The Pink Heart Society is delighted to welcome Harlequin debut author Silver James today, as she talks about cowgirls and her call story...
How does a writer of dark paranormal romantic thrillers end up with a debut Harlequin Desire about sexy, billionaire cowboys? This is a question I’ve been asking myself for awhile now, especially since my first Harlequin Desire, Cowgirls Don't Cry, is out—or almost out, depending on the venue—now.
Once upon a time, an editor from Harlequin came to the wilds of Oklahoma for a writers’ conference and met said writer of things that went bump in the night. *raises hand*
Uhm…that would be me.
And the editor would be Charles Griemsman. I submitted a book to him, knowing it was paranormal and at 90,000 words, far too long for a category romance like a Harlequin Desire. The day before I was scheduled to leave for the Romance Writers of America national conference, held in New York City a year later, I received a letter from Charles. Rejecting my book. Not that I was surprised. Long paranormal…short sexy contemporary editor… Hmmm… What’s wrong with that picture?
But within the rejection, fully expected, were other words. Words of encouragement. Words that are gold to a writer. “I love your voice.”
Charles had made arrangements to meet with a group of us from the Oklahoma RWA group to show us around New York and share lunch. During our hike, I found myself strolling next to Charles more often than not. We visited. We discussed trends. We discussed my writing. And we laughed. A lot. By the time we’d hopped on the subway to return to the hotel, I’d concluded that I wanted to work with Charles. In fact, he’d become my dream editor. So I popped off, “Hey, Charles! If I write you a Desire, can I submit a proposal?”
He answered with an infectious grin and twinkling eyes. “If you write me a Desire, you’d better submit the whole manuscript.”
On the flight home, I remembered a scene I’d once written and tucked back in my idea file. Loosely based on a country song, the short scene depicted a woman stuck in a blizzard, unable to get home to say goodbye to her dying father. Growing up, his words of advice had been, “Cowgirls don’t cry, darlin’. They just get back up on that horse and ride.” This was much like the advice my own father had given me.
I’m a cowgirl born and bred in Oklahoma. Where better to set the story? A story complete with rich cowboys and nefarious land deals; a story with horses and cattle barons.
I retrieved that scene, sat down, and wrote.
For a month. The words and story flowed. I admired Cassie Morgan, my heroine. I fell in love with my hero, Chance Barron. I hissed and booed the villain, Cyrus Barron. And I knew just how to get Cassie, reluctant cowgirl that she was, back to her roots. After revisions, I shipped the whole manuscript off to Charles and returned to life on the dark side.
Skip ahead a couple of years, a few meetings at conferences, and hundreds of emails. In early February of 2014, Charles emailed to ask if I’d be around on Valentine’s Day because he wanted to call me. Darn straight I was going to be around if he was calling! We visited briefly and then he made his offer. Yes, Desire wanted Cowgirls Don't Cry, and they wanted a second book about Chance’s brother, Cord. Cord’s book, The Cowgirl's Little Secret releases in April, 2015 and the new Desire mini-series Red Dirt Royalty was born.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. If you love rich, sexy, Alpha cowboys and the spunky cowgirls who corral them, I hope y’all will give the series a try. Many thanks to the Pink Heart Society Gang for inviting me to visit today. Y’all rock!
Y’all know I love cowboys, what about the rest of you? Do you have a particular cowboy in mind when you read cowboy stories? And do you have a soundtrack to go with it?
Silver's first book, Cowgirls Don't Cry, is available now:
When Cassidy Morgan’s father dies, leaving the family ranch vulnerable to takeover, Cassidy fights back.
But the son of her adversary, Chance Barron, is distractingly sexy.
And soon Cassidy finds herself falling for the stetson-wearing tycoon!
A cowgirl at heart, Silver James has also been an Army officer’s wife and mom, and has worked in the legal field, fire service, and law enforcement. Now retired from the real world, she lives in Oklahoma and spends her days. Readers can find more information about Silver and her books at her website. She’s also on Facebook and Twitter.