Monday, June 27, 2016

Look What Gardening Can Do For You

This week Wild Women Authors welcomes mystery author C.T. Collier and Lyssa Pennington from Planted, Collier's latest release out of Asdee Press. First up is Lyssa.
Lyssa, tell us a bit about Planted. The story tells what happened when my spring-break gardening project turned up a loaded revolver buried in the abandoned rose garden in Kyle’s and my backyard. Bad enough the gun discharged, critically injuring our elderly neighbor, but it also threw us into a search for the body we knew must be somewhere. At the start we had no idea who’d been murdered, who’d pulled the trigger and hidden the gun, or even when all that had happened. Searching for the answers put a strain on our marriage and caused both of us to take risks we regretted. Without Kyle’s expertise with technology and mine with money, that murder would never have been solved.
What made you choose teaching economics for a career? Boring, right? My dad was an economics professor at a small Franciscan college. He emphasized values in his teaching—ethics, stewardship, personal responsibility, social responsibility. I admired that about him. I had a head for finance and economics, too, but not in the same way. I saw girls and women around me who had little sense of money—how to make it, spend it, invest it, and manage it—so I focused my career on Financial Literacy for women and youth.
Knowing what you know now, if you had it to do over again, would you stick with being a college professor or do something different? I love teaching college seniors, because it’s easy to get their attention. They’re about to leave college with huge debt, big dreams, and no tools to manage their money. My courses contribute to their success at life. However, before taking the Visiting Professor position at Tompkins College, I did a post-doctoral fellowship in London, and starred in two public television video series for women, The Savvy Spender and The Wise Women Investor. I was devastated when our funding ran out. I’ve since been asked by women in my husband’s region of England, the south west, to develop affordable workshops and consulting for them. Once my grant is finished at Tompkins College, Kyle and I will live full time in Cornwall, and I’ll focus on that work. Who knows where it will lead?
What is your biggest fear? Picking up a drink. Both my parents died of alcoholism. I’ve been sober two years now, but if I were to pick up a drink, I’d be lost to the disease of alcoholism. No more marriage. No more career. That’s not how I want to live.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? When I was growing up, I read every Nancy Drew book. As a pre-teen, I thought Nancy had it all—cool car, cool boyfriend, interesting friends, lots of mysteries to solve, no one to nag her, no money worries. Even though I’ve grown up, I still think of Nancy Drew when I need a quick escape from pressure. Maybe that’s why I get involved in so many mysteries. Hmm, have to think about that!
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? Two pieces of wisdom—one from my dad, one from my mom. Dad taught me how to live within my means and manage my money. I hated all that advice at the time, but it paid off for me in the long run. I finished college and my doctorate without credit card debt or a big loan to pay off. As for Mom, she told me to marry for love. I did. Kyle’s the best!
Excellent advice, Lyssa. Smart of you to follow both suggestions. We'd now like to speak with C.T. Which writer or character[s], from either books or movies, [or both] have had a major impact on your writing? There are so many authors who’ve influenced me. As a teen I loved those brooding Gothic mysteries and I devoured traditional mysteries. Daphne de Maurier drew me in deep with her attention to the landscape of her settings. As a result, most of my protagonists have a passion for the place they live, and they do their best thinking while they’re immersed in the landscape, whether it’s gazing at the rose garden, hiking on the cliffs, or canoeing on a tranquil lake.
With regard to research, where did you start for this novel? Did that lead you down different paths, thereby changing the original concept? Planted is the first book in the series, The Penningtons Investigate, featuring husband-wife amateur sleuths. The first draft of Planted drew on my experience in higher education and focused mostly on Lyssa Pennington’s motivation for solving the mystery. My editor challenged me to go deeper to show the reader why Kyle Pennington, Lyssa’s husband, was equally invested in solving the mystery, not just supporting his wife’s desire to investigate. As I dug into Kyle’s past as a schoolboy, the theme of bullying came out of my involvement in Teacher Education over the past fifteen years. However, because Kyle grew up in Cornwall and went to an elite school in Somerset, I needed first-hand knowledge of those areas of England, an understanding of British schooling, past and present, and some knowledge of the British think tanks and universities that might have employed young geniuses like Kyle and his classmates. The fabrication of Kyle’s childhood school, Mullett Academy, also draws on my consulting experience with private schools to visualize placement and function of buildings, incorporation of sports, and other subtle details. I wrote many pages over several days to develop the scenario that’s only briefly described in Planted as the catalyst for Kyle’s commitment to finding the missing boys.
Tell us a bit about your publisher. How did you hear about them; what influenced you to submit to them; how is the submission process; what is the turn-around time from date of query to date of release? After publishing a romance series as Katie O’Boyle through Soul Mate Publishing, I found that my readership, including many women of a certain age, is invested in the Nook platform as well as Kindle and has a strong preference for printed books with readable fonts that are easy on older eyes. That led me to self-publish my mystery series, for the flexibility I needed with platform. Even though I have a strong technical background, it was scary to take the plunge into self-publishing. It was up to me to find a great editor (Lourdes Venard of Comma Sense Editing) and a cover artist (Dave Fymbo of Limelight Book Covers). I’ve also invested in a series logo and an imprint logo, and I have someone helping me generate marketing ideas. My confidence is growing with each step, and I’m happy with the decision.
What are you reading right now? I read every academic mystery I can get my hands on, alternating them with cozy mysteries and traditional mysteries. I just finished Debra Goldstein’s Maze in Blue, set on a college campus in the early 1970s. I’m now reading Susannah Hardy’s Olive and Let Die, one of the cozies in her Greek To Me series.
What's next for you? July 29, 2016, is the Launch Party for Planted at my hometown library, Seneca Falls, NY. The party is at the start of my high school reunion. We’re pitching it as an opportunity to support the library, which plays a vital role in our small town, and to meet the new library director who has just taken over after a long tenure by a much-loved local boy. In late October, Planted will expand to additional ebook formats—Nook, iBook, and Kobo. Book two, Stuck, is in the works with a release date of Februrary 2017. There are six titles planned in The Penningtons Investigate. If you’re wondering about the titles, each is a single word, past-tense verb telling the disposition of the murder weapon.

C.T. brought an excerpt from Planted:
Lyssa yanked a pillowcase off the clothesline, tore into it with her teeth, and ripped it into wide strips. “The ambulance is on its way, Mrs. Winkel. I’m going to stop the bleeding the best I can.” When she lifted Mrs. Winkel’s right hand away from her left arm, blood pulsed from the wound.
God, help us. With shaking fingers, she wrapped strip of cloth tight around the wound. Hands slippery with blood, she wiped them on her shirt, then twisted another strip of pillowcase to make a tourniquet and tightened it with a clothespin.
What am I forgetting? “Bree,” she yelled, “I’ve got a tourniquet on the wound, and I can’t let go of it. What else do I need to do?”
“Right beside you.” Bree squatted next to her. “She’ll need her insurance card and doctor’s name, and they want me out front to meet the ambulance.”
“In my purse,” Mrs. Winkel gasped. “Hallway table.”
“I’ll get it.”
“I want to go with her to the hospital,” Lyssa said.
“Then take my car and follow them, but don’t let the police see you, or they’ll make you stay here to answer questions.”
“Evade the police?” Keep it together. “Mrs. Winkel, once the ambulance arrives—”
“Stay with me.” Her neighbor’s voice quavered.
“I will. I promise.”
Mrs. Winkel’s bloodied right hand grabbed at Lyssa’s T-shirt. “Call Mary. My sister.” She groaned, her grip loosened, and her arm dropped heavily.
“I will.”
Mrs. Winkel’s eyelids fluttered and her head rolled to the side.

To purchase Planted, go to:
Amazon Paperback: http://tinyurl.com/glwwzsg

To learn more about C. T. Collier and the stories she creates, go to:
Facebook: Kate Collier
Twitter: @TompkinsFalls

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Meet Rory McElroy

     Award winning photo-journalist Dru Horvath travels the world, documenting human rights abuses, a vocation which helps in avoidance of risking her heart. Everyday working stiff Rory McElroy, a two-time loser when it comes to women, wants nothing to do with another relationship, thank you very much.
     But when Dru comes back into his life, Rory’s not sure which poses the greater threat: protecting her from third world thugs who want to silence her permanently—or allowing the one woman who captured his heart years ago to embrace him forever.

This week Wild Women Authors has featured the men who play a large role in our latest release, Vengeance Is Mine. We've left the best for last, sort of, and introduce Rory McElroy [no, not the golfer] from Embraceable You.
Tell us how you came to attend the 25th reunion of the Class of 1990 at Summerville High. The County Manager called the office and ordered me to provide one-on-one security for the person who would receive this year's Eastman Award who also happened to be a member of the Class of '90. A smart man does not say no to the man who appointed you to your current position.
Always a smart move to keep the big bosses happy. Amen, sister. I may not have voted for him, but he does sign my paychecks. With a kid going off to college next year, I appreciate having money deposited into my checking account on a regular basis.
You have a child? Yep. Molly. Seventeen going on thirty. She's the cause of the premature gray in my hair. Looking at schools in New York City. Wouldn't consider staying home and commuting to the U. Nuh uh not my girl.
You are the Sheriff of Bison County. What made you choose law enforcement for a career? It gave me the opportunity to wear a gun legally and keep the peace. Plus, I like all the paraphernalia we cops have to wear on our belts. Lets us strut our stuff.
Hah! What movies have had an impact on your life? Major League and Bull Durham because I like baseball and I like watching films that make me laugh out loud. While I was waiting for Druzilla to come back to me, I watched The Official Story, a foreign film about the consequences of Argentina's Dirty War. It helped me understand why Dru is so driven to do some of the things she does.
What did you take away from it? Parts of it focused on Las Madres de la Plaza, the mothers and wives of los desaparicidos, ordinary citizens who were taken from their homes or businesses in the middle of the night by a bunch of thugs acting under the direction of the military junta. We're talking religious sisters and priests, activist students, university educators, journalists. Their survivors, women now in their seventies and eighties, still march through the streets of Buenos Aires each week, wearing white scarves and carrying posters with pictures of the missing. The movie shows the power of perseverance, a reminder to those in power that what was done to innocents in the name of political oppression will never be forgotten. Powerful stuff.
What's the best piece of advice you ever received? I was raised in a violent home. After my grandparents rescued me and my sister and brought us to Summerville, they drilled into me the need to stand up for myself and others no matter the personal consequences. Right is might and all that stuff. I guess that's why I became a cop.
What's up next for you? Convincing Dru Horvath to settle down with me in Summerville and keep me from turning into a Helicopter Dad after Molly goes off to college.
Good luck. Thanks. Dru fills that empty spot in my heart.

To purchase Vengeance Is Mine, go to:
www.CreateSpace.com/6269528
www.Amazon.com/dp/1533214514
www.Amazon.ca/dp/1533214514
www.Amazon.co.uk/dp/1533214514
www.Amazon.de/dp/1533214514
www.Amazon.es/dp/1533214514
www.Amazon.fr/dp/1533214514
www.Amazon.it/dp/1533214514


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Rafael Archangeli, con man turned mogul

This week Wild Women Authors is featuring the men who play a large role in our latest release, Vengeance Is Mine. We decided to honor them because they support the strong women in their lives while working to improve the quality of life for the disenfranchised.
We now meet Rafe Archangeli from Mad Dog and Archangel.
Tell us how you came to attend the 25th reunion of the Class of 1990 at Summerville High. The reunion was the last place on earth I wanted to be . . . but as it happened, several months before the invitation arrived in the mail, I found myself falling in love with the coordinator of the Eastman Awards banquet. Grace Dunavan promised she'd marry me only if I escorted her to the banquet. Plus, one of my former classmates, Dru Horvath, was the recipient of the Award. I felt the need to be there for her when she accepted the award, stand for her in case a few of the bigots from the class decided to take a few pot shots at her.
You were a con man for many years. I was. It paid the bills and I was able to help a lot of people with the money I fleeced from the rich and shameless.
How did you go from bilking rich society women to heading up a multi-million dollar trust? It was not something I would have chosen for a career change. I only returned to Summerville to attend the funeral of my best friend, Deege Thurgood. Turns out, he left me the Thurgood Trust in his will. I felt totally inadequate but Grace helped me see it as a way to make living amends to him. I took the post, over the objections of many in the community, and I'm very glad I did.
If you were given an opportunity for a 'do-over' would you take it? Certainly I wouldn't have drank and drugged for almost twenty years so yes, I'd do that over. Would I have turned from running scams? I don't know.
What movies have had an impact on your life? “Veronica Guerin” is based on a true story about an investigative reporter who was murdered after digging into a Dublin mobster. That was a pisser. I liked “Miracle” very much for the theme of team building, then again I like almost everything Kurt Russell makes. And “The Stoning of Soraya M.” was very powerful. Goes to show I've been hanging with Dru Horvath; she's rubbing off on me.
What are you reading right now? The Best of Mad Magazine, Volumes 1 through 5. Grace gave it to me for my birthday. Next to Roberto Clemente, Alfred E. Neuman was my hero back in the day.
Other than the drugs and alcohol, do you have any other regrets? I would take back my first reaction to discovering Grace was a nun in a former life. I found out the morning after, if you get my drift. My response was less than. . . mature. I would change the things I said if I could.
What's the best piece of advice you ever received? One day at a time.
What's up next for you? Grace and I are taking a delayed honeymoon to the west of Ireland. She went to school in Galway and has promised to show me the Ring of Kerry and Dingle Peninsula. I can't wait.


To purchase Vengeance Is Mine, go to:

www.CreateSpace.com/6269528

www.Amazon.com/dp/1533214514

www.Amazon.ca/dp/1533214514

www.Amazon.co.uk/dp/1533214514

www.Amazon.de/dp/1533214514

www.Amazon.es/dp/1533214514

www.Amazon.fr/dp/1533214514

www.Amazon.it/dp/1533214514


Later this week: Rory McElroy from Embraceable You


Sunday, June 19, 2016

Meet Attorney Mick Dineen

This week Wild Women Authors is featuring the men who play a large role in our latest release, Vengeance Is Mine. We decided to honor them because they support the strong women in their lives while working to improve the quality of life for the disenfranchised.
First up: Mick Dineen from The List.
Tell us how you came to attend the 25th reunion of the Class of 1990 at Summerville High. I had no intention of spending the evening with balding, old, fat people who are still locked into all the adolescent crap from back in the day. Plus, I was ass deep in alligators with a medical malpractice trial and was falling over the edge into crispy fried territory. Part of the hoopla involving the reunion included presenting the Eastman, an award given annually to that person whose work exemplifies the best in the human spirit. I was last year's winner so the organizer put the arm on me to attend. Trust me, no one turns down a former nun named Mad Dog.
How did the trial turn out? We won.
Congratulations. Tell that to the husband and kids of a woman who died because her obstetrician who was too obsessed in making a tee time to pay attention to her symptoms of peritonitis. Sorry. My mood is not the best right now. Anyway, the defense elected to settle before the case went to the jury. They returned with a settlement of three times what we demanded. The head of my firm ordered me to take a month off and start by attending the awards banquet. When it was all said and done, I'm glad I attended because I met Fiona Thorpe again.
You are an attorney. What made you choose working for the underdogs of this world? In a former life, meaning high school, I was a bully, part of a gang known as the Pittsford Road Posse. We, I, hurt a lot of people because it made us feel better. I feel the need to make amends.
If you were given an opportunity for a 'do-over' would you take it? About being a twerp and a jerk? What do you think? About standing up for dead mothers and bullied middle-schoolers? What do you think?
What movies have had an impact on your life? I very much liked “Defiance” with Daniel Craig and Liev Schreiber. Most recently, “Spotlight” knocked my socks off.
What are you reading right now? At the awards banquet, Dru Horvath put me on to Samantha Power's A Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide.
A little light reading to fill up those pesky down times. If you're in the mood for getting pissed off at politicians, it works real well.
What's the best piece of advice you ever received? My mother told me this, right after she kicked my old man out of the house for the last time: “Whatever you give a woman, she's going to multiply. If you give her a house, she'll give you a home. If you give her groceries, she'll give you a meal. If you give her a smile, she'll give you her heart. She multiplies and enlarges what is given to her. But, if you give her crap, you will receive more shit than any one human being can handle.”
Great advice, Mick. What's up next for you? Convincing Fiona Thorpe to make me an honest man.
Good luck. Thanks. She's the best thing in my life.
Here's a blurb from Vengeance Is Mine:
Ever think about going back to study hall to face down the school bully?
The mean girls?
The brainless jocks who made your life a pure misery?
For Dru Horvath, gypsy orphan turned Pulitzer Prize winning photo-journalist; Rafe Archangeli, Scourge of Summerville who now heads a multi-million dollar trust; and Fiona “Fat Aggie” Thorpe who recreated herself into an A-list model with her own A-list agency, the opportunity to exact revenge is too good to pass up.
Will they find the vengeance they crave?
Or something more valuable?

And an excerpt from The List, featuring Mick and Fiona Thorpe:

Frustrated with the holdup, Fee glanced around for points of entry, hoping she'd be able to spot Dru the second she entered the ballroom.
A hand on her arm claimed her attention; Rafe Archangeli leaned close. “Here comes someone you should meet.”
Without taking her eyes off the entry door, she murmured, “Who?”
“Last year's Eastman winner and a helluva of a nice guy.”
“Where?”
“There. Coming toward us.”
One nano-second later all thoughts of revenge left Fee's mind like steam escaping a kettle.
The weathered appearance of his face announced he'd lived ten times over. Thick gold hair flecked with gray grazed the collar of his suit jacket. Broad through the shoulders and chest, narrow at the waist and hips, he had the long legged grace of a broken field runner.
Moving across the parquet floor as if born to a runway, he carried himself with an innate confidence. Without disrupting that fluid stride, he undid his tie before shrugging out of the suit jacket which he slung over one shoulder with the tip of his index finger.
She'd almost given up finding a man so perfect.
This one had The Look.

To purchase Vengeance Is Mine, go to:
www.CreateSpace.com/6269528
www.Amazon.com/dp/1533214514
www.Amazon.ca/dp/1533214514
www.Amazon.co.uk/dp/1533214514
www.Amazon.de/dp/1533214514
www.Amazon.es/dp/1533214514
www.Amazon.fr/dp/1533214514
www.Amazon.it/dp/1533214514

Later this week: Rafe Archangeli from Mad Dog and Archangel



Monday, June 13, 2016

Meet Jacquie Rogers and Honey Beaulieu, bounty hunter

Wild Women Authors is pleased to introduce Bounty Hunter Honey Beaulieu and her creator, Jacquie Rogers from Hot Work in Fry Pan Gulch, a recent release out of Prairie Rose Publishers. Since this is a new one for us, we'll let Honey explain things.
Tell us a bit about Hot Work in Fry Pan Gulch. My mama owns the Tasty Chicken Emporium and serves up the finest food, poker, and whores in Wyoming Territory. She told me I was too scrawny to be a whore so helped me get a job in the Fry Pan Gulch marshal’s office. At first, I cleaned and cleaned, for the marshal was sorely lacking in housekeeping skills. I also did his paperwork for him on account of he hated doing that, also. Next thing I knew, I ended up the deputy marshal, and then the fun began.
What made you choose bounty hunting for a career? Deputy marshals don’t make much money and I wanted to buy my own place, especially after a donkey named Sassy and a mule named Pickles adopted me. Those Wanted posters wouldn’t leave me alone—all I had to do was round up one owlhoot and hey, I’d be five hundred dollars richer! My pa was a bounty hunter, and danged good with a Peacemaker, too. He’d taught me how to shoot and I spent a goodly share of my free time practicing, so I was better than most men. Maybe not faster (although faster than most), but I could hit what I was aiming at. So with the brace of Peacemakers that papa gave me, my donkey, and my mule, we set out to make us some money.
Knowing what you know now, if you had it to do over again, would you stick with being a bounty hunter or do something different? I don’t know what else I could do. I ain’t no good at whoring and bein’s I’m on the other side of the fence from the respectable ladies what with Mama owning the Tasty Chicken and all, hunting men for bounty money seems like the thing to do. Plus, I get to see the world outside of Fry Pan Gulch.
What is your biggest fear, Honey? Getting lost. I ain’t too good with directions.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? I get a kick out of that Tom Sawyer feller.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? Always watch for the tell. Pa told me every man has a tell.
Well. This certainly has been a new one for us. Kind of a Stephanie Plum time travel. Now, let's talk to Jacquie. Which writer or character[s], from either books or movies, [or both] have had a major impact on your writing? The biggest impact on how I write and what shaped my voice the most is listening to stories. Grandparents, aunts and uncles—everyone had a story in our family and the louder they told it, the funnier it got. I really wish I had recordings of those times when we laughed so hard, we couldn’t catch a breath, or in the suspenseful stories, lean forward on our chairs as if that would prevent us from missing a single word. That’s how I strive to tell my stories.
With regard to research, where did you start for this novel? Did that lead you down different paths, thereby changing the original concept? I did most of the research several years ago for another novel, although this particular series concept had been kicking around in my brain since 1998. It wasn’t marketable then, though, so I never wrote it. But Honey’s day has come!
Boy, has it ever. She's a hoot. Tell us a bit about your publisher. How did you hear about them. Since Hot Work in Fry Pan Gulch doesn’t fit a genre, I didn’t want to go through a publisher. I have several short stories and will be writing a book later this year for Prairie Rose Publications.
What influenced you to submit to them? I went with them because they have tons of experience on both sides of the fence, they’re honest, and the “Roses” are one big happy family. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them.
What is the turn-around time from date of query to date of release? Turnaround time is getting longer because they receive lots of submissions, but I don’t know how long that is. I do know that once a book is in the pipe, they’re faster than any publisher I’ve worked with.
What are you reading right now? Caroline Clemmons’ Bride Brigade series.
What's next for you? I’m working on Sidetracked in Silver City , Honey Beaulieu – Man Hunter #2, and hoping it will be released the first week of August. After that, I’m writing a mail-order bride book for Prairie Rose Publications, which should be released in September. Then I’ll write the third book in the Honey Beaulieu series and the sixth book in the Hearts of Owyhee series.
Thanks so much for hosting me today!
You are so welcome. Kat and I really enjoyed this visit. Please come again--and bring Honey along!
Veronica Lynch

To learn more about Jacquie Rogers and the stories she creates go to:
Pickle Barrel Gazette: http://eepurl.com/qhA_1

Monday, June 6, 2016

A Pampered Lady and a Hired Gun

. . . Pampered Margarita McIntosh is not used to being forced to do things she doesn’t want to do—but when her father, Jock, sends her away for her own safety, she has no choice. The long journey from Flagstaff to Durango tests her personal strength of will as never before, and the secret she carries in her saddlebag could be the death of her.
. . . A rough Irish gunman, known to her only as “Rafferty”, is entrusted with getting her to her destination “safe and intact”—something he fully intends to do to claim the reward he’s been promised by Jock McIntosh. With a price on his head, the promised money is Rafferty’s ticket to a new life, and he’s not going to jeopardize that for anything—not even love.
. . . But there are steamy nights and dangers all along the arduous trail for Margarita and Rafferty, with deadly secrets between them that passion cannot erase. With her father’s enemies after her and the secret she conceals, will Rafferty’s protection be enough to save their lives? And will the heat of their passionate love be enough to seal their future together—if they do survive?

This week Wild Women Authors is pleased to welcome new author Patti Sherry-Crews and Margarita McIntosh from Patti's recent release Margarita and the Hired Gun. First up is Margarita.
Where are you from? Flagstaff, Arizona, though I have spent much of my life in boarding schools and college out east. My mother died when I was young. I suppose it was easier for Father to leave me in the care of others.
Tell us a bit about Margarita and the Hired Gun. This is the story of the most extraordinary adventure I ever had. One day I’m back home from college feeling sorry for myself--I know, poor me, daughter of a wealthy cattle baron--and the next day I find myself on horseback, fleeing for my life with a complete stranger as my protector.
What did you think the first time you saw Rafferty? I thought he was the vilest man I ever laid eyes on. He was rude. He was dirty, smelly and needed a shave. Plus, he greeted us in his filthy long johns.
Un huh. What was your second thought? After he went to the bathhouse and cleaned himself up, I was stunned by how handsome that man was.
Did you feel it was love at first sight? Ha! More like loathing at first sight! I already told you my first impression of Rafferty, but he didn’t exactly have a better impression of me. He took one look at me and decided I was a spoiled brat who was going to be nothing but trouble.
What do you like most about Mr. Rafferty? He is—a very skilled man in a variety of ways. He’s very intelligent and funny, if a bit sarcastic at times. He had a gentleman’s education, which did surprise me to learn. He didn’t want to tell me about it, but I wheedled the story of his early life out of him.
How would you describe him? I believe I already mentioned he’s easy on the eyes. His Irish accent is lovely to hear when he’s being nice, but something else when he loses his temper and is shouting and carrying on, waving his arms around like a windmill.
How would he describe you? On a good day, Michael would describe me as curious and intelligent. On a bad day, he’d tell you I’m mouthy and stubborn. Ignore him when he gets like that. I do.
Hah! Good one, Margarita. What made you choose doing nothing as a career? Oh, bother! I hope the modern folk won’t think less of me when I admit I have no career. I think if I lived in a later time I would be a scientist. I’m a very curious, practical person.
What is your biggest fear? In my earlier years, I would say my biggest fear was that I might die of boredom on an Arizona cattle ranch. But now I’d say my biggest fear is of getting shot. And after a hair-rising ride on a narrow trail on the edge of a canyon, I would put fear of heights at the top of my list.
But my biggest fear is of losing Michael. I can’t even talk about that. Just thinking about being without him is giving me what you modern people call a panic attack. There were times I thought I’d lost him, and there’s no worse feeling in the world. Excuse me may I have a tissue? I got something in my eye.
How do you relax? Again, you’re making me blush! Michael and I are well suited to each other; let’s leave it at that.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? I don’t read much fiction. I really prefer to read history and philosophy. When we were on the trail Michael brought one book with him, which he would stick his nose in at the end of the day instead of talking to me. It was maddening! I was surprised to find he was reading a work by Marcus Aurelius. He told me it was full of advice on how to deal with difficult people and suggested I read it. I told him I already had. But if I had to pick a fictional character, I say Rosalind in Shakespeare’s play As You Like It is someone I can relate to. Rosalind had to dress as a man. I know what she went through.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? The best piece of advice I ever got was something on the order of, “Run!” If I had not heeded that advice, I’d probably a goner.
Great way to end any interview. Thanks, Margarita for spending time with us. Now we'd like to chat with Patti. What movies or books have had an impact on your career as a writer and why? Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid inspired this book. I saw that movie many times and the opening scene in the outlaw hideout captured my imagination. There was a string of hideouts along the outlaw trail, and I researched them for Margarita and the Hired Gun for the chapters that take place there.
I really got excited about writing was when I read James Joyce’s The Dubliners in high school. Joyce is such a wordsmith. He is every deliberate about each word he uses—he’s even deliberate about punctuation marks. For the first time I saw the power of words. As a writer the only tools we have to create worlds and set moods are words.
I recently read Ulysses (with the aid of a library support group!), and though I wouldn’t hand a copy of it off to someone looking for a fun read, it did inspire me to be a better writer. When I go through a first draft I examine each word and consider if it’s conveying what I want.
What event in your private life were you able to bring to this story and how do you feel it impacted the novel? I’ve never been on the run or even done much horseback riding. We used to camp a lot when I was a kid until I discovered something called a hotel. My few adult camping experiences were a misery, so I guess I could understand how Margarita would suffer at first having to sleep on the ground and in general take care of her personal lady business.
Tell us a bit about your publisher: how did you hear about them and what influenced your decision to submit to them? Prairie Rose Publications, was founded by Cheryl Pierson and Livia Washburn, who are both writers. They wanted to set up a house that is author-friendly. They’re great to work with, along with Katherine Adams Rice, who helps out around there. Very personal and creative. I feel I’m part of a community of authors who are supportive of each other: There are various forums we can interact with each other.
I heard about them through a chance Twitter encounter. I got chatting with Julie Lence a western writer and host of the Facebook group Cowboy Kisses. I told her I’d written my first historical western, and she suggested I submit to PRP because they’re a great bunch to work with.
What project[s] are you working on now? I have a couple of projects I’m working on at the moment. I finished the second draft of a book titled The Lake House, which is a contemporary romance/Chick Lit. This book was inspired by a true event. A friend and her husband went away on vacation with another couple to a remote location. While there the other couple’s marriage fell apart when the husband’s affair was discovered. So my friend and her husband were stuck in holiday hell. I thought it would make a great story. Only in my story the second couple are strangers to each other, who are thrown together amidst the drama.
I’m also working on a ghost story for an historic western anthology. The connecting idea for the seven of us involved in The Good, the Bad, and the Ghostly is an agency that investigates hauntings.
Sounds like you are a very busy woman. What's up next for you? I should spend some time getting organized, because I have too much going on. I have been offered to be part of a Christmas anthology with a few other authors, but we’ve only just started planning.

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Twitter: Pattisherry-crews@cheriegrinnell