Becky is giving away a copy of Meant to Be Mine to one lucky responder!
Hi, everyone! It’s a treat to join you here. Many thanks to Karen Witemeyer for inviting me to visit.
I was raised in California, met my husband at Baylor University, and have lived in Dallas for seventeen years now. My time in the Lone Star State have given this transplanted beach girl an appreciation for many facets of Texas life. One in particular?
There’s just something timeless about the appeal of the cowboy, isn’t there? Cowboys are rugged, masculine, independent, humble, capable, brave, and good. And if they happen to be handsome, too, it doesn’t hurt a bit.
I have a ten year old son who has loved all things ‘cowboy’ since the age of four. He’s been to the rodeo a few times, and about three years ago, I took him to a professional bull riding event. He enjoyed it and let me tell you, I enjoyed it. I left the bull riding arena filled with inspiration to write a pro bull riding hero.
As you may know, bull riding has a long history. It began in the 16th century on the haciendas of old Mexico where ranch hands competed in skills of horsemanship including bull riding. Initially, bull riding was similar to bull fighting, in that it ended in the death of the bull.
By the mid-1800’s bull riding as competition had spread to the southwest, Texas and California especially. In 1852, the Lone Star Fair in Corpus Christi, Texas, featured bull riding. Around the same time, Wild West shows began including steer riding in their acts. (Steers were easier to handle than bulls).
The popularity of the sport grew steadily. In 1992, twenty bull-riding cowboys left the traditional rodeo circuit to found the Professional Bull Riders. They believed that bull riding could stand on its own as an event. They were right. The PBR has enjoyed great success.
In order to spark ideas for my own bull riding hero I began with the sort of research that hardly seems like “research” at all: reality TV. Back in 2006 a show called Beyond The Bull followed the lives of three pro bull riders. I rented the DVD and watched all ten episodes. Beyond The Bull wasn’t great television — but it did give me great behind-the-scenes insight into the daily lives of bull riders.
Once I began writing Ty Porter’s book, bull riding questions occurred to me regularly. I don’t let myself slow my forward progress with research while I’m writing the rough draft. So I noted each of my questions. When it came time to revise, I took a two-pronged approach to research. 1) I hunted around online. 2) I called the PBR and spoke with a female staffer. She very graciously answered each of my remaining questions and provided additional insight.
With that — Voila! — Ty Porter and his unusual profession began to come to life within the pages of Meant to Be Mine. Naturally, I gave Ty a heroine very disinclined to appreciate bull-riding cowboys. But my heroine finds, as the story unfolds, that she has the same soft spot for them that this author has.
As time goes by, despite her excellent intentions, Celia finds Ty a little more and a little more impossible to resist.
After all, there’s just something about those cowboys….
Have you watched bull riding live at either a rodeo or a professional bull riding event?
Becky makes her home in Dallas, Texas with her husband, three children, and one adoring (and adored) cavalier spaniel. Her CBA debut, My Stubborn Heart, was a finalist in both the RITA and INSPY awards. Undeniably Yours kicked off her Texas-set Porter Family series. Her newest contemporary romance, Meant to Be Mine, has just hit shelves!