1. How much, and what kinds of research went into creating this novel?
I do a sort of ongoing research—I consult a friend who’s an expert on rodeos, for instance. Most of my stories, though, are pure imagination. I try to get things right, but I’m much more interested in giving the reader an emotional experience and a little vacation from the real world.
2. What are you currently reading?
Lately I’ve been listening to audio books—I’m iTunes’ best customer. I love memoirs, histories, and self-help books, because I love to learn. The current listen is a long memoir, “The Long Sunset”, written by Winston Churchill’s private secretary.
3. Who is your favorite literary character?
There are several who would qualify, but the one that comes to mind first is Dorothy Dunnett’s Francis Crawford of Lymond, introduced in “The Game of Kings” with five other books to follow. I absolutely LOVE her big, meaty historicals and Francis is the original hot Scotsman.
4. What inspires you when you’re writing?
Music—especially country. I knew Johnny Cash and his lovely wife June Carter Cash personally, so of course “Jackson” gets the creative juices flowing for sure. Randy Travis is another favorite, and so is Marty Robbins. Something about their music energizes me, big-time, and starts the pictures unrolling in my brain.
5. Do you have any tips for readers who are looking to become published authors?
Write, mainly—you’d be surprised at how many people don’t get that part. Believe in yourself and don’t quit—rejection is a vital part of the process, and all success is built on a series of failures. Be willing to write badly until you can write well, because it takes a long time to develop your voice and style.
Though this book is technically considered a romance, don't be off-put by that genre grouping. It's well-written, with a very compelling story and complex characters. It's a quick, easy read, but since it's set amid the ranches of Parable, Montana, I'll refrain from calling it a "beach read." Joslyn Kirk returns to Parable after selling her successful computer business, remaining secretive about her intentions of returning to her childhood home after her family was run off years before. Slade Barlow is debating with himself about running for sheriff again, when he really wants to be close to home and help raise his ex-wife's teenage daughter. The two are thrown together and while the ending is typical romance, everything up to that point is really enjoyable.
*Disclaimer: I received this book for free and was given the Q&A material, but the review is my own and is, as always, completely honest.