One of the most common questions writers are asked is “Where do you get your ideas?” So since I just kicked off my new western contemporary series Mustang Wild! yesterday with the release of “Cowboys Don’t Cry” as part of the Cowboy Up boxed set, I’d thought I’d clear the mystery of my inspiration right off the bat.
First off, you should know I’ve loved horses all of my life. When I was a kid without a horse of my own, I used to ride my bike for miles to get to a pasture where two of these magnificent creatures lived just so I could pull grass and feed them across the fence. I come by my obsession honestly. My grandfather was a mule trader back in the day. Here is a picture of him and one of his animals:
Despite having a very large extended family, I seem to be the only one who inherited the horse-crazy gene. But I got enough of it for all of us. As soon as I was old enough to hold down a job and make some money, I bought a horse, and I’ve never been without at least one in my life since. Right now I have four horses, a standard donkey, and a miniature donkey. More about them in future posts.
A few years ago I started volunteering with a dog adoption program that just happened to have an annual event held in conjunction with the Extreme Mustang Makeover in Ft. Worth, Texas. It was my first up-close-and-personal interaction with mustangs, and I was wowed with what they can do.
Then I stumbled on a Facebook page created by Mustang Meg, a photographer who regularly haunts mustang territory and takes amazing pictures. If you just want to look at pretty wild horses, follow her page. Seeing the mustangs in the wild, the way they were meant to be, got me really hooked and I new I had to write about them. Sadly, as I learned more about the wild horses, I found out they are being systematically exterminated by the government organization established to protect them. More about that, too, in future posts. For now just know I needed a way to express that sadness and my anger.
So I created Mustang Wild! The stories are set in Oregon, and while the humans in the books are on center stage, the mustangs make a dramatic backdrop.
So there’s the story of how the series was born. In the next post I’ll talk about how “Cowboys Don’t Cry” specifically came to be written.
And by the way, the Cowboy Up boxed set is on sale now for just 99 cents.