Please join me in welcoming historical author Colleen Adair Fleidner to the Reading Room today.
Hi Colleen. Tell us a bit about yourself.
Hello and thank you for inviting me to do an online interview. First of all, I live in Orange County, California with my husband, Rick, and two little Pomeranian dogs. My daughter and her husband moved in with us shortly before she gave birth to our grandson two years ago. So, the house is crazy busy and always noisy with a two-year-old running wild.
I’ve always been a dreamer, and I must say that I’ve been lucky to be able to live many of my dreams. My three passions are writing, history, and travel. The jobs I’ve had through the years have provided me with many opportunities to embrace all of these obsessions.
Why do you write historical fiction?
I’ve always loved history. Period! Many of the first historical novels and nonfiction books I read were set in Egypt. The first book I purchased with birthday money at the age of 12 was a huge history of Egypt. I also devoured James Michener’s novels and I especially enjoyed the historical novel, Hawaii. Naturally, I was a history major in college with a minor in anthropology and archaeology participating in digs in Irvine and in the Mojave Desert. I studied writing in the Writer’s Program at U.C.L.A., and screenwriting at USC and at the American Film Institute. I optioned a screenplay (historical, of course) about Fatty Arbuckle, as well as several paranormal scripts for the new Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock Presents television programs.
Tell us a little about researching Stories in Stone.
Stories in Stone: Miners and Madams, Merchants and Murderers contains 100 true stories of pioneers who lived and died in Park City, Utah. I began my research by using the dates of each individual’s birth and death found on their headstones to search newspapers for obituaries, death records at the Family History Center in Salt Lake City, census records, and on and on. It took me well over a year to do the research, much of which I did while staying in Utah. The rest I did online from my home in Southern California.
I’m honored to say that the Mormon Family History Museum in Salt Lake City has copies of my book for people to use as part of their families’ genealogy research. As a result of my work, the Park City Historical Society held an annual event in Glenwood Cemetery in which local residents dress as one of the people in my book and stand at the grave site to tell people their stories (which I had written). The money they charged the public for the event helped them renovate the deteriorating pioneer cemeteries, as well as supporting the historical museum in Park City. I’m very proud of the book, and it’s still selling!
Here’s a link to the book at Amazon.com.
During Spooky History, Colleen will be sharing some of her eerie experiences while researching in Park City and stories about the abundant number of ghostly apparitions that haunt the old buildings.
You can find Colleen online at:
And please join us for Spooky History on Monday, October 19, 2020 at 6:30 p.m. (PT) The Zoom meeting is sponsored by the Santa Clarita Library in their series of History Talks held monthly on various historical topics.
Click here to register: bit.ly/HTSpookyHistory
Hope to see you there.