By Kristy McCaffrey
My many thanks to Shanna for letting me stop by and share my new release. I figured the polite thing to do would be to introduce myself.
I write historical western romances because, well … to be honest, I’m not sure. I was born and raised in Arizona, so it’s possible I simply ‘absorbed’ the stories hugging the buttes and hiding among the saguaro. I was never a huge fan of westerns (I’m afraid I was a Star Wars nerd) but I love grand, mythical tales and the Old West had loads of ’em.
I’ve always written, ever since I was a wee child, but I didn’t pursue writing in college. I suffer from an annoying amount of insecurity, so I studied engineering in school because I did so want to impress my dad. But the sad truth is that while I had good grades (fear of failure is a great motivator), I was a terribly un-intuitive engineer. But what am I good at? I can filter the magic of the world into tales of heroism, love, and adventure.
I have a movie log, which I started when I was ten years old. For a very long time, I had no clue why I compulsively recorded every movie I’d ever seen (and still do). But one day, the proverbial bolt of lightning hit me. It’s my collection of stories. People need narratives, and writers especially need to keep their coffers of story-bones filled in order to harness the creative well of their own work.
What is my writing process? I’m an amalgam of a plotter and pantser. I’ve written 7 novels (one is unpublished), 1 long novella, and a handful of short stories, and just when I think I’ve got a handle on my practice, I realize that I don’t. Each project dances to its own beat. (Much like my four kids—they all turned out completely different. Phoning it in as a mom never worked.)
So, how to write a book? First, I brainstorm, and anything goes. Second, I do a first pass on research to get a feel for what I can get away with (since I write historical westerns I must adhere to some of the rules of that time period). Then I write and write and write, and often it’s garbage. I will attempt to plot in an effort to make sense of the narrative but almost always abandon it. More writing, and more attempts at plotting. At this point, I hopefully have a first draft complete. My first editing pass is fairly involved. I rewrite A LOT. When that’s finished, a second editing pass is required, but that goes more quickly since I’m just picking up loose ends, bad transitions, and inconsistent characterizations. At that point, the story is pretty much at 85% and that’s close enough to send it off to the editor. There will certainly be more cleanup, with at least one deep editing pass based on the editor’s comments, along with 2-3 more proofreads. It’s generally here that I become convinced my writing is bland, the story is boring, and I’ll scream if I have to read it one more time. So, naturally, it’s time to share it with the world!
Amazon or read for FREE in Kindle Unlimited.
99 cents for a limited time.
Can be read as a stand-alone novel.
Molly Rose Simms departs the Arizona Territory, eager for adventure, and travels to Colorado to visit her brother. Robert left two years ago to make his fortune in the booming silver town of Creede, and now Molly Rose hopes to convince him to accompany her to San Francisco, New York City, or even Europe. But Robert is nowhere to be found. All Molly Rose finds is his partner, a mysterious man known as The Jackal.
Jake McKenna has traveled the bustling streets of Istanbul, exotic ports in China, and the deserts of Morocco. His restless desire to explore has been the only constant in his life. When his search for the elusive and mythical Bluebird mining claim lands him a new partner, he must decide how far he’ll go to protect the stunning young woman who’s clearly in over her head. A home and hearth has never been on The Jackal’s agenda, but Molly Rose Simms is about to change his world in every conceivable way.
Please note: Contains mild violence and a sensuous love scene.
McKenna’s jet-black hair curled along the collar of his shirt, and a coal-colored stubble had sprouted on his strong jawline. When he shifted his gaze to her, his eyes put her in mind of molasses. Molly chewed on her lower lip and glanced away, lest McKenna catch her staring.
Shaking off her fascination, she asked, “How did you meet Robert?”
“In a poker game.”
Molly gasped. “Robert gambles?”
McKenna chuckled. “You’ve already been to a whorehouse. If you wanted to remain innocent, you shouldn’t have come to Creede.”
Her backside stiffened. “I’m not naïve to the ways of the world.”
Another grin lit his face. Her breath caught and her heart pounded more intensely. She honestly couldn’t look away. She’d read about people who possessed a charm that swayed the masses and opened doors with merely a glance, but she’d never met such a person.
What was the word she’d come across? Charisma, that was it. In this moment, the meaning became crystal clear.
“Whatever you say, Miss Simms. Why did you come to Creede?”
“To visit my brother, of course.”
“You came by yourself all the way from Tucson?”
“My folks believed that Robert would be here to meet me.”
He nodded, his amiable demeanor slipping a bit. She took a steadying breath to quiet the knot in her stomach that never quite receded. Please be all right, Robert.
“My folks thought that Robert would look after me,” she added, her voice muffled as rain continued to pound on the roof of the cabin. “But I assure you that I can look after myself.”
“I don’t doubt that. I’m at your service, nevertheless.”
He held her gaze, and a frisson of awareness shot through her. She shifted her eyes to the stove. She hadn’t traveled all this way to fall for the first rugged buckaroo who crossed her path, charisma or not. She had more important things to do with her life first.
Copyright © 2016 K. McCaffrey LLC
Kristy McCaffrey has been writing since she was very young, but it wasn’t until she was a stay-at-home mom that she considered becoming published. She’s the author of several historical western romances, all set in the American southwest. She lives in the Arizona desert with her husband, two chocolate labs, and whichever of their four teenaged children happen to be in residence. She loves to travel and frequently blogs about her adventures.
Connect with Kristy
Blog ~ Pathways: http://www.kristymccaffrey.blogspot.com/
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/2erVsze
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