I understand you have a new release out called Re-ride at the Rodeo. Can you tell us a little bit about your fabulous new book?
I’d love to. Re-ride at the Rodeo is about two people who have to come to terms with their past in order to build a future. Clay Tanner is a footloose saddle bronc rider who doesn’t take life seriously. He’s just out to have a good time and he thinks the little blonde working the rodeo looks like she could use one. When Dusty Morgan turns him down faster than an eight second buzzer, he starts angling for a re-ride. But Dusty wants nothing to do with a rodeo man and the reasons have nothing to do with her love life. Clay knows he should walk away but he’s never had a woman so determined not to go out with him and he wants to know why. But getting the answer may cost him more than he’s prepared to give.
Re-ride at the Rodeo is a very interesting title. How did you arrive at that name?
In rough stock events a re-ride means a second chance and a rider can get a re-ride if the animal doesn’t perform up to minimum expectations since the performance of the horse or bull is half of the cowboy’s score. Since Clay is looking for a second chance with Dusty and the climatic scene takes place center stage at the rodeo, the title, Re-ride at the Rodeo, just seemed to fit.
What made you decide to write in this genre?
I love the history of the American West, particularly as it relates to a woman’s role in taming it since women were offered more freedom out West in the Victorian era (even to being granted the right to vote as early as 1869 in Wyoming Territory)than anywhere else in the world at that time. That history also developed a culture of independence and self-reliance, of true grit and determination that continues to infuse western culture in the twenty-first century, the modern rodeo being one example. I find my muse comes easiest when the hero is wearing a cowboy hat be it in the nineteenth century or the twenty-first.
Are you a plotter or a pantser and how did it affect the writing of this book?
I am definitely a pantser. I start with the characters and a situation and then let those characters take me on their journey of romance and self-discovery. Often I write scenes out of order and then quilt them together. I always know the beginning and the ending when I start to write. It’s the “how did they get there” that is the pantser part. Dusty popped into my mind—a little insecure, a product of the rodeo lifestyle, someone who’s vulnerable but covers it up with a spunky spirit. Pairing her with someone who she thought was out of her league and who lives the very lifestyle she hates provides a push-pull that forces her to face her past.
Did you have to do a lot of research for the book? What are your favorite research books or sites?
I always do research, whether writing historical or contemporary. There is always something to learn. I enjoy the research. I’ve followed rodeo for a number of years so I’m pretty well-versed in the rodeo culture. But two books I found helpful that look at the effects on the individuals who participate are Biting the Dust by Dirk Johnson and Chasing the Rodeo by W.K. Stratton. Rodeo sites that are helpful include www.prorodeo.com and www.rodeoattitude.com . When writing a story, you have to be sure you are giving the reader an authentic experience so there are always little things you have to research like how much does a saddle bronc rider’s saddle cost, what is an average entry fee, what would be a reasonable payout for a win, what score is considered a good score, etc.
Where did you get your idea for this particular book?
I was reading an account of one family’s struggle with the rodeo lifestyle and I wanted to reflect the reality of that lifestyle in my story. I also wanted to write about a heroine who wasn’t the typical glamour girl. Dusty is cute and spunky but her small stature and petite frame don’t make her cover girl material and add to her vulnerability and insecurity around a guy who seems to have it all.
Which character did you like writing about the most, and why?
Usually I like writing about my hero best but in this story, I have to say Dusty is the one I most enjoyed writing about because of her spirit that masks her vulnerability. She has some growing to do in the story before she can accept herself for who she is and realize that she’s got something to offer.
Tell us about how you develop your characters. Do you create character sheets, do interviews, that sort of thing? How does your research affect your character development?
Usually, characters come knocking on my door, so to speak. They barge into my thoughts and whisper “have I got a story for you.” They tease me by showing me snippets of their story until I have to write it down. I usually write the first three chapters of a story and then go back and do the character sheets. Those first few chapters give me a chance to get acquainted and the foundation to dig a little deeper. Because my day job involves a lot of psychological profiling, once I’ve got a character in my sights, I pretty much know how they are going to act and react in situations. I do a lot of research before I start to write with the goal of enriching the character’s story. It’s often the details that make a character click with readers.
Do you have any authors that inspired you?
Many authors inspire me from the classical authors of Jane Austen and Anthony Trollope to romance authors like Linda Lael Miller who writes both western historical and contemporary novels.
What do you feel is the most effective promotion you have done for your book?
I have found sites like MySpace great vehicles to link with people who share your passions. I am in several rodeo groups on MySpace and have met a lot of female fans of the rodeo who also bought my book when it came out—and left me many nice and supportive messages once they read it.
What do we have to look forward next?
I’m writing a contemporary about a woman who is heir apparent to her grandfather’s stock company only to find that a man who walked away from her ten years ago is being tapped to run the place. And I’m just polishing up an historical that starts in Saratoga Springs and ends up in Texas with an arranged marriage and a lot of secrets that won’t stay buried.
Thanks for asking me to blog at Cheaper Than Therapy!
To celebrate her book release, Anne is offering a free ebook of Re-ride at the Rodeo to one lucky commenter on today's blog. She will be around all day today. I'm sure some of you have questions or comments for her, so please ask away...
Anne Carrole writes both contemporary and western historical romances. Her story Re-ride at the Rodeo is part of The Wild Rose Press Wayback, Texas Series. She’s an eastern girl with a western heart who was raised on a farm (yes, they have them in the east) with horses, dogs, cats, chickens, rabbits and whatever other animals she could convince her parents to shelter. Besides reading and writing romances, she loves antiques, gardening and tennis. Married to her own urban cowboy she’s also the mother of a teenage cowgirl. She’s co-founder of the western historical romance site www.lovewesternromances.com
Check out Anne’s website at www.annecarrole.com and at www.annecarrole.blogspot.com where she writes about the old and new west.
You can purchase Re-ride at the Rodeo from The Wild Rose Press at http://www.thewildrosepress.com/index.php?