up believing Hollywood Westerns reflected the real West, I watched them with people who had lived in the real, historical, Old West. My old people told stories of the West they had lived in.
None of them, but my father especially, was bashful about telling me, "It wasn't that way." Followed by how it really was.
Following that, I write as close as I can to how it really was. I owe it to them.