Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Wednesday Promo - Joyce Henderson
Thank you, Paty, for having me. And, hello, to readers in cyberspace.
I'm always hard-pressed to deliver a '"brief" bio since I write single title precisely because I'm so wordy. I'll say, though, I'd worn a variety of career hats prior to discovering writing when nearing the half-century mark in life. Shoot, I didn't discover the joy of reading until I was in my 20s…with rug-rats tangled around my ankles and disturbing my sleep. I love to read just about everything from murder and mayhem to sweet contemporary. I've been married to my fella for (yikes!) 57 years. We have three children, three grandkids, six step grandkids, and six step great-grandkids. And we ran away across the country from home 25 years ago. Hey, none of our tribe can ever accuse us of interfering! I mentor aspiring authors, and as a journalist I wrote a by-lined column, It Ain't Necessarily So..., for a few years.
Why do I write Historical?
I suppose the main reason is that I love the lifestyle because horses and ranching were such an important part of my life for many years. I have relatives in Texas who are in the cattle business to this day, so I mirror to the past with what I know or have done personally. I read research material every morning, and I have to be careful not to allow myself to neglect writing for research. Presently, I'm reading Comanche Empire by Pekka Hämäläinen, and as Larry McMurtry says, it's a "Cutting-edge revisionist western history."
Did I tell you I like books? Did I tell you I like to read? I'm fascinated by the history and interactions during the Manifest Destiny era when the white man ran amok across this great continent and either pushed aside or flat destroyed cultures while claiming the land. Like it or not, survival of the fittest is historically true...from the beginning of time.
I'm fascinated by Indian culture, Comanche in particular. Call me Pollyanna-ish, but the main theme running through most all I write about cowboys and Indians is that Indians were humans, too. They loved, they laughed, they cried like the rest of humanity. I refuse to believe that half-breeds were always conceived following the destructive practices of rape, pillage, and murder. Since I write fiction, I insist that "my world, my rules" are my prerogative.
What are your heroes like? Alpha, Beta―a mix?
I try to write complex characters so, hopefully, they end up a mix. Taking my humanistic approach to Indians and their culture allows me to develop tender and tough sides to my hunks. The only thing I insist upon is that they are, every last one, a HUNK! That's not to say they don't have physical scars, or perhaps less than camera-perfect faces, but by golly they all have ripped bodies! Think about it? Whom do you fantasize about? I'm willing to betcha not Elmer Fudd. Perhaps Bloom, Farrell, Pitt. Or maybe earlier movie-screen guys, Bogart, Duke, McQueen.
What are you working on now?
A turn of the century trilogy, that's the 19th to 20th centuries, set in Southern California where I lived for 46 years of my life. As I said, we owned a ranch…on a bit of an old land grant, Rancho Monserate. We owned horses, our kids showed them, and we raised avocados, oranges, limes, kiwi. (the fruit not the bird). So, basically I write what I know, Two of The Grandees trilogy are set in San Diego County and one is linked to the Santa Barbara area. I've submitted Promise the Moon, putting finishing touches to Promise of Home, and still must write the third book. I know who, what, when, where, and why of the last book, but the story is still churning around in my gray matter looking for a crack through which to escape into my fingers and onto the computer.
Return with me now to Central Texas, 1860, to…Capture an Eagle.
“Come.” Silver Eagle extended his hand. “We sit.”
Mariah's heart soared when he brushed unruly hair off her cheek. With nothing more than kisses, he
made her body hum with desire. Her attention snagged by pounding hoof beats, Mariah glanced north.
She and Silver Eagle rose and merely held hands by the time Tanner closed in and leaped from
the saddle. His hat sailed off as his body hit Silver Eagle, and sent him to the dirt, to sprawl on his
back. The momentum tore Silver Eagle’s hand from hers.
“Damn you! Damn you to hell!” Tanner dealt a knuckle buster to the jaw, snapping Silver Eagle’s
head sideways. Knees planted on either side of Silver Eagle’s prone body, her brother continued
yelling, “Damn you!” The impact of his left fist whipped the defenseless man’s head the other
“Stop it!” Mariah shouted. “Are you crazy, Tanner? Stop!” She slammed her weight against his
back. “Stop! He’s not fighting back! Tanner, for God’s sake, you’ll kill him!”
She pummeled his head and shoulders with each desperate word. Tanner finally heard her. He sat back, and dumped Mariah to the dirt beside his knee. She scrambled to her feet, tears freely running down her cheeks as she surveyed the damage Tanner had inflicted.
Silver Eagle lay motionless. He’d absorbed each blow, hadn’t even tried to protect his face. Blood
oozed from a split in his lower lip. Bruising already evident on his cheek, he’d have a shiner so severe, he
wouldn’t see out of that eye for a week.
When he slowly turned his head, Mariah saw swelling beginning around the other eye as well. But
what made her own vision blur with tears was his impelling eyes. Eyes that mirrored the same
heartbreak that sliced her own heart.
He knew as well as she that his and Tanner’s friendship, their brotherhood, would never be the same.
And could her proud Indian that she had come to love so desperately even work on the Broken Spur
“Dammit, Tanner, move. Let him up.” Mariah tugged on his arm as if she could lift his weight.
“What in tarnation were you thinking?”
He jerked out of her grasp and pushed to his feet. “Me? Christ, Mariah, what I’m thinkin’ don’t
hold a candle to what you and Sil were doin’!”
As he extended a hand to help Silver Eagle rise, Mariah shoved him aside. Falling to her knees, she
brushed trembling fingers over her beloved’s forehead.
“Look what he’s done to you,” she cried.
Joyce enjoys visiting with her fans. Find her @ www.joycehendersonauthor.com , her books available @ www.thewildrosepress.com and www.amazon.com