Sarah Margolis Pearce stops by my blog today as part of the Widow Creek Blog Tour for her historical fiction novel Widow Creek. The tour is sponsored by Sage's Blog Tours.
Q. How many working titles did you go through before deciding on Widow Creek?
Margolis Pearce: It was always Widow Creek. Even before I knew what the novel would actually be about, it was Widow Creek. There’s a creek near to where I live that doesn’t appear on any maps except for an old one from the 1920’s. I thought I’d honor this pretty little piece of water with a name and a novel.
Q. What was your inspiration for the novel?
Margolis Pearce: History. I spend a lot of time looking at old newspapers and periodicals from early California searching for stories, characters and settings. The history of the state has so many wormholes to fall down. The idea for Widow Creek from a wormhole about a flurry of treasure hunting back in the 1880s. The story of Pajaro Mendonca came from the rumors that bandits from the Gold Rush hid their booty in the mountains. Pajaro’s story is similar to Joaquin Murrietta, an infamous bandito in early California history. A so-called Robin Hood of the Sierra Foothills, Murrietta robbed stages and banks and often distributed his money to family and friends. His capture and later murder made him almost more famous in death: his head was preserved and displayed for years around California.