Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Wednesday Promo- Linda Sandifer
Welcome Linda Sandifer a member of Women Writing the West.
Linda Sandifer is the award-winning author of thirteen novels. Her stories of the West have found fans among the ranks of men and women alike and have been translated into numerous languages throughout the world. She is known for her gritty realism, compelling characterizations, credible detail, and the ability to touch the human spirit. She lives with her husband on a ranch in Idaho.
Why do you write westerns?
The West is, and always has been, an integral part of my life. I was born and raised on a farm/ranch in Idaho and grew up around cattle, horses, and cowboys. Except for three years back East, while my husband was in the service, I have always lived in the West and the wide open spaces. My husband and I still raise some cattle, and we own and operate the ranch my grandfather homesteaded in 1915. As a child, I spent more time outdoors doing farm and ranch work with my dad than I did indoors with my mother, learning girl stuff. I spent many hours listening to my dad and his brothers tell their cowboy-related adventures from the 20s and 30s, which were not that far removed from the Old West.
Because this was my lifestyle, I naturally gravitated to books I could relate to. I loved to read from an early age and, while I read just about everything, I particularly enjoyed horse and dog stories. My own writing, I believe, was influenced by reading most of Louis L'Amour's books and those Janet Dailey books that were set in the West and had a cowboy in them (particularly her Calder series). Even my favorite TV shows and movies were westerns, and still are, if they're done well and stay true to the era. It was only natural, then, to write what I loved and what I had the strongest connection to.
What do you find the most daunting about writing about the West?
The West is a wonderful character. Her personalities are many and varied, from the arid Sonoran Desert in Arizona to the snowy mountains of Montana. I love traveling the West to see her many faces and connect with the many rhythms of her nature and get a better understanding of her people. There are so many stories that still could be told; you just have to find the right one and the right way to tell it. If anything is daunting about writing a western, it would be trying to find an agent, a publisher, and readers in this twenty-first century who want to read one.
What are you working on now?
I'm in between books, toying around with several ideas, so nothing definite yet.My latest release is The Last Rodeo. You can read about my other twelve books on my website: www.linda-sandifer.com
Blurb for The Last Rodeo
Dev Summers wants nothing more than to quit the grind of the rodeo and return to his grandfather's Nevada ranch. At thirty-five, and battling serious injuries, his decision to retire from professional bull riding thrusts him into conflict with his freewheeling dad and brother, and into the arms of July Jones, a woman he dare not love.
Running from a failed marriage and an empty life, July is searching for meaning to her existence. She seeks sanctuary at the ranch with Dev, her long-time friend and confidante. As she struggles with her own inner conflict and her growing desire to be more than Dev's friend, she becomes the catalyst that sets his family on a course they did not seek, nor could have foreseen. But before their broken lives can mend, tragedy and a murderous plot will force them to face what they have become.
The Last Rodeo is a story of love, regret, conviction, and the unforgettable journey of a family in transition.
Dev Summers buckled on his chaps and pulled the deerskin glove onto his riding hand, cinching it tight at the wrist. He blocked out the din of the rodeo, of everything except the sound of the announcer's baritone voice coming from the loudspeakers, smoothly playing to the audience.
"Ladies and gentlemen, our next cowboy has been riding rough stock since he was old enough to walk. Five-time Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association's World Champion, and four-time Professional Bull Rider World Champion, Dev Summers is the only man to have ever ridden the notorious Satan 101--a big, rank old bull that's been named the PBR's Bucking Bull of the Year for three consecutive years.
"Early last year in Montana, though, Old Satan got even with our cowboy and nearly ended his career. But you can't hold a good man down. Dev's back in the running, and, as luck would have it, he's drawn into another go-round with Satan."
A hush fell over the crowd as they realized this could be the ride of the night, maybe even a ride that would go down in the annuls of rodeo history. But what most of them didn't know was that Satan 101 had turned killer.
Nobody had wanted to ride him since April when Tim Roberts, a guy with whom Dev must have logged a million miles over the last twenty years, had run out of luck up at the Nampa Classic in Idaho. The bull had turned on him with the same vicious intent he'd laid out for Dev last year at the NILE Invitational in Billings, Montana. While all the cowboys had helplessly huddled in shock around Tim, the bull rider had died in Dev's arms before the Justin Sportsmedicine Team could reach him.
Tim's death had left a pall hanging over the bull riders. Every cowboy who'd drawn Satan since April had learned how to pray--and how to mean every word of it. Many had been hurt bad enough to be knocked out of the competition. Others had barely escaped injury. No one had ridden him.
The beast was at this moment trying to hook every cowboy within reach of his deadly horns, effectively sweeping them off the sides of the chute like dust from a doorframe before completing his customary exhibition and dropping to all fours, ready to fulfill the announcer's rhetoric.
Dev removed his Resistol hat to mop the sweat from his brow with his shirt sleeve. With a foot on either side of the metal chute, he eased out over the brindle's wide back, reminding himself that he could beat Satan. He'd done it once; he could do it again. All he had to do was focus and not think about what the animal was capable of doing. His entire career--maybe his entire life--would ultimately be measured by this one ride. The announcer's glowing words made him sound so indestructible, but the announcer wasn't close enough to smell his fear.
Satan felt Dev's pant legs brush his hide, and he reared again, forcing Dev to scramble to safety. Along with his other injuries, Dev had pulled his groin muscles last week, and it was there he felt the strain from his hasty retreat. He was tired of always fighting the pain, riding it out, sucking it up, swallowing it down. He was thirty-five--too old for this shit. He hurt everywhere, and he was sick of it. Damned sick of it. There was no longer a thrill to dally with death. He’d accomplished all he’d set out to do in the sport and then some. There were no more mountains to climb--except maybe to ride Satan one last time.
Walk away, man, while you still can. You've been wanting to for a long time. He heard Tim's voice in his mind, as if he were standing right there next to him. And maybe he was.
Don't worry, old buddy. Win or lose, live or die, this is going to be my last ride