Thursday, September 16, 2010

Guest Blog: Author Joanne Kennedy with a giveaway

Inspiration is a funny thing.

When I’m sitting in front of my computer, tapping away at the keys, I’m miles and miles from home, in a different world, living a different life. One Fine Cowboy really carried me away, and the book kind of wrote itself—mostly because Nate and Charlie were such strong characters in my mind. Some books are inspired by a plot idea, some are inspired by a line or a thought, and some are inspired by a landscape or situation – but One Fine Cowboy was inspired by the characters.

I don’t know where Nate and Charlie came from, but they’re real—I’m sure of it. They’ve been with me for a while, stomping around in my subconscious, Nate in his cowboy boots and Charlie in her silly high-fashion footwear, waiting for their story to be told. I know this sounds crazy, or like I’m exaggerating, but it honestly wouldn’t surprise me to run into them at the feed store or in a local bar. They just have to be real, so I figure they’re out there somewhere, hopefully living their happily-ever-after at Latigo Ranch.

In his book “On Writing,” Stephen King talks about “the boys in the basement” as a way of defining his subconscious muses. I suppose I have “cowboys in the basement,” along with lots of other unexpected treasures.

Some of those treasures are memories. For example, the scene where Charlie looks down from the ridge and sees Nate’s ranch with the stream curling around it describes a place I saw on a drive once. It was a broken-down, dusty, deserted-looking old ranch, but there were horses stirring in the corral and the stream glowed mirror-bright in the dim twilight. A light came on in a window and suddenly and I wanted to live there so badly it hurt.

When I was working on the book, I remembered that image and conjured up the place again. I fantasized walking into the house, how the door would stick, and imagined what it would be like if my grandmother’s kitchen was behind the door, with its familiar wallpaper, the scent of long-ago fresh baked cookies lingering in the air and that indefinable sense of being home that marks our favorite places. How would that affect someone like Charlie, who has her life planned out and doesn’t expect to stay?

Doris, the older ranch lady who helps Charlie through some of her dilemmas, is based on the physical characteristics of one person and the personality of another. By combining to people, I keep people from realizing I “stole” them for a book. After all, Doris is described as being “skinny as a soup chicken.” But I would think anyone would be flattered by the portrayal. She’s wise and funny and a very strong, no-nonsense lady.

Phaedra, the Goth teenager who appears dressed in black like a Phantom Cowgirl of Doom, is another character who just turned up in the basement of my subconscious and wanted to come out and play. But the other child in the book, Sam, is based entirely on my friend’s daughter, who is also named Samantha. Like the little girl in the book, Samantha is a spunky redhead with a whirlwind personality who takes the world and everything in it by storm. I didn’t realize how closely the portrait matched the real girl until her mother sent me pictures of her stint as a flower girl in a wedding when she was about seven years old. The likeness to the image I’d pictured for one of my scenes was uncanny, although I’d never seen the pictures and didn’t know Samantha had ever been a flower girl. It was as if a real event had somehow slipped into my subconscious and spilled onto the page.

So who knows where all that stuff in the basement comes from? Some of it’s what you’d expect—old memories and longings, scenes from your past and friends remembered. But a few of the boxes hold surprises you’ve never seen before—and writing gives you the chance to open them and play with what’s inside. When readers pick up my books, I get to share all the treasures I found there—cowboys and horses, ranch gates and bunkhouses, small-town bars and pickup trucks, and best of all, the feeling of falling in love.


He’s got a way with horses…and with women...
Nate Shawcross is perfectly content to spend his days training wild horses. So when a beautiful greenhorn unexpectedly shows up for a seminar from the famous “Horse Whisperer” of Wyoming, all Nate wants to do is send her packing…

The last thing she expects is a lesson in romance…
Graduate student Charlie Banks came to the ranch to learn about horse communication, but when she meets the ruggedly handsome cowboy, she starts to fantasize about another connection entirely…

Nate needs to stay focused if he’s going to save his ranch from foreclosure, but he can’t help being distracted by the brainy and breathtakingly sexy Charlie. Could it be that after all this time Nate has finally found the one woman who can tame his wild heart?

About the Author
Joanne Kennedy has worked in bookstores all her life in positions from bookseller to buyer. A member of Romance Writers of America and Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, she won first place in the Colorado Gold Writing Contest and second in the Heart of the Rockies contest.  Joanne lives in Cheyenne, Wyoming. For more information, please visit

Thanks to Sourcebooks, I have two copies of One Fine Cowboy to give to a Minding Spot Reader!!
USA and Canada Only.  Must be a Minding Spot Follower to enter.  

Leave a question/comment for Joanne for an extra entry.

Winners announced October 5th.



  1. GFC follower.

    littleone AT shaw DOT ca

  2. Hi, Joanne! You write contemporary Western story lines, "Cowboy Trouble" & "One Fine Cowboy", and two more to come in 2011 : ) Do you ever imagine living in the American Old West? Would you ever write a historical Western romance?

    US Resident, GFC Follower, Subscriber

    gcwhiskas at aol dot com

  3. I read both contemporary and historical westerns. Like Virginia C., I would like to know if you are considering writing an historical one day?

    castings at mindspring dot com

  4. I enjoyed your post and thanks for the giveaway!

    I am a follower

  5. Sounds like a great book and one I will really enjoy! Hope I can win a copy.

  6. ONE FINE COWBOY sounds like a great read!
    gfc follower
    chey127 at hotmail dot com

  7. What other authors do you enjoy reading? I love reading contemporary westerns!

    follow on GFC
    msboatgal at

  8. Thanks, Virginia and Cheryl, for asking about historicals. I LOVE Western history - I love to visit ghost towns and hunt down abandoned homesteads and daydream about what life was like back then. I'd like to write a historical and probably will someday. But I write with a lot of humor, and life was so difficult for women out here back then - it doesn't lend itself as easily to the kind of stories I write. Someday, though...

  9. I would absolutely LOOOVE to win a copy of this book because I am obsessed with cowboys, rodeo, and country life (especially in the mountains!); and often think that I was definitely born during the wrong time! I think that I would have loved living in the Old West, although I probably wouldn't have appreciated my life since things were so hard for them! So, I guess I'll just keep fantasizing about it and reading great western fiction!!!

    Oh, and I am a follower on GFC!

  10. scottsgal,I really admire some of the other Western writers out there. Linda Lael Miller writes wonderful stories with characters so real they jump off the page. Catherine Anderson's stories are so deeply emotional they stay with me for a long time. For those of you who like historical Westerns, try Jodi Thomas. I also really love her contemporaries. And I love, love, love Carolyn Brown's spunky, sexy, hilariously funny Honky Tonk books. She's a great choice if you're in a low mood and want something to make you smile.

  11. Melanie, I love the mountains, too. There are some funky little towns in the Rockies that you would love. I like the little ones nobody ever heard of that are just a few houses scattered in the trees and maybe a general store or a bed-and-breakfast.
    Here in Wyoming I live on the high plains, where we're over a mile high but don't realize it! We can see mountains in the distance, and the Snowy Range is pretty close. We can also get to Rocky Mountain National Park in a couple of hours. I feel lucky to live in Cheyenne!

  12. Thanks to everyone who commented so far! I actually locked myself out of my house today (!) or I would have commented sooner. I don't think I've done anything that dumb since I was a teenager:)

  13. I enjoy reading contemporary westerns, I can't wait to read this one. Do you ever think you will write another genre, say paranormal?

    seriousreader at live dot com

  14. I love me some cowboys!! this one sounds awesome and I can't wait to read it. Please enter me in the giveaway!

    gfc follower

    mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

  15. Please enter me in the giveaway. I am a GFC follower.

    I always enjoy a good romance with a Western theme. I think a romance is supposed to whisk you away to someplace different. The West is waaaay different from here... LOL!

  16. I've seen several of those places that I suddenly want to live in!
    I enjoyed reading about the characters.

    I'm a follower


  17. I've always enjoyed a good Western romance, whether it's in the old wild West or the current day West, there's just something about those cowboys that I enjoy reading about.
    I'm looking forward to reading One Fine Cowboy, it sounds like a fantastic story.

    I'm a GFC follower

  18. Linda, thanks for asking! I've actually written a paranormal, but with all the cowboy action I haven't gotten it out there. Someday!

  19. You're right - the West really is a different world. I'm originally from back East, although I've been in the Wild West for about twenty years. I still remember how excited I was to see real cowboys and ranches when I first moved out here! I always loved Western history and Western riding, so it was a good move!

  20. I am a GFC follower and email subscriber.
    My question is What is the most difficult part about writing fiction?

  21. Already publicly following Minding Spot with Google Friend Connect [Cheryl F. {The Lucky Ladybug}] -- I enjoyed the guest post and would love to read One Fine Cowboy :) *Thanks* for the giveaway!

  22. Please count me in.

    I follow.

    simplystacieblog at gmail dot com

  23. I am a follower. Joanne what other books have you written? Do you enjoy reading any other types of books? Please enter me in your contest. I really would love to read this book. It sounds really good.

  24. I'm a GFC Follower in the USA.


  25. Joanne, I'd love to know how you selected your editor or how she selected you.


  26. He’s got a way with horses…and with women..

    I love the tagline! I look forward in reading it.

    I'm a follower.

    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

  27. I am a Google Connect Follower and would LOVE to be entered in your draw. Thanks!

  28. How did you decide on a title for your book?

  29. The book sounds good. I enjoy books set in small towns.
    GFC follower

  30. My first love has always been Highlanders but I also love me some hot Cowboys.In the Old West or the present day they are delicious. :)
    I really look forward to reading this book Joanne.
    Thanks for the opportunity to win. I'm a GFC follower under Lucky47.
    Carol L.

  31. am a Minding Spot follower on GFC as primrose

    I like that you write with a lot of humor; I need as much as possible, lol. Thanks.


  32. I am a GFC follower! I just love reading books about cowboys. This one sounds like one of the best.

    I would like to ask Joanne how she chooses the names for her cowboy characters?


  33. I enjoy reading books that are different than my life. I'm not a cowboy and this book would give me an opportunity to see how others live. (I am also a sucker for a good-looking cowboy!! :)

    GFC Follower

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net


The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.

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