I want to thank Nancy Jardine one of the incredibly talented romance authors at The Wild Rose Press for inviting me to participate in this blog tour. Nancy is the author of several fantastic romance novels. She writes both contemporary and historical, with a dash of mystery tossed in, just for good measure.
Without any further ado, let’s get into it.
The first question I’m supposed to answer wants to know what I’m working on now. Currently, I’m working on a few things: one of which is the final edits for a western historical romance set after the American Civil War. The hero in this novel was a Confederate cavalry officer. A.J. Adams is probably the most honorable hero I’ve ever written but because he was accused of liberating a lot of Confederate gold, he’s been forced to don the mantle of a “bad boy.” Complicating matters for him is that he suffers from what would be termed PTSD if he were in a contemporary. The War did a real number on him. Fortunately for A.J., he’s got his equal at his side in the form of one Allison Webster.
I’m also working on the story for Marshal Harrison Taylor and the love of his life, Rachel. Harrison and Rachel made an appearance in The Devil’s Own Desperado and make an appearance in my soon to be released novel Smolder on a Slow Burn, A.J. and Allison’s story. I’m also tinkering around with a time travel romance and a romance set during the American Civil War.
I’ve often been asked why I write what I do and the simple answer is I write romance because I’m a hopeless romantic. Why do I write what I write is the second question in this blog tour. I write romances set in the American West, during the period of westward expansion because in a figurative sense, that’s where I grew up. I cut my television viewing teeth on syndicated reruns of shows like The Rifleman, The Lone Ranger, The Sisco Kid, The Virginian, and Rawhide. My mom was a huge fan of the television show Bonanzaand both my parents were dyed in the wool John Wayne fans. If it was a John Wayne movie and it was on the television, it was being broadcast into our living room. I also grew up with the tales of the Knights of the Round Table, so to see the transfer of that code of honor from Arthurian England to the American West wasn’t that hard a stretch. I grew up with the belief that there was a code of honor among these knights of the high plains because I saw that code lived and acted on in all those syndicated Westerns I watched and in most of the John Wayne Westerns. A man’s word and a handshake were as binding as any contract. Respecting others (as far as the good guys went) was the norm. Women, children, and the elderly were treated with deference and accorded a greater degree of respect. A man was careful with his words. He took care of his horse. He did a full day’s work for the wage he was paid. These are all still good ideals to strive for.
Another question for this blog tour is to write about my writing process. Oh, dear…My writing process isn’t pretty. I usually bounce around in the manuscript, and I certainly don’t write in a linear process. Usually, a story takes shape with one pivotal scene that keeps playing in my head until I put it “down on paper.” And, from there, I have to create the rest of the story. Smolder on a Slow Burnactually started life as a contemporary romance, many moons ago. That didn’t work out so well, so I picked the hero and heroine up and dropped them into the middle of the Nebraska prairie, on a train, and the rest, as they say, is history. The Devil’s Own Desperadostarted life with one scene in Amelia’s kitchen, when Saul has found Colt’s Peacemaker and he’s pointing it at Colt’s heart. I build forwards and backwards from those pivotal scenes.
The one question for this blog that really made me think long and hard was how does my work differ from others of its genre. I think what I bring to the table that is different are two things: my complete love for the American West, namely Wyoming, and the accuracy that I use in the descriptions and in adding in historical detail. I have a master’s degree in English, but as an undergrad, even though I have a BA in English, I was also three credit hours short of a BA in history as well. I’m a historian. I love to research. It’s the small details that bring a story to life and authenticity to the story, allowing the reader to suspend disbelief while immersed in the world I’ve created in the pages of the novel. And, if I can share my love of Wyoming through the written word, so much the better.
Because this is a blog tour, let me introduce you to a few bloggers you need to check out.
The first is Christy: Originally from Southern Indiana, Christy Effinger now lives near Indianapolis where she teaches English at a community college. She earned an MA from Indiana State University with a creative writing emphasis. Her novel Say Nothing of What You See is coming soon from The Wild Rose Press. Christy can be found on the web at: christyeffinger.tumblr.com.
Second is Maggie Wheeler: Maggie is a graduate of the Butler University MFA program and has had fiction published in Punchnel’s, Word River, and Indiana English. She is an Instructor in the Department of English at Indiana State University where she teaches Advanced Composition and Creative Writing. Maggie resides in Terre Haute, Indiana with her “ultra-supportive husband” and three rescue dogs. She is also currently putting the final polishing touches on a novel she hopes to have published very soon. Maggie can be followed on the web at: http://maggiewheeler.me/
Last, but certainly not least, is Mindy Mymudes. Mindy has worked in a hazardous waste lab, where under the sign for the Right To Know law, was added: if you can figure it out. She’s been a metals tech, a bakery clerk, a professional gardener, taught human anatomy and ran two university greenhouses. Along the way she picked up a Master’s Degree in Biology, specializing in the population genetics of an endangered plant. She is also a top breeder, handler, trainer of English springer spaniels, with three in the equivalent of the National Club’s (ESSFTA) hall of fame. Every time she thinks she knows dogs, another dog comes along and proves her beliefs are totally wrong. Mindy’s YA novel George Knows features an egotistical magical basset hound named George who believes it’s his duty to train and protect his 12-year-old Girlpup, a greenwitch named Karly. He and his Girlpup must solve a murder as well as save their park from being developed. George is the perfectly designed familiar for the job. Mindy can be found on the web at http://mudepoz.wordpress.com/.