Kay P. Dawson has tied up her pony in the corral and is here to sit a spell and tell us a bit about herself and her writing journey. She’s also offering a few of her books and items to one lucky individual who comments.
Please give her a warm filly welcome! 

Kay Dawson roots
I grew up on a farm, and spent a great deal of my early life hanging around my grandparent’s farms. (We come from a long line of farmers, and my younger brothers are carrying on the tradition).
In the fall, we even used to have an old-fashioned “thrashing” day when my great-uncle would fire up the old steam engine and all of us kids would follow along in the fields throwing the hay up onto the horse-drawn wagon.
So, hearing the stories of when my grandparents were young, and when their parents were young always fascinated me.  I used to imagine being back in the times they were talking about, scenes that I would play out in my mind as I pretended to be a pioneer.  Of course, right around this time, Little House on the Prairie was a massive hit on our one channel TV, and I was drawn to the stories playing on the screen.  (I always pretended to be Laura, and my sister was Mary.  Sometimes I’d drag my brothers and my cousin in to play too, although I don’t think they were as excited about it as me.)
                                              Cowboys, History and Roots     Cowboys, History, and Roots
Writing historical western romance was natural for me.  I began reading the old western love stories when I was a teenager, at the same time everyone was reading the Sweet Valley High books.  Something about the past intrigued me, and when my grandparents would tell a story about how they’d lived, I couldn’t get enough.
 The part I love the most about being able to write western romance is the time I get to spend researching.  Sometimes, I can lose a whole day of writing because I’ve found something else fascinating that takes me off the path I was originally looking up.
I’ve recently started writing some contemporary stories too, but all of my books have a “western” or small-town, rural feel to them.  That’s all I really know, so that’s what I like to write about.
Cowboys, History and Roots by Kay P. DawsonWhen I was a little girl, I had a great uncle Rob who was the truest cowboy you could ever meet.  He used to let me and my friend hang out in the stables with his horses for hours on end, and never once lost his patience with us.  He had a smile for every one he met, and he had a soft, quiet voice you’d have to strain to hear.  I always remember him with a cowboy hat on his head, and his dusty blue jeans.
So much of what goes into my books is taken from the people I’ve known and where I’ve grown up. Even though I’ve had stories take place in Montana, Wyoming, Oregon, Kansas, Texas…and now British Columbia and Yukon in the early 1900’s – I’ve never been to these places.  I’ve had to research and learn, and spend some time getting a “feel” for the places I’m writing about.
But they all have a common element, and that’s family, small town, rural roots.  Those are the virtues that have defined me as I grew up, and that’s what I know best.  Something about the call of home and family, where neighbors look out for each other and life moves at a slower pace.

  *  *  *  *  *  *  

 What about you?  Have you noticed how much of your own upbringing and the people and places you spent time around as you grew up has defined what you do today?

I’d love to hear your comments below!

For those who comment, Felicia Filly plans to draw one of your names
for this sweet giveaway offer from Kay P. Dawson!

Kay Dawson

Thank you to everyone – all of the authors of the Petticoats & Pistols blog and the readers – for letting me hang out with you all today!
I have a variety of books out at the moment – Mail Order Brides, Oregon Trail, and even a cattle drive romance!  I also have some contemporary stories that take place in rural, small towns and a couple western time travel stories.  (These I really enjoyed because it was so fun to imagine being able to actually travel back to the times I write about!)
Kay P. DawsonYou can find all of my books listed on my website or Amazon author page:
Kay P. Dawson Author Page:
If you’d like to join my fan group –
You can also sign up for my newsletter at
**I have a book releasing today in the popular Mail Order Mounties series…you can see all of the newest releases as soon as they are available by joining the readers group at
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  1. Good morning Kay, loved hearing about your family. I bet your uncle Rob was one special Cowboy.
    I agree how we were raised and those around us do have a lot of influence on how we approach and conquer this world as adults. My dad has always been my hero. He taught me everything I know from how to treat people, to let things we can’t control roll off your back (easier said than done), horses, roping, and God’s love. Thanks for dropping in, you have a great weekend.,

    • Your dad sounds wonderful – and very much like my own 🙂 My uncle Rob was one of a kind, that’s for sure! Hope you have a great weekend too.

  2. I grew up on Army bases, moving regularly. It was a good life. I am married to a former Army brat now and I wonder if our shared past led to our attraction.

    • I would think it definitely does. The life of an Army child would be better understood by someone else who lived the same lifestyle, so would be a wonderful thing to have in common! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  3. I never really thought about it I used to try to be my own person growing up and not be like my parents. But after 52 years, I see I have become more like my mother than I ever expected I would. So, yes, I do agree we learn from how we grow up.

    • Haha, I remember the first time I heard myself saying something my mom would say. I actually had to stop and rethink because I was a bit startled at how much I sounded like here. Little things we don’t think we are picking up on influence us for the rest of our lives 🙂 Thanks for stopping in!

    • Hi Jeannie! It makes it much easier to tell the stories of the places and people we know. I always feel so uncomfortable in a big city, so writing about it would be more difficult for sure.

  4. Welcome Kay! I enjoyed your post. Definitely, where I was brought up and the people I was around had a great impact on me. In my small town,everyone knew everyone, a greeting and a smile was given freely and people were courteous and caring. It was a wonderful time and a wonderful place to grow up.

    • Hi Melanie! It sounds very much like the small town I live in. Going for the mail can take half an hour because everyone stops to chat with everyone they meet 🙂 I always knew I’d never leave, and am glad that my kids can grow up here too!

  5. Welcome Kay, and yes I have noticed that the way I was raised and the people around me made a big inpact on who I am today. I grew up in a small community and everyone new each other. We never had to worry about locking doors or anything like that. I reall missed that today.

    • I will admit to still not locking my doors when I run downtown…all of my neighbors are right close by and everyone knows each other so I never worry too much. My husband gets annoyed because he came from England and he said you always had to lock your doors there. But this was just how I grew up and habits are hard to change I guess 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  6. I grew up in a small town and have moved to a slightly bigger one. After 75 years I still believe in the values that small town taught me.

    • Hi Estella! I agree with the values of a small town. Unless you’ve lived in one, it would be hard to believe but it’s definitely a different mindset. Thanks for stopping by!

  7. I am very much a product of my up bringing. Grew up except for four years in very small towns. Everyone knew my parents, therefore me. It didnt help me that my dad was a preacher of the Nazarene church, so that meant I was suppose to be extra good. My parents grew up in an even smaller farm area in Northern Montana, so when we went to visit, everyone in town knew it.
    Now I live in the Houston area, and don’t even know my neighbors, which I find sad.

    • Hi Veda! Yes, when growing up in a small town, you need to be a little bit better behaved LOL! I knew I couldn’t skip school or do anything too daring like that, because everyone knew my parents and they knew me too. And that’s also another reason why I wanted my own kids to grow up here 🙂 I would hate not knowing my neighbors…I always have the neighborhood kids popping in for snacks, everyone rides their bikes up and down the streets – it’s wonderful 🙂 Thanks for coming by to visit with me!

  8. Welcome to Wildflower Junction, Kay! I’m so glad that you could visit us here and it was great getting to know you better through your post. I grew up in a large city, but due to my father, always had a “small-town” bent. I always dreamed of owning land and horses and getting away. Now I live in a small town and absolutely love it. My neighbors are the best people and as my boys grew up they had good friends in the neighborhood and church. We all look out for each other. It’s a solid, strong feeling.

    • Hi Kathryn! I agree – so many people think living in a small town would be boring, but as a kid we always had so much to do! And my kids were always outside running around and I never had to worry about them.

  9. I loved reading about all the influences in your life. Thanks for sharing!

    I know I have many things that have influenced me, too. My parents’ Christian beliefs, the books they had me read, my home education, and so much more.

    • Hi Faith! As a kid, I don’t even think we realize how much the people around us are influencing who we become 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  10. Yes, my roots grow deep in my Kentucky soil and culture and I wouldn’t have chosen any other life. My grandparents were farmers but my parents, brother and I lived “in town”. Now, mind you, it was a small town but I went to the new elementary school on the hill and it wasn’t until high school that I met all of the students from the outlying areas. The young man that stole my heart as a senior and became my husband a year later was raised on a farm and that is where we went. The roots that began with my farming grandparents continued with me and although we no longer own all of the land, we still reside on an acre of our farm. My roots are made of sweat and toil, laughter and tears and an undying belief in our Father Above. I consider myself very blessed! And Pam, there was a period when we only got one broadcast TV station and one local KET station:-)
    Blessings to you!

    • Your life sounds wonderful – being raised on a farm is one of the biggest blessings I’ve had in my life 🙂 We only had 2 channels when we were growing up, (and us kids were the remote control while my dad decided what he wanted to watch LOL) – and were so excited when we got a third one added! Times have definitely changed! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your story with me!

  11. What influenced me were the principles and values which I learned from my parents which are the foundation and basis of my life and future generations.

    • Hi Anne! We learn so much from our parents and sometimes take for granted how much we’ve learned from the people they were.

  12. Growing up in a large city during the 1950’s was wonderful since the times were safe, and we had the freedom to bike, walk and explore. Miss that now and pine for those days.

    • Hi Pearl. I agree – I grew up in the 80’s, and things were still pretty safe. We could run all over, ride our bikes for miles and never have to worry about the things kids today would have to worry about.

  13. Welcome, Kay! I, too, grew up watching Little House on the Prairie. Just loved it. For some reason I can’t really identify, I was always fascinated with history as well. Though I write contemporary westerns, I love a good historical — be it books, a TV show or movie.

    • Hi Trish! There’s just something about that time period I think that draws us in – the way they were all so determined, loyal, and family meant more than anything. That must be what draws certain people to be so interested in it 🙂

  14. I’ve always loved history since elementary school, especially colonial and western pioneers. I suppose it comes from both my parents coming from backgrounds where they grew their own food for the year, as we did living in a rural area. I also grew up in the Northeast in the middle of all kinds of colonial historical spots.

    Later when I got into genealogy I discovered I come from two types of immigrants: one side of the family came to the US during WWI, and the other side in the 1600s. The “1600s side” were all farmers and migrated across the South eventually staying in Indian Territory and Texas. The picture I located of my great-grandfather shows him to be all cowboy–vest, boots, Sam Elliot-like mustache and all! And my grandfather, born in Indian Territory, wore a Stetson his whole life.

    • Hi Eliza! Your great-grandfather sounds wonderful! I love finding those old pictures and being able to put a face to the names of my ancestors. And just imagine the stories they could tell!!

  15. I think growing up on a farm definitely made me the country loving girl I am today. We are trying to raise our kids the same farm way!! It was a blast and I think instills manners and appreciation for others and God’s creation.

    • Hi Susan! While I’m living in town now, I still spend a great deal of time at my parent’s farm. My kids love it when they get to go there. They always say it’s just a more comfortable feeling – so I think once it’s in your blood, that’s where you belong! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  16. Thank you for your post. I always wanted to live on a farm because my mom was raised on one, but I was raised as an Air Force brat so there was no farming for us. I believe that my childhood molded who I am today. My father was very strict and the protocol was protocol and today I find myself still doing things the way we were taught to do them.

    Cindy W.

  17. Yes, it’s so true how the places and people we’ve been around influence who we are. Just traveling to different parts of the country makes me realize that there is a vast world out there waiting to be explored that can stretch who I am. Pretty exciting to know that I can still learn new things and better myself. Of course, this is why I love fiction – I can glean from other people’s experiences that I have never had or ever will.

  18. Welsom to Petticoats and Pistols, Kay.

    I do believe where we grow up influences us. However, not everyone draws on that and appreciates it. Some spend their life going in the opposite direction. I grew up in a small town and the country. I loved it, but had the urge to see the world and find out how other people lived. That also translates to the past which is one reason I enjoy historical books as well as time travel stories. I still prefer to live in the country in the mountains similar to where I grew up. I have found that even though there are regional differences, the basic personality and feel of these area is pretty much the same.

  19. I love your post Kay. I have always loved history.
    I’ve always lived in or near small cities. But my parents and grandparents instilled in ius the morals and values of the small villages or farms they grew up in. Thank you for sharing in your post.
    Carol Luciano

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