Why write About Cowgirls?

Oh boy, the last few months have been a whirlwind. With the blink of an eye it went from August to nearly November and I realized I hadn’t had much time to blog. Being so busy with work, life and editing has kept my mind running on a million other things, but that all changed with a simple conversation last Saturday.

My wife and I took the day to promote my book at Gainesville Pride and had a wonderful time meeting other writers and plenty of interested readers who presented many interesting questions. As the day neared its end, an older woman who was drawn in by the poster of my book cover, inquired what my book was about. I gave her a quick summary, “It’s the journey of a young woman in the old west whose life is ripped apart and seeks retribution, but finds herself faced with the idea of opening herself up to being loved. There’s adventure, love, revenge and plenty of twists as several lives intertwine.”

She nodded with a smile and flipped through a few pages. After a few moments she asked about the characters, mostly wondering if it was a story about women or men. She was happy to hear that “Somewhere Between Love and Justice” included plenty of women in varying roles as well as the title character as a gunslinger.

With that, she bought a copy, which I was more than happy to sign. But before she left, she posed one last query, “Why cowgirls?”

No one had asked me that yet. I’d had a few “how did you decide on a western” questions, but not why I had chosen cowgirls. My answer was simple, “What was true back then is still true today; cowgirls are strong, determined, stubborn and loyal and never wait for a man to do the work for them.”

If you’ve ever met a true cowgirl, and by that I mean one who has battled with livestock, has callouses to show a hard days work, probably has a BFF with four legs instead of two and who isn’t afraid to get dirty, then you know what I mean. It doesn’t matter if they’re from New York or Texas, the “do it yourself” attitude holds true. I for one, find that a beautiful quality in anyone. Maybe its the challenge of growing up battling a stubborn fifteen hundred pound animal that makes them a bit more headstrong than others.

That’s not to say that they are the only group possessing those traits. I do believe that everyone has an inner cowgirl in them if they were willing to embrace it, I’m just saying that they are a special breed. Just as there’s all those songs and movies about the rugged cowboy (like I used to pretend to be as a child), that also holds true for the women. reflecting back to the old west specifically though, there were so many types of “toughness” to explore and I’ve only touched a few here.

So, why cowgirls? Why not? The support for my book has been wonderful. I am so appreciative that readers are embracing the gunslinger Sarah Sawyer that I could be quite happy exploring all the roles of strong women in the west. Besides the fact that I was raised as a stubborn cowgirl by an equally stubborn cowgirl in semi-rural Florida, I thoroughly enjoyed writing Sarah Sawyer, Jo Porter, Jessie Walker and the rest of the characters of SBLJ. I can relate to them on so many levels and now, as I work towards releasing my second western novel, I could almost see myself staying in that genre for a long time. and I find that a beautiful thing.

So until next time, cowgirl up!

SW

Haven’t read “Somewhere Between love and Justice” yet? You can read a sample and purchase the ebook or print copy here

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