Sunday, December 11, 2011

Lonesome cowboys and camels? An interview with thriller and romance author Louise Crawford

Today, I'm speaking with Louise Crawford about her co-written (with Ramona Butler) contemporary western romance, Sagebrush Cinderella.


1) Tell us about your book.

Ramona Butler and I teamed up to write humorous romance novels, and this was the 3rd in a Nevada, modern-day, western series about 3 brothers who run a ranch near Carson City. 

2) This is #3 in the Lonesome Cowboys series. Can you tell us a little bit about the other books in the series? Reading the other books didn't seem required to understand Sagebrush Cinderella.

We started off the series with Sabrina Says which won a contest for short contemporary romance.  Sabrina Says introduced Clay, Rusty, and Zack Daniels,  who run a ranch together. The youngest, Zack, runs an advertisement on a billboard for himself and his brothers, looking for some romance in their lives. This starts off the first book about part-time sheriff, Rusty Daniels, and Sabrina Sayers, a visitor from Los Angeles, looking to get over her divorce.  She's supposed to be writing a weekly column for the love-lorn, but in reality it's her greandmother, Aggie, who is writing the column.  So when Rusty writes in for advice to impress Sabrina, he gets a tad misinformed with comedic results.  The second book, Trouble in 3-D, is about Clay Daniels and his new hired hand, a redhaired card dealer from Reno, who happens to be a triplet.  When her identical triplet sisters arrive on scene, all kinds of humorous events occur.

3) What inspired this book?  

Sagebrush Cinderella was inspired by Zack's fun character and knack for getting into trouble or getting his brothers into it, in the first book, and Joy Littlebear's passion for animals of all sorts, as well as for Zack.

4) Why did you choose your particular setting? It's interesting in that you've produced a contemporary Western romance, but the emphasis is on different elements than you typically see in the sub-genre.  

Ramona and I were in a critique group together in Sacramento.  She moved to Carson City, Nevada.  Western romances seemed to be doing well in sales, so I asked her if she wanted to write one.  She'd been writing a humorous column for The Bee, so I knew she had a funny bone.  Romances about sheriffs and ranchers also do well, so I combined the two in Rusty's character, she liked the idea and we got started.

5) Exotic animals play a large role in the plot. Did you do a lot of research on the animals?  

Yes, we did.  Camels had been brought over and left in Nevada in the 1800s and the Virginia City Camel Races had gone on for many years as an annual event.  Ostriches were also a part of the races.  We wanted to incorporate some of the local annual events into our stories.  In our High Flying Love novel, we use the air races for several scenes, and our protagonists who fall in love are a stunt pilot and a tribal policeman.

6) Co-writing is an interesting phenomenon. Writing is typically considered an intensely personal experience. How did you and Ramona divide up the writing?

We got together and plotted out the story, chapter by chapter.  I then wrote a rough draft of each chapter, emailed it to her, she rewrote/revised/edited, and emailed it back.  We kept the work going back and forth until we were both happy with the result.

7) Did you have any creative debates as the novel progressed? 

We agreed that we would keep our egos out of the process and look at what would make the best book.  If one person felt very strongly about an idea or change, then we discussed it and came to an agreement.  We already knew we got along well in the critique group, so it didn't seem like it would be a problem writing together, and it wasn't.  I'd been writing dark fantasy and epic fantasy novels, and I wanted to try humor and shorter stuff, so writing with Ramona seemed like a fun way to accomplish both.


Thanks, Louise.

You can see more of Louise's diverse body of work ranging from thrillers to romances at both and

You can see more from Ramona Butler on her Amazon page.

Sagebrush Cinderella is available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

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