Monday, April 25, 2016

New Kid on the Block

In case you missed it, there's a new name in the header. Mine. I've got a bit about me on a separate page. However, I do want to take this opportunity to introduce myself with a little more detail.

If you've checked out my author profile, it might be apparent that I'm just a little bit sarcastic. I have to be very careful with that in the written medium, because often sarcasm does not translate well so I try to remember to denote I'm being sarcastic.

I'm a romance writer, namely western historical romances. Blame syndicated western television series (my Sunday mornings were filled with a lineup of The Lone Ranger, The Sisco Kid, The Rifleman, and The Big Valley) and John Wayne for that. And, the older I get, the more I tend to look at the world and wonder what in the name of heaven has happened to us that we've decided to move away from a simpler time when the bad guys wore black and the good guys never got dusty. There was a simplicity in those days--or maybe, I'm just romanticizing it all.

Being an historical romance writer allows me to delve into historical documents, research until I'm giddy with discovery, but I have to be careful not to get too lost in the research and forget to write. (Yeah, I've done that.) I admit it, I'm a history geek. My undergraduate work was in English with a minor in Classical Studies; however I was just three credits shy of a second major in History. I concentrated that historical study to American history for the years 1800 to 1900. In other words, the events leading up the American Civil War, The War itself, and the period in American history we call The Westward Expansion under the doctrine of Manifest Destiny. As an aside, in case anyone needs reminded--there is NOTHING civil about any war. Fighting a war with outmoded Napoleonic tactics and what amounted to the most modern weaponry available meant the death toll was horrific for any war. Those young men were little more than cannon fodder. More American lives were sacrificed in that bloody conflict than all American lives in all other wars America fought combined. Let that sink in for just a moment...

I LOVE the American West, which is probably why I love John Ford movies. (My favorite John Ford movie is The Searchers.) The man was a genius with a panorama camera and his sweeping vistas can only be described as landscape porn. That love of the West manifest itself into a purchase of thirty-nine acres smack dab in the middle of the nowhere, Wyoming. As the crow flies, our property is only fifteen miles or so from the nearest place called a town. Roads aren't laid out in Wyoming as the crow flies. The dream was to retire there. That dream had to be adapted. So, we bought property in middle Tennessee and I moved all those dreams about 1100 miles to the east and nestled them safely in the woods between the Buffalo River and the Natchez Trace.

I raise and show collies. Again, have to blame television for that. I distinctly remember when I was about five or six stating I was going to live in the West, have horses, and collies. Well, two out of three ain't bad. My collies aren't Lassie, though. Lassie, for all the amazing PR he has done for the breed, is not the most beautiful collie around. As a conformation animal, he's pretty sad. And, as my author profile states, Lassie lied. Collies are not that smart. I have a horse. He's thirty-four now and he's earned the nickname "Lazarus" for his ability to cheat death in the last couple of years. My horse is a 3/4 Arabian. He's a freakin' baby-sitter and belies the myth that Arabians are flighty, spacey animals. He taught me to be a better horsewoman, taught both my children to ride, and took several other kids through 4-H. Because of his age, he's little more than a lawn ornament. And, I'm perfectly fine with that.
Dipper...AKA "Lazarus"

My choice of music all depends on my mood. I prefer classic rock to the new stuff. I'll drive down the road to dog shows or our place in Tennessee jamming to The Rolling Stones, Led Zepelin, Bob Seger, Queen...I also have a collection of classical music: Bach, Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, get the point. And, movie sound tracks, Native American flute music (if you need recommendations, I'll suggest finding R. Carlos Nakai and Dik Darnell). Broadway musicals, country music (but not that stuff before 1980), easy listening music station stuff...I think you get the point. It's eclectic. Thank heavens for an iPod and an MP3 player--both of which are completely filled.

I'm a huge graphics novel fan--DC mostly. I've been a Superman fan for as long as I can remember. Sometime, remind me to discuss Zac Snyder's interpretation of the Superman mythos. I'm also both a fan of Star Trek and Star Wars. Just don't get me started on emo Kylo Ren. Someone needs to pull that boy aside and point out he's a little messed up with his thinking about his grandfather. Someone does need to tell him in the end, Grandpa turned back to the light. (...sigh...) I can't stand Twilight. Love Harry Potter but think Dumbledore is a vile, manipulative, evil man. From the first book, even before the first movie, I have been enamored with Snape. I loved the character so much I named one of my show collies for him. Snape grew up to be GCh. Wych's Prince of Summer, and I'm finding it hard to believe he'll be eleven this July.

So, that's a little bit more about me. I'll be covering the Tuesday slot on a regular basis. I'd love to hear from you. Leave your comments in the box. I really do respond. (More so than I do to my cell phone, and that is not sarcasm. I hate being tied down by the cell phone.)

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