Why am I Romanced by the West?

WELCOME TO THE ROMANCING THE WEST BLOG TOUR
Why do we enjoy writing and reading about the West? What is it about cowboys that is just plain irresistible? Over thirty authors and bloggers tackle these and other questions by explaining why we love Romancing the West.
But that’s not all, as you enjoy some awesome blogs and find fantastic books, for every post you comment on with your email address, you will be entered for some amazing prizes. Everyone leaving a comment on my blog will be qualified to win a free copy of The Devil’s Own Desperado for Kindle. But, you must leave your brand (e-mail address) in the comment section.  There is a GRAND PRIZE, too.

***PLEASE LEAVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS TO QUALIFY***

Grand Prize: A swag pack which includes books (both ebooks and paper), Amazon gift card, custom made butterfly jewelry, book cards, magnets and much more all tucked away in a keepsake box. (Available to US residents only. Winner will be announced on February 26 at 10 PM EST)

So, without any further ado—Let’s head ‘em up!
Why do I write western romances?  Wow.  Truth be told, I’ve never really thought about it because it’s all I’ve ever really written—other than the creative project I wrote for my master’s degree.  The Old West, the period of American expansionism, has always felt comfortable to me, a place that I know I would belong, where I’d fit in.  I truly believe that I was born over one hundred and fifty years too late and most definitely in the wrong part of the country.

I grew up on the tales of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table.  I cut my teeth (so to speak) watching old western series in syndication on Sundays.  My earliest memories of television watching are of being curled up on the couch, favorite blanket wrapped around me, and being able to quote the opening to The Lone Ranger and of hearing the banter between The Sisco Kid and Pancho, and watching Chuck Conners lever his customized Winchester rifle as he walks down the street.  (I thought that was the coolest thing on the planet when I was five and six years old.) A few years later, I started watching the classic Western movies: Shane, High Noon, The Sons of Katie Elder, The Oxbow Incident, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon…

These things all have something in common: a code of honor that was not to be dishonored.  A man was only as good as his word.  Women were treated with respect.  Right was right and wrong was wrong.  It was black and white, that sense of right and wrong.  Words were usually chosen with care and used sparingly. With these heroes, bullets were used even more sparingly, but heaven help the man who forced the hero into slapping leather.
The cowboy was the knight of the plains, so even at a young age I could see the similarities between Arthur’s Knights and these wandering knights of the plains.  Cowboys also, by necessity, had horses, one of my favorite animals.  When I was little, I said I was going to have horses.  I didn’t care what kind, just that I was going to have horses.  That’s later been refined to Arabian horses.  My models for good horses included Silver and Trigger and Flicka and Diablo…and later the big, raw-boned, blaze-faced horse that John Wayne rode in several of his later movies. 

And, then there is the land itself that calls me in, demands that I write about it.  A land that is beautiful, but can be so harsh and terribly unforgiving.  A land of extreme contrasts—from arid, high plains deserts, to alpine meadows filled with wildflowers of all colors and descriptions, to mountain peaks perpetually snow and glacier covered.  A land that demands respect and often will only begrudgingly offer up a living. 
The men and the women who live here, even today, are a different breed.  They’re tough, but only on the exterior.  The vast majority of the Westerners I know are the most generous, caring people I have had the honor to meet.  They still live the code of the Old West, the code of the cowboy. 
How can I not write about cowboys, the women who love them, and the land that shapes them?  Deep in my heart, it is where I know I belong.
For even more great blogs from fantastic Western writers, just click on one of the links below to hop on over to the next post.  Don’t forget to leave your brand in the comments area of these blogs to qualify for a great swag package.

 Move ‘em out!http://www.linkytools.com/basic_linky_include.aspx?id=160193

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12 thoughts on “Why am I Romanced by the West?”

  1. I have to agree with D'Ann — the code of the old west is fading. Being honor bound has no meaning today except in literature, going the way of King Arthur's Court. It's a beautiful post about westerns.
    susan_francesny [at] hotmail [dot] com

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  2. I love to read this because of what you just said! Gotta love cowboys, the land they were raised on and the women that roped em! 😀 Thank you for the awesome hop and giveaway!!! 🙂
    shadowluvs2read(at)gmail(dot)com

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  3. Lynda, I coulda been you if you read my background story. I was raised on a ranch in SoCal, read Ranch Romance magazine alongside my Dad, watched Maverick, Rawhide, the Lone Ranger, Cisco Kid and all the other 1950 TV westerns…and saw western movies on Sunday afternoons with the family (Randolph Scott, Shane, etc.). I adore western romances, western mysteries, you name it as long as it's western! I can't recall now where I heard about your writing, but am glad someone said something! Just bought your book on Amazon…and will start it soon (yea!). Would love to hear more from you as time goes on. Oh, and I'm an animal lover too, BTW, except I don't have a big dog…just a smart feisty Yorkie named Maggie. 🙂

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  4. Janice, I'm glad someone sent you my way. Hope you enjoy *The Devil's Own Desperado*. I like little dogs, but my heart belongs to the big ones–especially Lassie, which would explain why I have collies.

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  5. Congratulations to Katsrus as the winner of a free e-book copy of *The Devil's Own Desperado*. I'll be sending you an e-mail with the book sent as a gift from Amazon.

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