Loveland- what a western should be!
I’m so lucky to have Andrea Downing with me in the Round Pen today! I get to torture her. *evil grin as hands rub together* But Andrea has bravely taken the challenge so lets get on with it because she also brought us a sample of her new release, LOVELAND.
- Which comes first for you—plot or characters? I’m a pantser so it has to be characters—they write the book themselves, the story just sort of evolves. I always know the beginning and I know the end, often writing the ending before anything in the middle. How I get from A to Z is a mystery to me!
- What aspect of writing comes easy to you? What is difficult? I find dialogue quite easy because I hear the voices so clearly, the conversations. I’m not big on long descriptive scenes, though I am getting better.
- Where in the world would you want to visit (all in the name of research, of course) and why? I’d love to get to Australia for a really long vacation and visit the ranches in the outback. Since I’m very keen on all things western it would be great to compare the two cultures, though I don’t think they are that different. I rode with an Australian stock saddle once and it was very comfortable so I can see riding out through those great distances would be a wonderful experience, especially as I think the scenery will be very different from out west. I don’t see why an Australian outback romance couldn’t come of that!
- What obstacles have you overcome to get where you are, and what advice do you have for anyone in a similar situation? Oh dear oh dear. I’ve had to overcome myself I think! I’m basically very shy and for years was completely in dread of showing my work to anyone. Finally, I decided I had nothing to lose and just sent it out. I think the internet has helped because so much of querying/editing/publishing in general is done via email now; it’s like a little protection. My only advice to writers feeling similarly frightened of showing their work is, truthfully, you really do have absolutely nothing to lose!
- What did you enjoy most about writing your latest work? Finishing it!! No, really, I don’t mean to be flippant here– I loved the ending and had it in my mind and wrote it as a separate scene fairly early on. The last line I never changed at all. So when I finally got there chronologically I was absolutely ecstatic because it’s at that stage that the whole story has come together.
Some optional fun questions:
- Favorite television shows? Can I list every western that’s ever been on tv? And costume dramas like ‘Downton Abbey’. I’ve been told I was born in the wrong century so perhaps that gives you an idea of my viewing taste!
- How do you pick good fruit? Uh, the opposite to the way I’d pick a man—it has to be soft to the touch (Oh, goodness, did I say that? Was that really me? Is that x-rated?)
- Salty, sweet, or both? CHOCOLATE—dark and rich. Is that sweet? It can be salty or even have chilli in it. My name is Andrea and I’m a chocoholic….
When Lady Alexandra Calthorpe returns to the Loveland, Colorado, ranch owned by her father, the Duke, she has little idea of how the experience will alter her future. Headstrong and willful, Alex tries to overcome a disastrous marriage in England and be free of the strictures of Victorian society –and become independent of men. That is, until Jesse Makepeace saunters back into her life…
Hot-tempered and hot-blooded cowpuncher Jesse Makepeace can’t seem to accept that the child he once knew is now the ravishing yet determined woman before him. Fighting rustlers proves a whole lot easier than fighting Alex when he’s got to keep more than his temper under control.
Arguments abound as Alex pursues her career as an artist and Jesse faces the prejudice of the English social order. The question is, will Loveland live up to its name?
As the round-up wound down, the Reps took their stock back to their outfits, and soon the men were back at headquarters or at the camps. Alex
knew word had more or less got out and found the punchers were gentler now around her, had a sort of quiet respect for her, and she hated it. She tried to bully them a bit to show them she was still the same girl, jolly them into joshing with her as they had before. It was slow work. At the same time, she
yearned to see Jesse, to speak with him, to try to get life back to the way it was before the argument at the corral, and before he saw the scars. The
opportunity didn’t present itself. She would see him from a distance some days, riding with the herd, sitting his horse with that peculiar grace he had,
throwing his lariat out with an ease that reminded her of people on a dock waving their hankies in farewell. Hoping to just be near him, she slid into
one of the corrals one evening to practice her roping.
The light was failing and the birds were settling with their evening calls. Somewhere in the pasture a horse nickered. She sensed Jesse was there,
watching, but she never turned as he stood at the fence. She heard him climb over and ease up behind her. He took the coiled rope from her in his left hand and slid his right hand over hers on the swing end, almost forcing her backward into his arms.
She thought of paintings and statues she had seen, imagining his naked arms now, how the muscles would form them into long oblique curves,
how he probably had soft downy fair hair on his forearms, how his muscle would slightly bulge as he bent his arm. His voice was soft in her ear, and she
could feel his breath on her neck like a whispered secret.
“Gentle-like, right to left, right to left to widen the noose, keep your eye on the post—are you watchin’ where we’re goin’?”
He made the throw and pulled in the rope to tighten the noose. Alex stood there, his hand still entwined with hers and, for a moment, she wished
they could stand like that forever. Then she took her hand away and faced him. For a second he rested his chin on the top of her head, then straightened again and went to get the noose off the post while coiling in the rope. She looked up at him in the fading light and saw nothing but kindness in his face, simplicity and gentleness that was most inviting. A smile spread across her face as he handed her the coiled rope and sauntered away, turning once to look back at her before he opened the gate. Emptiness filled her like a poisoned vapor seeking every corner of her being, and she stood with the rope in her hand listening to the ring of his spurs as his footsteps retreated.
Andrea Downing has spent most of her life in the UK where she developed a penchant for tea-drinking, a tolerance for rainy days, and a deep knowledge of the London Underground system. In 2008 she returned to live in the city of her birth, NYC, but frequently exchanges the canyons of city streets for the wide open spaces of the West. Her love of horses, ranches, rodeo and just about anything else western—especially cowboys (not one in particular, sadly, but still looking…) is reflected in her writing. Loveland, a western historical romance published by The Wild Rose Press, is her first book. She is a member of Romance Writers of America and Women Writing the West. Her WIP is contemporary women’s fiction with a Texas Hill Country meets the New York Hamptons setting.
This sounds wonderful. Thank you for being my guest today Andrea. Good luck with your new baby!
Posted on 08/14/2012, in Blog Tour, guest blogging, Pen of the Dreamer, Promotion, Welcome and tagged Andrea Downing, Calisa Rhose, guest, Pen of the Dreamer, Writing. Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.