The Next Big Thing

Thanks to friend, fellow writer and All-Around cowgirl, Kari Lynn Dell, I’ve been tagged in The Next Big Thing meme. The premise is for an author to answer ten questions about the project they’re working on, so here goes:

What is the working title of your next book?
Sugarwater Ranch has been the working title, but I’m also considering With a Cowboy Like Him. It’s a toss-up right now.

Where did the idea come from for the book?
Nearly five years ago I read a contemporary rodeo romance. The author had done a wonderful job of writing the romance, but the rodeo and horse information was so off base that I cringed. I read on, eventually hoping the heroine would just shoot the TSTL hero and get it done with.
Speaking of TSTL--my next thought was, 'how hard can it be to write a book'? So I decided to try, you know, just whip one out and have a best seller. Little did I know the amount of time, struggle and high learning curve it takes to write a good book. 
My hat’s off to all the great writers out there.

What genre does your book fall under?
Contemporary Romance, or to be more specific, Contemporary Western Romance. Ah heck, it’s Rodeo Romance with cowboys and cowgirls, of course, and bucking horses, bulls and rodeo clowns.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
I have a hard time choosing an actor or actress. I don’t watch a lot of TV, and the last movie I watched in a theater was The Jerk, starring Steve Martin. That was back in the . . . well, never mind.  Suffice it to say, I’d rather read.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Sean O’Connell’s life was perfect until drinking affected his bull riding, and he ended the season too broke to leave the Northwest for the warm southern rodeos.
When bar manager Catherine Silvera finds a waterlogged, unconscious cowboy in danger of freezing to death in front of the Sugarwater Bar, she saves his life--then runs away faster than a jackrabbit with a coyote on its tail.  Any man who makes his living following the rodeo circuit is not for her, especially if he thinks partying is part of the competition. 
Okay, that’s three. I guess I’ll have to work on that.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
It will be represented by an agency. I'm not ready to try to self-publish. Learning to write taught me a lesson. Not one part of putting out a book is easy.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
I started Sugarwater Ranch during National Novel Writers Month 2011. It took 30 days to put fifty-five thousand words on paper for the first draft. After nine months of revisions, it is now finished at eighty-four thousand words.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I’d like to compare it to Katie Lane’s, Deep in the Heart of Texas series with a little touch of magic. If I could write as well as Katie, I’d be happy.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
This book was inspired by all the rodeo friends I’ve known and traveled with for most of my life. They are a different breed. I wanted to write a romance involving cowboys and cowgirls with life on the rodeo trail accurately portrayed.

What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
Readers might be interested in the rodeo and ranching scenes. I’ve kept them as true to life as I could. Or, they might be interested in the blond, green-eyed, totally hot hero, Sean O’Connell.

And now that the hard part is done, it’s my pleasure to introduce you to more remarkable and gifted authors. Drum roll, please . . .

I met Diane J Reed after reading her wonderful book, TWIXT. Diane chose to set her story in a small Idaho town not far from where I live. As I read, I could picture the beautiful mountain scenery. If you like fairies, magic and a love that traverses different worlds, you’ll love TWIXT.

Jacquie Rogers is a multi-published author whose motto of Fairies and Dragons and Mules--Oh My! has me laughing every time I visit her website. Her Heart of the Owyhees series is the best of historical western romance. Jacquie writes in several genres, including Faeries. Oh, and mules. With Jacquie, there’s something for everyone.

I got hooked on Dianne Solberg’s serial titled Angus & Lily--The ‘Clysm Wars. I waited for each chapter to come out and was disappointed when she finally brought it to an end. Dianne then began another wonderful story called, The Bear Facts. I can’t wait to see what Dee comes up with next.

I found John Ross Barnes  on the #amwriting website. I enjoyed his blogs then got to know him better as a Twitter friend. He writes a variety of genres, including Friday Flash fiction, Haiku, Gogyohka--and, yes, I had to look the last one up. It's a very interesting form of Japanese poetry.

If you're looking for a realistic view of life on a working ranch, tempered with a touch of humor, visit Kari's blog, Montana for Real.
Thanks, Kari.


  1. As you know, I love rodeo books! Best of luck placing Sugarwater Ranch and I hope it's SOON. :)

  2. Thanks for visiting. I'm hoping it's soon, too.

  3. It sounds like your book has come along pretty darn fast for a first novel. I love how you thought one wasn't done right and proceeded to write a better one. Thanks much for thinking of me, I'll try to make you proud. ;-)

    1. It was the first one ready for viewing by someone other than myself. There are four others hiding.

  4. You are the next big thing, my dear.

  5. Thank you for a smile and the kind words. You're a great friend.