About Me and Past Lane Travels

Hello! Most people know me as a historical fiction and suspense/thriller author, but I’m also a history geek and road trip lover — especially the back roads of the USA.

I’ve learned so much as I travel throughout the country to do research for my novels that I wanted to share the “extra” information that doesn’t make it into my books.

When I say that I do “research,” I may go a little overboard compared to other authors. I like to experience what my characters experience and that means walking in their footsteps… or trying to at least.

For instance, I’ve camped with thousands of other “soldiers” at Civil War reenactments, gone target shooting from out of a helicopter, flown with Vietnam veterans in a Huey, and tramped across more battlefields, cemeteries and dirt roads than I can count.

I also love small towns, antique shopping, old hardware stores and just sharing my history and travel discoveries with others.

I hope you enjoy taking a trip into the past with me by tagging along on Past Lane Travels. We’ll steer clear of the typical tourist sites to lesser-known landmarks and historical experiences. You’ll be surprised what you can discover and experience when you venture off the beaten path.

For those who enjoy dirt roads instead of highways, and a slow pace instead of the rat race, Past Lane Travels finds hidden gems of history that might be in your own home town.

Seeking historical sites when you travel helps you gain broader perspectives about different eras and cultures. Plus you can make meaningful impact by helping small town businesses and communities that provide authentic engagements and access to hidden cultural gems.

Let’s go discover new things… one historical destination at a time.

If you have any suggestions or comments, feel free to email me at or use my Contact Me page.

If you’re interested in having me cover a particular historical destination, let’s find a way to work together.

Why I blog:

➡️ To share my travels and show readers how much fun and interesting history can be!

➡️ I want to inspire others to jump in their car and take a road trip to experience, see  and connect with the past.

➡️ History doesn’t have to be boring!  Join me in taking a trip back in time.

Here’s what you’ll find on Past Lane Travels:

✔️ Stories about the culture, history, heritage and traditions of America.

✔️ Insider tips on the most scenic and historic sites to visit on your way to a “touristy” destination.

✔️ Fabulous food that highlights the culture of different regions in the USA.

✔️ Advice and insight on travel gear, hotels and trip planning.

✔️ Destination information and advice.

✔️ Lots of information about Gettysburg – because it’s my hometown!

✔️ Reviews of historic hotels in the United States.

Some Fun Facts About Me:

☑️ I still heat my home with wood and do most of the splitting myself.

☑️ I LOVE yard sales, thrift stores and antique shops.

☑️ My first career was a veterinary technician at a horse hospital. My second career was a newspaper editor. I also spent 16 years working as a part-time stagehand at a performing arts theater.

☑️ I don’t like wearing shoes.

☑️ The house I currently live in did not have an indoor bathroom when I bought it—only an outhouse. (But it has indoor plumbing now)!

Author Jessica James taking a picture of a Huey for a story About a new museum for Past Lane Travels.
Jessica James working on a story about a new Huey Museum in Peru, Indiana.

As seen in…

A Little More About Me

As a novelist I have won more than two dozen literary awards, and as a freelance writer I’ve been featured in such diverse platforms as Vietnam Magazine, The Epoch Times Travel Section, Atlas Obscura and ROVA Magazine.

I’m A Member Of The Following Professional Writing and Travel Organizations:

✅ Society of American Travel Writers (SATW)

✅ North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA)

✅ International Food Wine and Travel Association (IFWTA)

✅ Military Writers Society of America (MWSA)

✅ Novelists Inc (NINC)

Where I’ve Been

Red States: Visited ✅

Blue States: Soon

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