(Celia will be giving away a pdf. copy of Texas True today!)
The first Western Romance novel I read was This Calder Range by Janet Dailey. Before that, my adult reading material came in groups. One genre kept me busy for months or years, until I moved on to another.
First I read Science Fiction, dozens over a period of a year or so. But I cannot remember one author or one title. The plots and otherworldly creatures fascinated me at the time, but I soon selected something else. So many books—so little time!
I began Willa Cather’s books, and when I’d finished all those, I selected a new kind of novel I’d not seen—Women’s Fiction. Maeve Binchy, Rosamund Pilcher, Belva Plain. Each author received my undivided attention until I’d read all I could find.
Next, westerns. Plain old shoot-’em-ups, stories depicting cattle drives, rustlers, outlaws, and lawmen. Oh, I loved these novels, and Louis L’Amour became my favorite because he often had a little love story in there.
Romance? Didn’t read it. None, zip, nada. Too trite, I’d heard—the novels always ended the same way—happily-ever-after. Same plot, boy meets girl, they fall in love, have a falling-out, make-up, get married. I’d heard this from a cynical friend who only read literary works, and so I thought..surely there’s something better for reading as a pastime. The idea of involving myself in deep literary works didn’t especially thrill me, though–had enough of that in college.
In 1990, when I visited a used-book store and bought the paperback by Janet Dailey, I couldn’t put it down. Remember, I love Westerns, and this even had a HEA. I fell in love. I searched the used-book stores and eventually the library until I’d found and read all ten in the Calder series. Her latest, I believe, was released a couple of years ago.
From there, I discovered LaVyrle Spencer, a master of romance writing, who retired from writing in 1997–at just the time I discovered her books. Dorothy Garlock, Maggie Osborne, and Linda Lael Miller are favorites, plus many more. I still search for new authors who write exciting, satisfying Western Romance.
In 2004, I sat down and began to write a story. And yes, it was a Western romance—a historical. Probably I’ll never be in the same category with my favorite authors, but each one has been an inspiration and a benchmark for me. The title is Texas Blue, and it’s the beginning of a series about The Camerons of Texas.
Why do I write the West? I find it difficult to put into words.
The Final Frontier, perhaps? No, that’s the name for space exploration and Star Wars.
Romance in Sweeping Vistas with a love story set in a different time, perhaps? That’s how we describe novels set in early Scotland.
The Era of the Strong, Silent type who always gets the girl while he brings justice in full measure, perhaps? That’s how we describe Indiana Jones adventures.
See? I cannot exactly describe my feeling when I begin a new Western Historical novel, either reading one or writing one. Oh! Now I know Why I Write the West! It’s like falling in love.
The last book in the Texas series is probably the one I love the most–Texas True, the story of the younger sister, raised like a hothouse flower, but soon grew up and faced all the trials and tribulations of a woman in love…but not really loved back. I invite you to read the last in The Camerons of Texas series, TEXAS TRUE.
Find it at:
Amazon (Kindle), Desert Breeze Publishing, and B&N (Nook)
I will give a pdf to one person who comments. Please leave a message. Thank you for reading.