Today I have romance author Kathleen Eagle visiting, answering some questions. At the end of the post, I'm giving away a paperback copy of her new book, "Never Trust A Cowboy".
Born in Virginia and raised "on the road" as an Air Force brat, Ms Eagle earned degrees from Mount Holyoke College and Northern State University. She taught at Standing Rock High School in North Dakota for 17 years.
Eagle's work is often singled out by book reviewers for its exceptional quality and appeal. THE NIGHT REMEMBERS was a Chicago Tribune Notable Book. SUNRISE SONG, THE NIGHT REMEMBERS, THE LAST TRUE COWBOY, and WHAT THE HEART KNOWS made the Library Journal "Five Best Romances of the Year" list. BookPage listed WHAT THE HEART KNOWS among its "Top Six Romance Picks" for 1999. THE LAST GOOD MAN was a finalist for the 2000 Minnesota Book Award for Popular Fiction--the only romance so honored thus far. YOU NEVER CAN TELL was named to RWA's "Top Ten Favorite Books of the Year" list. She is an RWA RITA award winner.
Kathleen Eagle lives in Minnesota with her husband, who is Lakota Sioux. The Eagles have three children and three grandchildren.
1. What about cowboys inspired you to write this romance?
Kathleen: Like most of the girls I knew growing up, I fell in love with Hollywood cowboys. I loved the way they dressed, the way they lived, really loved their horses, and I loved their stories. Fast forward a dozen or more years to the summer I spent in a volunteer program in South Dakota when I met a real working cowboy. He dressed the part, rode the horse, talked the talk and walked the walk. After I finished college I returned to South Dakota and married that cowboy. He inspired me to write romance.
2. You’ve published more than 40 books. How do you continue to come up with such original plotlines and characters?
Kathleen: We live in Minnesota now, but with family, horses, and land in North and South Dakota, we make lots of trips there. I’m all about writing what you know, especially the setting. Real people inspire characters for me, too. Those Hollywood characters I loved when I was a kid were created by somebody else. I have to come up with my own characters, draw from my own experience. As for a situation or setups for plot building, a news story might spark my imagination—the all-important what if? Sometimes my husband will show me something that caught his eye. He’s the one who spotted a story about 21st century cattle rustling. The first seed he planted in my brain for NEVER TRUST A COWBOY was a picture of a tricked-out horse trailer used by thieves.
3. What are the three ingredients for the perfect hero in a romance novel?
Kathleen: A hero has to be skilled, confident and committed to something—a goal, an ideal, a person or people—and he has to be honorable. But he’s never perfect. You see him on the flip side of those qualities as well. He’s made at least one serious mistake. He’s human, which makes him flawed. He’s a warrior, protective of women, children, animals—you want to see him in that role—but he’s also vulnerable. His gentle side melts your heart.
4. If you could make any literary hunk in history come to life, who would it be and why?
Kathleen: Since the Starz channel truly brought Jamie Frasier to life in the movie version of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander, I’ll wish for Christian Langland from Laura Kinsale’s Flowers From the Storm to come walking up my driveway. His journey from arrogant rake to admirable, caring hero makes him a man to sigh for.
5. How did you come up with the personalities in the book? Are they inspired by real people?
Kathleen: I started with a basic story setup. I wanted the heroine to live on a ranch and the hero to be involved somehow with cattle rustling. But how? Can he be a thief? Del Fox had to be a man who’d worked through some tough times, learned some hard lessons, and reached a point where he can be putting his experience to use. He just can’t tell anyone who he really is. His match would be a woman who’s living in a shell of her own making. Circumstances have shaken her confidence, but she’s trying to rebuild herself and her life. They both have to be hard on the outside and hungry on the inside. Trust is the heart of the matter with these two loners.
6. What’s on your reading list right now?
Kathleen: I’m enjoying a beautifully written non-fiction book—Buffalo For the Broken Heart: Restoring Life To a Black Hills Ranch. By Dan O’Brien. Next up is Windigo Island, a mystery by William Kent Kruger.
7. Do you have any writing rituals or quirks?
Kathleen: I write on a laptop, but when I get stuck, it’s back to pencil and paper. Pencil because I have to be able to erase.
8. What is the first book you remember reading by yourself as a child?
Kathleen: The Real Mother Goose. I knew most of the rhymes, and I remember following the printed words with my finger and saying them aloud. I said I was reading, and pretty soon I really was.
9. What are three things about you that might surprise your readers?
Kathleen: I can do the Texas Two-Step, but I’ve got a Rock ‘n Roll heart. I’ve finally, finally, finally stopped biting my fingernails. And while they might have a tastte for me, vampires or zombies aren’t my cup of tea.
10. What are you working on for your next book?
Kathleen: A woman buys a South Dakota town in an internet auction. A whole town. It’s nearly dead, and its few residents have put it up for sale. It’s going to be a four-book series.
When a Cowboy Comes Calling…
The last thing harried Lila Flynn needed was another cowboy to deal with. But new hire Del Fox was different than most sweet-talking wranglers. The hard worker had a gentle touch and eyes that spoke of a past he didn't share. Lila soon found her hardened heart softening, frightening her more than any other hurdles she was facing.
Del's assignment in Short Straw, South Dakota, was meant to be fast and simple. Falling for Lila Flynn, however, had complicated everything. If he did his job right it would mean destroying everything Lila had worked for. He'd given her every reason never to trust him again. But when all was said and done, would she trust their love enough to give them a second chance?
Release Date: December 16, 2014
Formats: Paperback, ebook
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | ARe*
I have a paperback copy of "Never Trust A Cowboy" to give away to one US reader. Enter using the rafflecopter widget. Please read my giveaway policy. No purchase necessary. VOID where prohibited.