I’m Laura Drake, the newest Filly in the stable, and proud to be here!
I wanted to introduce myself and let you know what you’re getting into with me (cue evil laugh).
My twelfth Western releases on the 28th (pause for a loud squee!). I’m probably a horse of a different color here, in that I came at this western thing later in life.
See, I was born in the Northwest suburbs of Detroit – Yeah, city-girl AND a Yankee. When the job market died there, and I got sick of the snow, my sister and I moved, sight unseen, to Southern California (they really shouldn’t televise the Rose Bowl to the frozen Midwest).
Closer to the west, but certainly not country. But that changed fast. See, I met an ex-pat bleed-maroon, Texas Aggie there. We fell in love, and that first Christmas, he took me home to momma – Midland, Texas.
There were a lot of eye-opening experiences that Christmas, but the best was, he took me to my first RODEO! It turns out the rodeo season kicks off every year twenty miles down the road in Odessa.
I fell in love with it all, but especially with the bull riding. Then I discovered that bull riding was televised EVERY weekend! I was hooked.
I also discovered that the PBR came to a venue seven miles from our house in Southern California every January!
I’d been writing small town series, but I switched to contemporary westerns, featuring, you guessed it, bull riders. Yeah, I’m a little obsessed – I’ve been to at least ten events, and five world finals – the most recent, last November in Las Vegas.
Why bull riding? To me, it’s like a dangerous ballet. The riders are more like gymnasts than wrestlers. After all, you’re never going to out-muscle a 2,000 lb. bull, so it’s about staying balanced in the middle of a tornado. When it’s done right, and the stars align, it’s a beautiful dance.
But it’s also about the animal athletes – the bulls. They are bred to buck like thoroughbreds are bred to run, and it’s been a thrill to see the buckers improve the past decade.
We finally retired, left So Cal behind, and moved to Midland, Texas in 2014.
So that’s my long winding road, from city-girl to country girl. It took me a long time, but I got here as soon as I could!
I’m so looking forward to blogging and chatting with Y’all!
To kick this off, I’d like to give away a copy of my July release, Cowboy for Keeps, to a random commenter. All you need to do is tell me,
What’s your favorite rodeo event?
Here’s a bit about the book: