If you wondered what my main character, Lane Winslow might look like, this is how I see her. This picture was taken in 1935 of my mother as a very young woman, and I don't mind admitting she has been a huge inspiration. In a world where apparently women were taught as a matter of course to subsume their inclinations to the important lives of men, she cut a swath through life that was completely independent. It was she who put my father through university, and bought our first houses. When we were children she hitchhiked to Alaska with interstate truckers because she was tired of waiting around for my father to come back from geology field trips, and in the same devil-may-care spirit drove me and our German shepherd all the way to Nicaragua to find him, long before the highway through Central America was even complete. She wrote books and spoke 6 languages, and went off to university to get 4 Master's degrees after I grew up and left for university. And of course, there was that brief episode of spying during the war in South Africa where my father was a pilot for the RAF.
In a classic 'do as I say, not as I do' gambit, she used to say that I should make sure to attend to the needs of any husband I had before my own, but I never believed her, not for a minute. She always did what she wanted, and never let me forget that we came from upper class stock. Once as I teenager I argued over something with her and she pronounced: "I'm right whether I'm right or not!" She was a fabulous conversationalist with a lively interest in the world right up until she died. I think Lane has that kind of spirit, and I believe many women of the period were equally powerful. All my female relatives were!