Hi, Melinda. I’m really excited to be here today, because I’ve just completed the second novel in my Wallace Flats series. But first, I’d better back up and tell you a bit about the first, McShannon’s Chance, which came out last October from Bluewood Publishing.
I’ve written all my life, poetry, lyrics and short stories, but I’d never considered attempting a novel. Too long, too daunting. Then, in September of 2006, the hero of McShannon’s Chance simply materialized, fully formed, in my imagination. Tall, a bit on the lean side, dark hair and molasses-colored eyes. Cajun mother, British father. A Georgia boy who turned traitor and fought for the Union in the Civil War. I suppose all the Westerns I read growing up had been perking away in my subconscious, because I knew instantly who Trey McShannon was and what drove him. It’s summed up pretty well in the cover blurb:
Trey McShannon survived the carnage of the Civil War, only to discover that the deepest wounds are those to the heart. A traitor to his home state of Georgia, Trey has built a new life for himself in the untamed Colorado Territory. Now it’s time to find a wife to share the future he’s worked so hard for – but can he free himself from his past?
Beth Underhill is looking for choices. Needing to marry to escape being sent back East, she prefers Trey’s honest business proposal to false promises of love. Can a union between a man who isn’t sure he can still feel love, and a woman who doesn’t believe it exists, blossom into more than a marriage of convenience?
I was on a camping trip when Trey made his presence known, and couldn’t find anything to write on but paper towel. I grabbed three sheets and a pencil and started writing. I still have those sheets tucked away. Lesson learned: Carry a notebook! Six months later, I came up for air with the first draft of a novel on my hands. The road to publication was not boring, to say the least, but it’s been worth the ups and downs along the way.