My writing journey
I’ve always been an avid reader, but I didn’t start dreaming about writing a novel until I was in my early twenties. By then I was married and busy pursuing a degree. I put the writing on the back burner until my grandfather became fatally ill. While I was visiting him in the hospital, I was struck by the brevity of life and felt God pressing on my heart to take the first step. I started my first novel a couple weeks later. I had 2 small children by this time, so I wrote while they napped. I wrote my first 4 books that way.
Why a cowboy story?
There’s just something about a cowboy. It can’t be just me, or there wouldn’t be so many cowboy stories already written. Cowboys are tough and masculine, and the cowboy lifestyle is very earthy and organic—I think people are drawn to both of those things. A Cowboy story taken us to a simpler time and place—even though the cowboy way of life is not necessarily simple! And Montana is such a beautiful state. I thought my readers might like to journey there with me through story.
Once I decided to write a cowboy series, I knew I had some serious research ahead! I’m not a cowgirl. I’m not even a country girl. I live in a medium sized city, and the nearest Starbucks is practically walking distance. A research trip was definitely in order. So my hubby and I brought in Auntie Gina to stay with the kiddos then we took off for Big Sky country.
Once we saw the Gallatin Mountains, rolling green hills, and yes, the big blue sky, we were right at home. A kind cowboy and his wife took us in and let me pepper them with questions. They shared the workings of a ranch from A to Z. I learned so much–about breeding and branding, vaccinations and cattle diseases, etc.
But the biggest thing I learned was a huge respect for the cowboy lifestyle. Yes, cowboys are tough and hardworking and persistent, just like you might think. When you sign up to be a cowboy, you sign up for broken bones, you sign up for financial uncertainty, you sign up for frostbite, and bruises and, sometimes, round-the-clock hours. And despite all that, they love what they do. They love living in the saddle. They love working outdoors. They can’t imagine doing anything else for a living.
I left Montana with an energy and passion for Big Sky Country that carried me through the writing of “A Cowboy’s Touch” and beyond.
What about my heroine?
My heroine Abigail is an investigative reporter who digs up the truth. The fact that she’s a city girl gives a nice contrast to our hero cowboy. I do love a good contrast between the hero and heroine. It ratchets up the conflict, and that’s always a good thing. I thought it would be interesting to have a protagonist whose job it is to seek the truth and have her find out she’s missing the real Truth (Capital T) the whole time. I love the irony of that. Since Jesus is the Truth, a real truthseeker follows Him, but so often we go looking for a substitute when what we need most is the real thing.
Read the first chapter for free www.DeniseHunterBooks.com
Win a signed copy of “A Cowboy’s Touch” by leaving a message. One winner will be chosen at the end of the day. Here’s a story blurb:
While Abigail Jones is on a break in Moose Creek, Montana she discovers the love of a cowboy and the story of her life . . . only to find that she must choose between the two.