When — and why — did you first fall in love with Westerns?
Hi Scott! Thanks so much for having me as a guest on your forum! Ah … Westerns … I was born in 1957 in Oklahoma — so I think I’ve loved Westerns all my life. I remember as a little girl having a record of “Ghost Riders in the Sky” I played over and over — even though it scared me silly. My first memories of watching television were of watching cartoons and (of course!) “Gunsmoke”! So I guess I’ve been in love with everything Western from the time I was aware.
Who are your three favorite Western writers?
Oh, that is a tough one! There are so many wonderful Western writers, from “back in the day” and currently, as well. In no particular order, I guess I’d say Jack Schaefer, Louis L’Amour, and Thomas Eidson. But there are so many, many more that I really do love.
Which Western do you wish you’d written?
Hmm. Good question. Again, so many to choose from, and every author has their own take on telling a story, so no matter which one I WISH I’d written, it wouldn’t be the same as what’s out there — but I would say probably for me, it would be “St. Agnes’ Stand” by Tom Eidson.
What is the most recent Western you’ve read?
Just finished up “The Ghost With Blue Eyes,” by Robert J. Randisi, a couple of weeks back. It’s one of his older books, but I hadn’t gotten to read it until just recently. An EXCELLENT story!
The “Desert Island” question. What are your three favorite Western books?
“St. Agnes’ Stand,” by Tom Eidson; “Shane,” by Jack Schaefer; and “One Thousand White Women” by Jim Fergus (not a typical “Western,” but I think it qualifies)
What are your three favorite Western movies?
“Purgatory,” “The Outlaw Josie Wales” and “High Plains Drifter”
Of the books you’ve written, which is your favorite — and why?
Oh, goodness — well, that’s hard to say because there are things about each of them I absolutely love. You have to love what you’re writing or it would be impossible to finish and have it turn out GOOD, right? But I guess I’d have to say “Fire Eyes,” because it was my first published novel. Because the company that took it insisted that I cut out a lot of the secondary storyline, which I felt was vital, while I was thankful to them for publishing it, I was also glad to get my rights back and be able to add the secondary storyline back in to make it complete — the way I had wanted it in the first place. That really meant a lot to me.
What is the most recent Western you’ve written?
The most recent Western romance would be “Sabrina,” my contribution to “Mail Order Brides for Sale: The Remington Sisters.” This is a four-book set that has interwoven stories about four sisters who are forced to flee their home and become mail-order brides. My character, the youngest sister, ends up in Indian Territory with a man her family would never approve of under normal circumstances.
My most recent Western-Western would be “Ride the Wild Range,” a full-length novel about a young boy, Will Green, who is saved from Apaches, after they’ve killed his family, by a mysterious loner, Jacobi Kane. I loved working on this story, and plan a sequel at some point in the future.
Western short story — that would be “Kidnapping Kalli,” a story that was included in the Prairie Rose Publications Christmas boxed set, “Sweet Texas Christmas. There’s a bit of romance in it, but not until the end. I had a lot of fun with that one!
Can you tell us anything about your next book?
Oh, yes, I’d love to! Right now I’m working on a pretty big project — a series of books. I’d wanted to do a group project with them, but I figured out it would have been too hard to keep everything “in sync” time-wise if other authors were writing in this set, so the first book is laying the groundwork and then each of the next books will focus on one couple. There are four brothers, the Taylors, and two cousins (who aren’t related to the Taylors by blood, but are just as close to them as if they were actual brothers, as well). They’ve fought for different sides in the Civil War and are all coming home, but when they get back home to Texas — through an “error in judgment” by one of the cousins — they find there are six mail-order brides waiting for them. The cousin had “won” part of a business in a card game, but this is not what he’d expected or bargained for. How is he going to make things right with these women and with his friends/cousin? Of course, it’s going to work out, but not before we have a ton of hardship, heartache and angst.
As far as short stories go, I’m working on one for “Grizzly Creek Runs Red,” and another one for a Western Fictioneers anthology, both due in August.
If you could go back in time, what would be the time and place in the Old West you’d like to have lived in for a year?
Selfishly, I would want to go right back to where I live now, to Indian Territory in the 1860s-1870s, and meet my great-great grandmothers. (I’d have to cheat on the year when I found the one I liked the best where I could meet as many of my ancestors as possible!) If I had a way to do it, I would love to travel back even further and meet more relatives — many were already here in Indian Territory when their “better halves” met them here from elsewhere. You’re making me wish for a time machine, Scott!
Is there a question you wish I asked?
Nope! Lots of good questions here, and you made me think!
Can I mention that I’m also a publisher of Westerns? Livia Reasoner and I created our publishing company, Prairie Rose Publications (PRP), in 2013. Since we opened, we’ve added five other imprints to our original PRP imprint — which was for Western historical and other historical romance. Our other imprints are: Fire Star Press (contemporary, fantasy, science fiction); Tornado Alley (contemporary, fantasy, science fiction for middle grade readers, YA and New Adult); Prayers and Promises (inspirational); Painted Pony Books (historical reads for middle grade readers, YA and New Adult); and Sundown Press (historical Western, historical all time periods, self-help and teaching materials). We are accepting submissions, agented or un-agented, year-round. If you have something to submit, you can contact me at: [email protected].
Thanks so much for including me in your interviews!
You can find all of my work on my Amazon author page:
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Prairie Rose Publications website: http://prairierosepublications.com