It must have been 2008, but maybe 2007, and I was teaching 4th grade Texas history. It was about a week before November, because I already had my NaNoWriMo book planned (I don't even remember what it was!) I was teaching the kids about Jane Long, who was a woman alone on the Texas coast, waiting for her husband to return. They were stationed in a fort on Bolivar Point, near Galveston. She had to fend off both pirate attacks and Indian attacks, and it was just her and her slave, and I think a child but I don't remember now.
While I'm teaching the kids, I have a very clear picture of Jane looking out and seeing a rider approaching, then falling from is horse. Right there, I knew I had to write that story, and I didn't want to wait.
I'd never written an historical before, so I had a ton of research to do in one week!
I wrote the book, won NaNo, but it needed work. Over Spring Break, my parents and baby brother and I went to San Felipe, Stephen F. Austin's original colony where my hero and heroine ended up, then down to Bolivar Point to see the fort. This was soon enough after Hurricane Rita that we couldn't get to the fort. In fact I recall it as a blur as we drove by it.
I finished the book, submitted it to Brand New Carina Press. In May (not sure if it was the same year or not) I got my one and only CALL, from Angela James, wanting to buy the book. I'd never gotten a CALL before, only emails, and I wouldn't have cared if the school superintendent had walked in at that point. That was a highlight of my writing career.
The book came out in September of 2009. I remember because I had TWO books out that week--Don't Look Back, a romantic suspense from The Wild Rose Press, and Sunrise. I was over the moon, but I had bigger expectations from Sunrise, because it was with Carina. We were in California for my grandmother's 90th birthday, and so it was hard to do a lot of direct promo, but I tried. I remember wearing a shirt with the book cover on it on the plane ride home, lol.
This remains my only historical so far, but I'm very proud of it, so if you haven't checked it out, please do!