Cowboys Are My First Loves
Sorry Paul (my husband), but I've always loved cowboys.
He always kids me about The Duke.
John Wayne was the best!
I was in love with the TV and movie cowboys of the '50s and '60s. So, when I first began writing romances, cowboys were the logical heroes.
Although they weren't completely historically accurate, those old western shows are my main research "bible." But I do have quite a few books showing male and female clothing from different historic periods, as well as pioneer women's diaries, women who'd crossed the country in covered wagons. The women walked along side the wagons, cooked meals, washed clothing, looked after the children. Men rode horses and drove the wagons. To give them their due, the menfolk hunted for food but still on horseback. In their diaries, women didn't mention their periods or even childbirth. The most they'd say is that there was an addition to the wagon train. Life was difficult and lonely for many women in the west, but they had no choice but to continue moving one step forward, literally and figuratively. Thank God they did or most of us wouldn't be here.
The first manuscript I wrote was The Long Road to You, and it starred a hero named Nick as an homage to the western, especially the TV western, The Big Valley. I was/am a Nick Barkley fan. That black outfit and especially the omnipresent black gloves were quite sexy. And in Nick's case, a black Stetson didn't make him the bad guy.
Around the same time, I was listening to an Andrea Bocelli CD, Sogno, and in particular the song, 'O Mare e Tu. Its haunting minor chords, the Spanish/Arabic/Gypsy sounds put me in mind of the Flamenco. A young Anglo woman became my heroine, and she became the Flamenco dancer. You'd think a Mexican or Spanish woman would be the dancer, but I turned it around so the properly brought up and schooled American girl fell in love with the Flamenco, tried to break her bonds of propriety, and flee to escape the threat of an arranged marriage. Jake and Ivy came into being and is now the first book in the series, The Brothers Agee.
The Flamenco is a sexy dance. The serious focused faces, rigid dance poses, minor chord sounds mesh with flying, tapping feet and gracefully waving arms. I used the music to portray Ivy's self-discovery of her sensual nature.
My hero Jake was inspired, in part, by an incident in my husband's youth. Jake and Nick were raised in an orphanage. Nick left when Jake was ten years old, and Jake became a loner — until he met Ivy. This in particular was not part of my husband's experience, but my heart ached for the young orphan boys.
A scene in Jake and Ivy takes place in Barranca del Cobre, Copper Canyon, in northern Mexico. Thank heavens for the internet, because it allows you to visit places you could never go to and get an idea of what they looked and felt like. That combined with my own experiences, of places I've traveled to and sights I've seen in person, really help in writing the scene.
What would a young woman in 1880 have known about men and sex? I don't think much since women were protected. The challenge is to take our modern 21st Century sensibility and write to an historical perspective. I don't believe an 1880s era young woman would speak a certain way, use particular words. This means I had to be aware of Ivy's innocent thoughts and dialogue and write them as realistically as possible.
I really like the challenge of subsuming myself in a character to see life as she/or he would. Especially in the male point of view. That's really a challenge!
♥ ♥ ♥
Jane Leopold Quinn s a multi-published author of highly sensual novels, novellas, and short stories. They've all been well reviewed, including 4-1/2 Stars and Top Pick, as well as a Reviewers' Choice Nomination for Best Erotic Romance of 2006 from Romantic Times Magazine for her debut novel, Ancient Ties.
She loves the creative process and is constantly, madly writing and revising the "next great book." Nothing is more satisfying than bringing two people together for a happily-ever-after ending. Writing romance is the greatest job in the world and is her passion and niche in life. Creativity in romance authors isn't usually limited to writing. Her other interests include building and decorating doll houses and miniature room boxes, as well as designing silk flower arrangements. Next up? Mosaics...
Jane lives in Chicago, overlooking the park and Lake Michigan, with her wonderful husband.
Lost and Found
His Hers & His
Soldier, Come Home
A Promise at Dawn
Jake and Ivy
Wooing the Librarian
Home to Stay (coming soon)
The Long Road to You (coming soon)
I'll Be Your Last
Jane Leopold Quinn - My Romance: Love With a Scorching Sensuality