I'm romance author Kaye Spencer, and I'm a new member with Western Fictioneers. Since today is the first of my regular blogging contributions for Western Fictioneers, which will occur on the fourth Saturday of each month, I thought it appropriate to share a little about myself and where my fascination with the American Old West came from.
I'm a native Coloradoan, and I also write under the pen name, A.L. Debran. I grew up on a cattle ranch in northeastern Colorado and, during those childhood and teenage years from the mid-1950s through the early 1970s, I spent hour upon hour reading Louis L'Amour's westerns and listening to Marty Robbins' gunfighter ballads. I watched all the *classic* television westerns when they were the primetime shows, and I didn’t miss a western movie when it came to the downtown theater or to the double-feature drive-in.
I loved the 'Sons of Katie Elder' so much (well... maybe I had a teeny-weeny crush on Dean Martin), that my grandfather carved a wooden pistol for me and carved in the name 'Tom Elder'. I had a bucking-barrel in my backyard so I could pretend to be a rodeo cowboy. I used my allowance to buy candy and gum cigarettes and roll caps for my pistols and rifle so I could run around the yard pretending to be whichever Hollywood cowboy I was currently obsessed with.
I was nine years old when I got my first horse—a black and white Welsh pony named Corky. It was Katie bar the door after that. I couldn’t get a saddle on Corky, but bareback was okay with me. Since he rode with a hackamore, I didn’t have to struggle with getting a bit in his mouth. All I had to do was sidle him up to the rail fence and hop on.
When I needed a new storyline to act out in my sibling-less imagination, I wrote my own, even though they were clearly retellings of episodes of the Virginian, High Chaparral, or even Yancy Derringer. This is where my writing began. I believed early on in my life that I was born in the wrong century. I’ll even confess that I named my oldest son Heath (after Heath Barkley) and my youngest son’s name is Cameron (after Cameron Mitchell – Uncle Buck on High Chaparral). My daughter, the middle child, is named Robyne—oops! A story there, just not a 'western' one. :-)
I can, and often do, get lost in historical research of just about any time period, but it’s the Old West that I love the most—myths and truths alike.
My first novel, Lonely Places, published in June 2006,is a western romance that I started some 27 years before I finally decided to polish it up and submit it for publication. My western novella, Gunslingers & Ghostriders, followed in October. While my choice of story-writing genre is historical, particularly westerns, I’ve penned a vampire and a couple of contemporary stories—cowboys included.
My latest western is in an anthology from Prairie Rose Publications, which will release in a couple of months. The anthology is called Lassoing a Mail-Order Bride, and my story is A Permanent Woman.
I retired June 1, 2013 from a long career in public education that included administration and teaching English and history. I am loving every writing minute of retirement. ;-) I'm a review editor for the romance review site, Joyfully Reviewed, and I take on occasional manuscript editing projects.
I’m excited to be a member of Western Fictioneers, and I’m looking forward to sharing my love of the American Old West here on the fourth Saturday of each month. I’ve been reading the WF blog for a year or so, and I’ve learned so much from the wealth of Old West history that many of you have shared in your blog posts.
To read reviews of my books, watch my book videos, or download my old family recipes, visit my website and blog – http://www.kayespencer.com
You’ll find me on Twitter – @kayespencer – sharing daily history trivia, and I’ve recently started a recurring blogging topic on my blog called “Spotlight on History”.
Fall in love…faster, harder, deeper with Kaye Spencer romances