Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Journey of PLANET by January Bain

1600 Words In
Now putting all the last five blog information together, we have the prologue for PLANET.
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic," 
~Arthur C. Clarke~


Armageddon is imminent. All residents of Earth are on highest alert. The world has become one nation without boundaries as its inhabitants stretch skyward on highest tippy toe to swing for the brass ring of the second tier of the third level of the Kardashev scale for categorizing civilizations, well ahead of the original schedule of another millennium. This previously unrealized dream of all citizens being of one denomination has finally come to pass for all peoples of Planet Earth and now an unprecedented monumental disaster is about to strike in the form of the Comet Titan, a massive ice-ball from the Kuiper belt, a zone just beyond Neptune that has sent a steady rain of comets eastward for thousands of years. The inhabitants are scrambling to evacuate their home planet on a great Diaspora just behind an army of unleashed von Neumann probes, those self-replicating robots that are “seeding” the galaxy with terraform, that is, changing the new chosen planet’s surface and climate to be like Earths, for the Titan is coming.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

How stories take on a life of their own? by Michael W. Davis

Being both an engineer and a mathematician, I figured the process associated with writing fiction would be similar to what I learned over 30+ years. You know, you create a plan, a scheme, and you stick to it the best you can till you’re done. Well, yes and no. It is possible, at least for me, to initially plan out the basic structure of the plot, scenes, and characters, but a strange thing happens when I start actually writing the story, it evolves with a life of its own, really. As I visualize scenes in my head, it’s like I’m there witnessing what’s happening first hand. The responses by the characters, actions that take place, events that come up, they just kind of happen on their own. Its one of the reasons I lock myself up in a dungeon for hours at a time.

I actually live the story, and if I stop, unless I’m at the end of a chapter, I lose much of the environment and surroundings I’m seeing in my minds eye. For me, that’s a good thing. It’s why I enjoy the actual creation of the story so much. I get to live in a new world and meet new people, much like I guess the readers do. Only difference is, and this is the really neat part, if I don’t like the way things are playing out, I pick up my mental eraser, rewind the tape, and imagine something new. For example, in one novel, I had a supporting character slated to be killed mid way through the story. But as the character evolved, she became so real, such a terrific person, I fell in love with her (as a brother of course) and I couldn’t kill her off. So I just had her get roughed up a little. And the storyline can change drastically.

In Tainted Hero, the end result turned out to be about 50% of my original vision. In Forgotten Children, things ended up to be roughly 70% of the initial idea. But in my latest (Blind Consent), man, the story took several loops and ran off in a brand new direction, only matching about 30% of my original ideas. This evolutionary process went against my fact-based training and was difficult at first. But I’ve learned that if I cut the strings, unfetter my mind with too much structure, and let the story go as it sees fit, the end result is tons better, and I have a ball in the process.

Big Mike

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Journey of PLANET by January Bain

PLANET’s Timeline

The twenty-seventh century, seven hundred years from now. If we are only a twelve centuries out of the dark ages, exponentially speaking, why not 2700AD? Some may think this too soon to have reached a level 2 civilization, but others might agree. I’m rooting for mankind. And since its probably my decision in the end, I’m going with the 27th century. Any thoughts on what life might be like at that time?

Von Neumann Probes

In essence, self replicating probes work as follows: A fully-automated probe is launched toward a nearby star via a propulsion system. When it enters that star system decades (or centuries) later, it exhaustively surveys what lies there. It transmits what it learns back to its home planet, which for our purposes, is Planet Earth. It then uses the material resources of the star system present in asteroids, comets, moons, and/or planets to construct replicas of itself, which it sends to other nearby star systems to repeat the process, looking for a new perfect Earth.
 They would be in essence miniature flying factories, designed to use advanced robotic systems to mine and process ore, harvest raw materials, fabricate individual components, and assemble all the varied parts into a whole probe. Depending on the complexity of the probe and the sophistication of the robotic systems involved, the process to produce a single daughter probe can vary from a few days to several years.
The original probe may stay in the system or continue on, depending on its mission parameters. If it stays, it may act as a communication relay between its "children" and its home planet, or it may begin processing the system’s resources for anticipated follow-up colonization ships from the home planet, or it may launch resources back to its point of origin for its building race’s material needs.
For our needs, it will actually prepare the new planet for all the inhabitants of Earth.
Any comments?

Saturday, June 23, 2012


A:  Life is good, life is great, especially on interview day!
Z:  And we are particularly happy to have with us January Bain, author of FOREVER MAN,
A:  And, congrats are in order, for a little birdie told us that Champagne Books offered January a contract FOREVER WOMAN.
Z: Fabulous!

Thank you both. I am feeling very blessed by the unfolding of this incredible journey. I never would have believed it if you had asked me where I would be today, ten years ago!

A/Z:  Welcome to CBG's blog, January! We are so tickled you've the time to chat with us about your book FOREVER MAN.

I am thrilled and honored to be here!

A/Z:  What inspired you to write this story, and why did you decide to create The Forever Series? 

Ah, well, the journey began with one book. I was watching the movie, The Green Mile with Tom Hanks and I was mesmerized by the idea that a person could literally heal another of a life-threatening condition. It had been a difficult  year having lost two dear brothers to cancer and I so envied the protagonist, a gentle giant of a man who had the power within him of being able to heal another. It got me to thinking how inspirational the idea was and that twigged me to writing about a heroine, namely Ellie Hightower, coming into this gift in her early twenties and how this would affect her life.

Then, having had a lifelong  interest in vampires since the days of Dracula, I found my antagonist in a gorgeous old soul that was bored of too long on this planet who comes to Nome, Alaska to wreck her special brand of havoc on the unsuspecting townspeople…

A/Z:   What's in your fridge right now that your protagonist, Ellie Hightower, would gobble up? 

She loves to eat with her friends! Sundaes are a special favorite along with cheeseburgers. So far, being so young, she has not had to worry about her weight, and, of course, our hero, Mike Stone loves her for who she is and thinks she needs a little fattening up anyway!

A/Z:  Are you a sandals, heels, or sneakers sort of person?

I have been all three. I love to reinvent myself and each time I find clothes a useful prop. Right now I’m wearing flats to teach in as I run all day making sure my kids do well. I teach at the local high school, mainly computer and business courses and some English.
A/Z:  If you were a superhero, what would be your name and superpower?

Now that’s easy! I want Ellie’s power of healing!!! SuperTeach, so that I can help heal the broken spirits I sometimes see in my classroom.

A/Z:  If you could trade places with a secondary character in FOREVER MAN, who would it be and why?

Ah, one of the vampires, of course so that my husband and I could live out our love story forever!

A/Z:  How would you describe your book to a eight year old?

First, I would say they DON'T get to read it until they are eighteen. Then, about real old school vampires who are learning to live a newly civilized existence to keep them safe from humans.

A/Z :  If someone wrote your biography, what would be the title?

She found her own Forever Man.
A/Z :  Do you prefer to write in the early hours of the morning or the wee hours of the night?

I have done both, plus lunch hours at my desk at school. Every space moment I can. I live my stories in my head twenty-four seven now and they push at me to be given life.

A/Z :  Would you like to add anything?

The Forever Series has grown to five books now and still going strong. I think it just might be a never ending series. I also write hard sci-fi novels. I love to hear from writers and readers. Please feel free to contact me. I have my own website, and I write a number of blogs, chiefly about the journey of writing. It still astonishes me that I get to do this!

A/Z :  Thank you so much for indulging us, January.  We look forever to seeing more and more and MORE from you!

Thanks so much for having me! You do more good than you know taking an interest in this budding writer. I love your writing by the way! And I look forward to MORE novels from the both of you. I recently read Killer Dolls and was blown away by it!

I feel so blessed to have such amazing writers that I can now count as my cohorts. And a special big thank you to the amazing editor, Judy Griffith Gill for all her hard work, and to Champagne Books, thank you J. Ellen Smith for your belief in me. And all my friends at The Writers Vineyard, thanks for all your help! It takes a team to get here.



Vixen Bright and Zachary Zane STEEL EMBRACE

Friday, June 22, 2012


Just two months until my first book launches and I'm getting butterflies just thinking about it!

Forever Man will be coming out July 2, 2012 as an e-book from Champagne Books. Wow! Never thought I'd get here.

 I thought I'd add a photo of myself today taken at the time just before I began writing, Forever Man, as I like it because it was taken by my beloved husband, Don, which brings me to today's blog.

Without the support of wonderful husbands, lovers, friends, and family an author would have a difficult journey indeed! Thanks to my wonderful, precious darling for being there for me. Don is my very own Forever Man!!! Xxxooo

Who has made your journey easier?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Using Flash Fiction as a Promotional Tool By Julie Eberhart Painter

I much prefer to read a whole story than be dropped someplace into a novel not knowing why I should care. For instance, when I was working on selling a book set in the south, I used my flash fiction story, “The Doozy,” to promote not the story, but the atmosphere of my rural southern setting. The idea was to set the stage for the market I had in mind and be entertaining as well. The two stories were related only by area and attitude.

So…how do you write flash fiction? Very sparingly.

There must be fewer characters and fewer scenes than longer fiction. The backstory is implied by body language, dialogue and succinct description.

All flash fiction has a beginning, middle and end. The ending can be hinted at or left to the imagination of the reader. You might find there are a few unanswered questions, but the elements are available for readers to dream up their own ending. The story grows upon reflection. Readers might ponder a flash fiction story more than a novel where all the details have been resolved.

Flash fiction is the whole story. It’s shorter than a synopsis and longer than a blurb, which does not include the ending. Readers are inside the characters’ heads. Their speculation is the enjoyment of adding their own “what ifs.”

Why write flash fiction? Isn’t it really a short-short story?

No. That would be a condensed version of a more traditional story, which is somewhere between 1500 and 2000 words, or a literary story that starts at two or three thousand words and ends where a novella begins. Flash fiction seldom exceeds 750 words.

Long before flash fiction was a genre, a short-short story “The Wig,” by Brady Udall, appeared in Story Magazine and won many awards. It was reprinted three times in Story. It contained fewer than 400 words, but every element was there. It was up to the reader to understand what the author was showing. Fifteen years later, I still remember it.

What are the uses for flash fiction when you are a novelist?

It can be used to get rid of those pesky excerpts. There are no introductions to those scenes that are short enough or long enough to place the perusing public into the scenes. Even the funny ones leave readers on the outside scratching their heads instead of laughing. Flash fiction winds down quickly to a resolution—or speculations.

Example: My first Sci-fi flash fiction. My apologies to sci-fi writers.


Robo worked for Amazon in the Kindle store on Sundays, a time when his more traditional buddies liked the day off. He was in charge of affirming that all those books people decided to order over breakfast on Sunday morning reached their devices before they changed the minds at lunch. Robo didn’t need breakfast or lunch, but he insisted on being home with his wife, T-Lizzie, a shiny example of her family’s DNA.

His wife, creative and beautiful, had an excellent job guiding drivers to their destinations via the best route. Her directions, given in a gentle but firm voice, made them glad she was onboard.

Once their day jobs were completed, the couple arrived home and made dinner together. Robo was in charge of fine desserts, occasionally even a small, hand-made ice carving. T-Liz took care of the basics.

Their favorite music, the theme from “2001: The Space Odyssey,” played in the background while they finished their meal.

Robo pressed forward to better hear his wife’s melodic voice.

“You were asking me something?”

She placed her glittering fingers over his and looked at him with laser focus, mapping his face. “I asked, was that WD 40 you put in the dessert last night?”

Her soft tones and British accent warmed his revved motor from zero to 180 in two seconds. He swallowed. “I actually used a dash of spiced olive oil as well.”

“Lovely spice, olive oil.”

“Yes. I find olive oil to be underutilized; don’t you?”

WD 40 for him; olive oil for her, to make her big moment even bigger.

Julie Eberhart Painter is the Champagne Books author of Mortal Coil, Tangled Web, and Kill Fee, winner tied for first place in the Champagne Best Book for 2011 awards.

For more flash fiction visit Julie’s latest story at
Julie’s Web site: 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Gonna Be a Hot Summer
Submissions Contest

Champagne Book Group is seeking talented authors and their stories for Carnal Passions, our erotic imprint. Carnal Passions accepts erotic romance in all its variations (BDSM, Alternate Lifestyle, Gay/Lesbian and any and all combinations thereof).

To find this new talent and terrific stories, Champagne Book Group is having a submissions contest for both published and unpublished authors.

Entries must be complete works, ranging in word count between 15,000-70,000 words and fit into one of the following subgenre categories:

·         Science Fiction Romance
·         Fantasy
·         Paranormal or Urban Fantasy
·         Contemporary
·         Historical Romance
·         M/M and F/F Romance
·         BDSM and Ménage
·         Mystery/Thriller/Suspense


Overall High Score: $100 advance and digital publishing contract (advance payable as $50 upon finalized contract and $50 upon publication).

Top-Scoring Contestant in each category will receive an acquiring editor’s critique of synopsis and the first 25 pages of the manuscript and will be considered for a contract offer if the manuscript fits our current needs.

Entries will be accepted from July 2, 2012 through August 5, 2012, and must be emailed to Please include Contest and book title in the email subject line (Contest_Booktitle). Attach full manuscript and 2-3 page synopsis in RTF format (Booktitle_MS and Booktitle_SYN as file names--your book title replaces “Booktitle”).

No entry fee is required. Judges reserve the right to Decline to Judge any entry if it does not fit our lines, the level of writing is not acceptable or the contest guidelines are not followed.

Entries will be judged on the following criteria: Hook, Pacing/Plot, Characterization, Dialogue, Mechanics, and Author Voice.

While entering does not guarantee a contract, any manuscript, even if it is not selected as a winner, may be offered a contract solely at Champagne Book Group’s discretion.

Winners will be announced on August 13, 2012 via our blog and direct emails to winners.

Follow the contest on Twitter! #summerheat


·         File type: .rtf or .doc, or .docx only
·         New Times Roman 12pt black font
·         Double spaced
·         No footers or headers
·         Margins: 1" all
·         Page-breaks between chapters

Please include a title page listing the following information:

·         Legal name
·         Pen name
·         Email address
·         Contact phone
·         Working title (include series name and details if applicable)
·         Word count
·         Genre/category

Please see Carnal Passions Submissions for a list of subject matters we will not accept.

Contest submissions not adhering to the above guidelines or are not something Champagne Book Group/Carnal Passions publishes will be deleted unread.

How to Write a Popular Blog by Jessica Penot

Every writer knows that blogging is important, but people sometimes forget how important blogging can be. For me, blogging was able to transform my writing career. A little over a year ago, I started a small blog. At that time, I was unpublished and much forgotten. Within eight months of starting my blog, I saw my books on the shelves on Barnes and Noble, Books a Million, Sam’s Club, and Costco. I average over 500 hits daily on my blog and have my own column in the local paper. My blog changed my career and made it possible for me to be a working writer. But how do you go from writing a blog with fifty or sixty followers and a few hits a day to a blog that is really read and has a dedicated and passionate following? How do you transform your blog from something that is ordinary into something that will get you noticed and bring you the attention of readers and editors? I have put together a few tips on how to accomplish this.
1. Chose a Popular Topic for Your Blog: Many writers chose to write about writing or the struggles of a writer. I did this for a while and felt like the only person who ever read my blog was my husband. Unless you have a spectacular voice, a unique take on the experience, or are already well known, this won’t get you new readers. Research your blog topic well and choose something you know people are interested in, will look for, and want to read. Choose a topic that relates to your writing and give it a punch. Make it stand out from the crowd. You want to gather readers who will read your books. For example, I write horror, ghost stories, and morbid urban fantasy so I chose to write about ghost stories. I have a friend who writes erotica, so she chose to review all things sexual and lusty on her blog. How can you lure readers to your subject area with something unique and engaging?

2. Write Every Day: Especially for the first five or six months, you should blog daily or almost daily. This will put you in Google analytics faster and it will also bring more readers. I had one blogger who blogs about ghost stories ask me why she couldn’t develop a following. She was an excellent writer, but she only blogged once every week or two. Blog readers are fickle. If they don’t see new content regularly, they drift away. After your blog is well established, you can blog less, but starting off strong is important.

3. Find other Bloggers: Once you start writing, find similar blogs to yours and start reading them. Find popular blogs and follow them. Bloggers love to network and will help you get started. I would have slipped into oblivion if it weren’t for two bloggers who wrote long blog posts about my blog on their blogs. I was then able to return the favor for other bloggers as I gained momentum.

4. Comment, Comment, Comment: As you find blogs you love, comment on them regularly. Bloggers with two hundred followers or more may miss you if you just follow them, if you comment on them, they’ll notice you and return the favor. The surest way to gain followers is to comment on other people’s blogs. Most comment boxes also allow for reciprocal links that will drive traffic in your directions as well.

5. Tweet: Twitter is an excellent way to gain followers. It is easy to get people to follow you on twitter and if you post about your blog on twitter, people will read your posts.

6. Have Patience: It will take months to develop a strong following. Measure your progress and growth and be persistent. If you give up or stop blogging, your following will vanish very quickly. Know that your hard work will pay off and that if you are determined your blog will grow and your followers will come

Jessica Penot

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Journey of PLANET by January Bain

To Seed or Not To Seed

Having decided on a civilization having reached a level 1 status and reaching for a level 2 for  the story, PLANET, places the setting for my novel well into the future (as much as a 1000 years), but I think any less of capability by humans would make our plot untenable. Humans have to be capable of saving themselves to make it work. Anything less would be disastrous for a hard sci-fi tale!

How to populate our new Twin Earth? First we have to “seed” it. My inhabitants of PLANET are scrambling to evacuate their home planet on a great Diaspora just behind an army of unleashed von Neumann probes, those self-replicating robots that are “seeding” the galaxy with terraform, which is, changing the new chosen planet’s surface and climate to be like Earths.

Researching von Neumann probes was an intriguing journey. These amazing machines would be able to move over interstellar or interplanetary distances and to utilize local materials to build new copies of itself. What a wonderful development for the purposes of our story! The best part of living at this time in history is that so many things are being imagined and placed at our fingertips. What do you think, is this a great time in history to be alive or not?

Friday, June 15, 2012


When I made the solemn commitment to myself to write a blog religiously every weekday, I felt very good about it. And I still do!
The process is allowing me to relive the initial journey and what a luxury that has been. Though I wrote this first book in the Forever Series over 2 and 1/2 years ago, the excitement it generated in my life then and today has been mind blowing.

To think I was actually going to write a novel!!! And now it's become, "And how many novels with this unending series contain?"

Has the journey been overwhelmingly exciting for you? Do you get that rush of positive energy in your belly that doesn’t let go?
Please let me know how it’s been for you. I’d love to hear from you!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Journey of PLANET by January Bain


The need for an Earth-like planet is crucial to our story: named New Earth or Earth Twin?  Depending how far away such an Earth is from Old Earth, we need to find a way to send our humans there safely. Will all humans go? Will there be a lottery?

And maybe even more importantly, how far into the future should our story be set? I’ve decided  to utilize the Kardashev scale for categorizing civilizations, the scale that uses the ability of a civilization to harness energy as it determining factor, as a guide for PLANET. I think if humans see a comet the size of Titan coming towards them, they will very quickly get to work as a team and create what’s needed to escape certain death. So, what’s the lowest level that this escape is possible so that I can still understand, as a writer at this time in history, what is possible? I think we would be reaching for second tier of the third level of the Kardashev scale (harnessing the energy of their own star) to make this journey barely possible and yet plausible. Considering that between each civilization an energy factor of about ten billion separates them, you can see the need to consider this very carefully.

Earth is, at this moment in time, at a .7 of the first level, or a type 0 as we are only able to harness energy from fossil fuels. To reach a full Civilization 1, would require getting to the point we have the capability of harnessing  thousands, if not millions more of possible energies output from self-sustaining sources. How long will this take? Expediential increments make this formula difficult to calculate as humans think linearly, but some of the best writing I’ve had the pleasure of reading thinks we can reach this point in as little as a thousand years. Perhaps sooner if we have Comet Titan coming at us! Level 2 on the other hand is thousands, if not a million years away, though level 3, through the expediential effect, may happen only a thousand years past that. Of course, it’s all conjecture, but what fun to think of it, eh!

Imagine setting the story a thousand years into the future?! How would we have changed as a species? Would we still contain the essence of our humanness or would there be too many Dr. Spocks?

Enough questions for today!!! Please comment if you have the time.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Family by Michael W. Davis

It likely comes as no surprise that once you break through that thick barrier and become a published author, you experience some changes. For example, like it or not, a new mistress enters your life, the next book and the urge to get it out of your mind and into the computer. But there’s also an affect on your family. No, I’m not talking about the fact they never see you anymore. Let me give a few examples to illustrate.

1.      When they were in their early teens, I asked my two sons, “What do you want to do with your life?” They each gave me a list of professions they were considering, and then I corrected their mindset. “No, boys. I mean, what would you like to do to draw enjoyment out of life. There has to be something that you’d like to do just for fun.” Both sons answered they wanted to write. That was the only time we discussed that topic. Twenty-two years flew by and I decided to do something I always wanted to do but never had time: write fiction. Shortly after reading my first novel, my two sons started writing fiction themselves, but they took a different road. A bizarre journey down the trail of horror stories. We still help each other by reviewing drafts and providing plot and character changes, but where as they think my stories are too emotional; I think theirs are too gory. It’s a constant battle, but we do benefit from each other’s insights. If you’d like to read some of their published stories, they have samples up at Be warned, they delve into the really dark side of fiction writing. I have nightmares after I read one of their stories.

2.     In one of my novels, the main character loses his sister to a terrible flaw in the legal system. The character is plagued by guilt because he couldn’t save his little sister. Well, my sister’s name just happened to be the same hero’s sister. Go figure. Being that I modeled the hero after my mind set, it seemed appropriate to name the fictional sister after my sister. When my sister read the story, I got a phone call that went something like this:

“Hey bro, it’s your sister.”                                       “Hey Babe, what’s up?”
“Read your book.”                                                   “And?”
“Great story, loved it. There was one problem.”     “Like what?”
“Why the hell did you kill me off?”                                    “What?”
“I finally get into a book and you killed me.”         “Yeah, but you had an important part.”
“What, being a corpse.”                                           “But you were critical to the Hero’s turmoil.”
“Next time, let me make it to the end.”                   “Uh, sure thing Sis.”

3.      Several of the characters in my stories come from relatives. Why? Because my female relatives have such colorful lives. For example, in TAINTED HERO, the hero’s cousin got word her husband was at a topless bar when she was pregnant. With her hormones flaring, she drove to the bar with an ice pick and commenced to flatten all the tires on his car. When the cops approached and asked what she was doing, she informed him her husband was inside looking at nude women while she was carrying his seed. The officer hesitated, then told her to be careful and got back in his car. When the husband got home … well, you’ll have to read the book to find out what she did then. Point is; the story was true. It was one of my cousins. Course I had to get permission to use it, and you can expect to see a lot of my relative’s real live adventures in upcoming stories. I’ve got some wild relatives.

4.      Then there’s the most important family member of all, my wife. I did modeled one heroine after my mind’s view of my wife, but with a bit more physical interest. Of course, I’m sworn to secrecy to never tell which one it is. Still, there have been other affects. For example, all my wife’s friends warn her to keep an eagle’s eye on me, seeing all these chats I participate in with all these female readers now that I’m an author. They’ve even gone so far as to warn me that they’ve got their eyes on me (and they’re not joking). Just don’t want an old man to have any fun.
Big Mike

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Story Behind the Story: The Oklahoma Land Rush by Rita Bay

When writing historical romance, history itself provides the best inspiration for a writer. First-hand contemporaneous accounts from journals and newspapers provide additional color for a story’s background. Imagine the stories that could evolve from what occurred - or could have occurred - before, during, and after the Oklahoma Land Rush.

The Oklahoma Land Rush of 1889 started at high noon on April 22, 1889, with an estimated 50,000 people lined up for their piece of the available two million acres.  The Unassigned Lands were considered some of the best unoccupied public land in the United States and included all or part of the modern day Canadian, Cleveland, Kingfisher, Logan, Oklahoma, and Payne counties of the Oklahoma.  The Homestead Act of 1862, signed by President Abraham Lincoln, allowed legal settlers to claim lots up to 160 acres. Provided a settler lived on the land and improved it, the settler could then receive the title to the land.

Harper’s Weekly described the event like this:

“As the expectant home-seekers waited with restless patience, the clear, sweet notes of a cavalry bugle rose and hung a moment upon the startled air. It was noon. The last barrier of savagery in the United States was broken down. Moved by the same impulse, each driver lashed his horses furiously; each rider dug his spurs into his willing steed, and each man on foot caught his breath hard and darted forward. A cloud of dust rose where the home-seekers had stood in line, and when it had drifted away before the gentle breeze, the horses and wagons and men were tearing across the open country like fiends. The horsemen had the best of it from the start. It was a fine race for a few minutes, but soon the riders began to spread out like a fan, and by the time they had reached the horizon they were scattered about as far as eye could see. Even the fleetest of the horsemen found upon reaching their chosen localities that men in wagons and men on foot were there before them. As it was clearly impossible for a man on foot to outrun a horseman, the inference is plain that Oklahoma had been entered hours before the appointed time. Notwithstanding the assertions of the soldiers that every boomer had been driven out of Oklahoma, the fact remains that the woods along the streams within Oklahoma were literally full of people Sunday night. Nine-tenths of these people made settlement upon the land illegally. The other tenth would have done so had there been any desirable land left to settle upon. This action on the part of the first claim-holders will cause a great deal of land litigation in the future, as it is not to be expected that the man who ran his horse at its utmost speed for ten miles only to find a settler with an ox team in quiet possession of his chosen farm will tamely submit to this plain infringement of the law.”

A number of the individuals, however, who participated in the run entered early and hid out until the legal time of entry to lay quick claim to some of the choicest homesteads. These people came to be identified as “sooners.” This led to hundreds of legal contests that arose and were decided first at local land offices and eventually by the U.S. Department of the Interior. Check out the pics of the actual rush for land and a lithograph of the aftermath when claims were registered.  ‘Til next time. 

Rita Bay
"Into the Lyon's Den" Champagne Books, August, 2012