Claire Thurlow is a writer and researcher. She first stumbled across the Oregon, California and Mormon Trails during the ten years she lived in the USA, and recently retraced some of these steps. Her discovery of the diaries of the wagon train women inspired the novel she is now working on. She has recently contributed to an anthology, 'Reflections on the South Downs', and is a Postgraduate Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. She has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Sussex, reviews books for the Historical Novels Society and teaches in Surrey.