I’m in “Cowboy Trouble” again!

I’m spending a lot of time with Luke and Libby and the crazy characters who populate my first book, which will be re-released next year. My publisher has kindly allowed me to go through the manuscript and fix all the bugaboos lurking in the text. It’s an author’s dream to be able to fix all the errors that somehow slipped past us and made it into print–especially in a first book. All those newbie slip-ups with dialogue tags and sentence construction will be gone, letting the story shine through.

The inspiration for the Roundup

I’ve enjoyed the process more than I expected. I always dread reading my old writing and seeing my mistakes, but so many happy memories were waiting for me in these pages! My favorite bar is in there, along with my late, great Jack Russell Libby. The chickens were real, too–even Wild Thing. (Especially Wild Thing! She’s probably still out there!)

I’d just moved to Wyoming when I wrote Cowboy Trouble. I’d lived in Montana and Colorado, but Wyoming is the real Cowboy State, and I fell wildly in love with it.  I wanted to write about every little detail – especially the funny ones, the weird ones, and the ones you’d never find back East.

            Libby, a.k.a. Penny 

Another surprise was how much Luke, the book’s cowboy hero, was based on my husband. We were just beginning our relationship when I wrote it, and I was still in the infatuation stage. When we were together, the light was always warm and the road ahead promised happiness. Those days glow in my memory, and I’m glad our adventures were preserved in the pages.

Women tend to idealize their partners early in the relationship, so it would be understandable if Luke’s better qualities were a little exaggerated. Starry-eyed, I believed wholeheartedly in my husband’s goodness back then. I was amazed at his generosity, his selflessness, his love, and his loyalty. He was smart and quick-witted, funny and kind. I was lucky to be so much in love, lucky to experience such a heady, happy time.

I’m even luckier it lasted.

All these years later, my husband is still my Luke. Today I had to leave the room to cry because the memories were so sweet, and so very true. Sitting across from me was the man in my book, sans chaps and Stetson but still my Luke. And sitting at my keyboard, I knew I didn’t have to worry about whether the romance in the book rang true. It does. It did.

After all these years, I guess I’m still infatuated, because I wouldn’t change a thing.