One of the questions I’m always asked is where I get my ideas.
In my case, the answer is: Out my back door.
Two years ago, my husband and I uprooted and moved from a bustling Montana university town north to a very small Montana town in the middle of nowhere.
Actually it’s in the middle of rolling prairie where buffalo used to thunder past. No pine trees. No mountains except for the Little Rockies in the distance. Not even a stoplight in the town.
Most everyone thought we were crazy.
But there is a peacefulness, a splendor, a feeling of the Old West that made me fall in love with this isolated place and its past.
Right away I knew I had to set a series here. I wanted readers to appreciate a very different part of Montana from what most had visited.
The Whitehorse, Montana series started with six books but has grown to eighteen so far. Fortunately readers fell in love with this part of Montana along with me.
In April, Shotgun Bride, the eighth book in the series made the top ten on Borders bestseller series list. The book is the first of a mini series within the Whitehorse series called The Corbetts. Other books in the series have also made the list.
I can’t tell you how excited that makes me because I get to stay in my fictional Whitehorse and keep writing about what I love – this part of the West.
I had to laugh though. A local said she hoped readers didn’t like it so much that they all moved here. Yeah, like that is going to happen. It is a rare occasion when someone moves here. So rare the newspaper does a story on you and people often ask you what could have brought you here.
For me, it’s no mystery. I get to “Romance the West” and let my imagination run wild, weaving in the area’s amazing history as I go.
A friend jokingly says that the real love story in my books is between me and Montana. I suppose it’s true. That’s why most of my books are set here.
There is nothing like watching a storm come across the prairie or seeing a sunset on the vast horizon. I not only get to write about the West. I get to live here. Sometimes I just want to pinch myself. How did I get so lucky?
The Whitehorse series continues May, June, September and October with the rest of the Corbett clan. Starting next April, The Winchester family will be featured in the next six Whitehorse books.
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