Why I Write Historical Romantic Westerns
It began with me romping around the pastures on all fours with the horses and playing cowboys and Indians with my siblings. I was eight years old and my family had a small ranch in Colorado, but for years before we moved to the Rockies, we had vacationed each summer to the mountains. I grew up with a deep appreciation for the majestic landscape of rolling hills and open meadows surrounded by the mighty Rocky Mountains.
At a young age, I didn’t think that one day I would write novels. I wrote stories as children often do, but they were for school or pleasure, and because I had a vivid imagination that found a variety of ways to manifest itself. Writing longer works of fiction came about as a slow and natural progression, and when the early ideas forms, they were a combination of Victorian romance and western.
The idea for the first Gallagher book wouldn’t come about until many years after I moved to Montana. It was a surprise that the land I came to love figured so prominently in my books. Writing historical romantic westerns gives me the opportunity to combine three of my favorite things: history, romance, and the American West.
I want readers to see the land as I do, to smell the pine trees and watch eagles fly overhead, and to feel the crisp and clean autumn air as the weather turns and snow covers the peaks. The Gallagher family needed a home within Montana, and thus the Hawk’s Peak ranch was born. The more time I spent with the Gallaghers, their family, the ranch hands, and the delightful people in the fictional town of Briarwood, I knew something special had happened. I knew letting go wouldn’t be easy . . . so I didn’t.
Journey to Hawk’s Peak, book five in the Montana Gallagher series, is the latest adventure I’ve had the joy of taking with the Gallaghers and their friends. Their journey has been filled with surprises: heartache, new beginnings, second chances, and a deep love for both the land the people who have touched their lives.
I hope you’ll join me on a journey filled with the remarkable men and women of Hawk’s Peak and Briarwood.
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