WALKING THE LAND
Now and then I write a book that comes easy and SUNRISE CROSSING flowed like lightning out of my fingers. There were times I was typing as fast as I could just to keep up with the story running in my head.
Part of the reason was I loved the characters in this book. Each had depth and each found love where they least expected it.
But the main reason I believe it came so easy to my imagination was that I spent time walking the land. (See the book trailer below.)
I did my research on the Stanford Ranch near Fritch, Texas. It is owned by Natalie Bright and her husband. She’s a dear friend and a great writer. Check out her website if you get a chance; you’ll love her pictures of ranch life.
I went out to her ranch not to learn everything about ranching but to understand the people. To make stories come alive you have to get the people right.
Then, for my story, SUNRISE CROSSING, I put people together who were from different worlds. For example, a rancher and a woman in Dallas who owns an art gallery. She needs help and the only person she can turn to is a man she barely knows.
“Don’t hang up,” she said again. “I need a favor. A big favor.”
“Can’t you call a friend or family?”
“I have no family,” Parker admitted, “and I have no friend I can trust.”
“I’m sorry for that, lady.” He didn’t sound sorry or interested in talking.
“Stop calling me lady,” she snapped then remembered yelling at him probably wasn’t the best road to take. “I just need you to drive to Dallas. Pick me up at the North exit of the Galleria Mall. You do know where that is?”
“Nope,” he said. “Anything else I can do for you?”
“Yes,” Parker fought back tears for the first time in years. “Don’t tell anyone. Not your buddies or your wife or your priest. Just pick me up and drive back to your ranch. I’ll walk over to my place from there.”
He was silent for so long she decided the guy probably fell asleep. For all she knew he was Crossroads’ resident nitwit. She’d thought of a dozen possible ways to get to her farm but any other plan left a path that could be followed.
Finally, the cowboy cleared his throat. “I can’t tell a priest, I’m Baptist. I don’t have a wife. She died a month before you bought the place next door. As far as my buddies, it would be a waste of time to tell them a secret, two beers and it’d fall out of the back of their heads.”
She didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
“Can you pick me up or not? Can you keep it a secret?”
“Noon tomorrow. Remember North door of…”
“I got it, lady. I’ll be there.”
“I’ll be happy to pay you.”
He swore right into the phone. “Don’t insult me, Parker. It’s a favor you asked for. I’m not looking for job.”
“How will I spot you?”
“Blue pickup. You can’t miss me. I’ll be pulling a trailer load of hay.”
“Thank you, Mr. Montgomery.” She whispered after she heard him disconnect. “You don’t know it, cowboy, but you may have just become my best friend.”
I don’t know everything about anything, but I’ve spent my life trying to understand people. Because people make my stories. Readers will forgive a little mistake if your people come alive, and to do that, you have to understand where they come from.
I would love to hear about your favorite “unexpected” love story. I will be giving away an autographed copy of SUNRISE CROSSING, so leave a comment to enter. And remember you can order my books at my website: http://www.jodithomas.com/.
Come back with me to Ransom Canyon in my new book SUNRISE CROSSING.
Yancy Grey is slowly putting his life back together after serving time for petty theft. As he rebuilds an old house, he finally has a sense of stability, but he can’t stop thinking of himself as just an ex-con. Until one night, he finds a mysterious dark-haired beauty hiding in his loft. But who is she, and what secret is she protecting?
The art gallery Parker Lacey manages is her life—she has no time for friends, and certainly not lovers. But when her star artist begs Parker for help, she finds herself in a pickup truck, headed for the sleepy town of Crossroads. A truck driven by a strong, silent cowboy…
Gabe Snow has been a drifter since he left Crossroads at seventeen after a violent incident. When he accepts a job in his hometown, he’ll have to decide whether he can put the worst night of his life behind him and build a future in the community that raised him.