Linda Broday here. Old friend and former Filly Pat Potter was gracious enough to fill in for me today. I thought it would be great to see what she’s been up to. Pat has written some excellent historical westerns over the years. In fact, she posted a short story called SHOWDOWN here on this website. If you’re interested in reading it, type Showdown into the search field. It’s riveting even though the whole thing takes place in the span of a few minutes.
Though temporary, I’m thrilled to be back at Petticoats and Pistols where I was a Filly for quite a few years. Some of you I know and others are new, but on here we’re all friends who share a love of books.
People always ask me three questions when I talk to a group:
Where do I get my ideas? How did I get started? What advice would I give to writers.
The answer always starts with curiosity. I think the most important quality for any author is curiosity. It’s where I get my ideas. It’s how I got started. It’s the advice I always give to new authors.
I was always curious. I interrogated new acquaintances about their life stories, I always read newspapers wherever I went, and when I get on the computer for a research problem, I end up spending the day wandering about the internet, often going far astray from my initial objective.
My curiosity is what drove me to major in journalism, and my career in journalism took me in many directions. I covered federal court, murders, city government, politics. Human interest. I had the excitement of meeting two presidents because I squirmed my way into places I really wasn’t supposed to be.
So many of the stories I wrote came from that curiosity and many of them eventually ended up in one of my books. They still do. I loved having a good reason to be nosy.
One of the murders I covered resulted in a book called “Tempting the Devil.” An article I read in Western History Magazine resulted in my first western, “Between the Thunder.”
One of my favorite books, Island of Dreams, resulted in wandering about Jekyll Island off the coast of Georgia and talking to old timers.
A favorite western came from a three week trek across the west by myself and I found myself in the Black Mountains and became fascinated with the Ute Indians. My hero was a renegade raised by the Utes.
My current book, released in April, is a contemporary western that takes place in a fictional town in Colorado. The Soldier’s Promise came from an article in the New York Times about military dogs with PTSD. All the bells in my head rang loudly. I had also been involved in veteran charities and particularly interested in those who brought veterans together shelter dogs with wonderful results. (Click on the cover and it’ll take you to Amazon.)
That newspaper story resulted not only in one book but the beginning of a series. My career started with my love for the westerns, and now I’m returning to them in a contemporary setting. I never know where that pesky curiosity will lead me.
Truman Capote once said that anyone who survives puberty has a story to tell. I love hearing them all.
What stories do you have to tell?