My muse likes cowboys.
Last fall, I was on Colorado’s 287 driving south to a meeting—doing my usual in-car sing-along to…oh, I want to say Panic! at the Disco. Suddenly, with the mountains of the Front Range in view, my muse plopped her mouthy self into the front passenger seat and said, “Hey, you need write a cowboy romance.”
Naturally, I scoffed. I’m a Carolina girl (lapsed, but still). We didn’t have ranchers back east. We just had farmers. What do I know about cowboys (beyond the fact they tend to wear their jeans quite well)?
Muse said, “You’re thinking too literally. You can tell a cowboy story without it being a treatise on ranch management.”
And I said, “Oh yeah? You want to tell me what, precisely, this story should be about? ’Cause I’m plenty busy already.”
Muse said, “Picture it. A single dad workaholic living in the middle of the Wyoming boonies.”
I said: “Wyoming?”
Muse said: “Yeah? Remember that road trip through southeastern Wyoming and that never-ending dirt road that tested the mettle of your marriage?”
I said, “Oh. That. That was…educational.”
Muse said: “Now imagine a community so sparsely populated because of the size of the ranches that most of the kids are home-schooled.”
Muse said: “And because few people are really qualified to home-school those kids, a couple of those ranchers have to hire a tutor from a service.”
Me: “Ah. I see where you’re going here.”
Muse: “Fish out of water. Carolina beauty queen intellectual versus stubborn Wyoming rancher.”
Me: “Hmm. I might could work it. Can I have a big cast?”
Muse: “The biggest. Grey’s Anatomy didn’t have a cast this big.”
Me: “So I can write in some insane secondaries. Can I make it snarky?”
Muse: “The snarkiest, babe. I’ve got an idea for a sidekick named Phil. He can be this book’s resident misanthrope. Oh! And a bossy mother. You can have one of those, too.”
Me: “Okay. I’m tempted. Maybe after NaNoWriMo.”
Muse: “No. NOW. You don’t want to ignore me. Remember what happened last time?”
Muse: “Oh. Since it’s going to be a doorstopper of a book, anyway, why not just go on ahead and add in a secret baby?”
Muse: “Fine. Be back next week. I have an idea for a—”
And, that’s how the story of Ronnie and John came to be. It’s called Teaching the Cowboy and will be trotting into e-readers February 10, 2014. Watch the TtC page at http://holleytrent.com/blog/upcoming-titles/teaching-the-cowboy/ to learn more.
Holley Trent writes contemporary and paranormal romances with Southern sass. Her previous Musa releases are the chick-litty Executive Decision and Her Resident Jester, and comedic paranormals Mrs. Roth’s Merry Christmas and Love by Premonition. Learn more about her upcoming works at holleytrent.com.