Friday, April 15, 2011

Kathleen Eagle visits the Lair, and brings some cowboys!

Hosted by Trish Milburn

I read a lot, but honestly I don't keep a ton of books once I've read them. I'd need a house just for my books! There are a few authors whose work does make it to my keeper shelf, however, because their stories and characters are so wonderful. Kathleen Eagle is one of those authors. So I jumped at the chance to host Kathleen in the Lair today.

Your new release, Cowboy, Take Me Away (and now I have the Dixie Chicks song in my head), out April 19 from Harlequin Special Edition, is part of your Wild Horse Sanctuary series. Can you tell us more about this series -- how many books so far, what it's about, and what we can expect in the future?

Cowboy, Take Me Away is the 5th book in the Wild Horse Sanctuary series, starting with One Cowboy, One Christmas and hero Zach Beaudry, who was mentioned in In Care of Sam Beaudry. I didn’t start out to write a series, but Sally Drexler from One Cowboy needed a book, and the series grew from there. One Brave Cowboy is scheduled for October. After that there’s at least one more.

Whose story is Cowboy, Take Me Away?

I think it’s Skyler Quinn’s story. She’s ripe for getting swept off her feet. She’s a widow—married an older man who started out as a father figure and ended up leaving her with a pile of debt and a stepson who refuses to grow up. When she runs into Trace Wolf Track—a younger man this time—she thinks she’s in for her very first weekend fling. You can read the first chapter at www.kathleeneagle.com.

I have long been a fan of yours and of stories with cowboys and Native Americans, tales of the west, both past and present. What draws you to write books about these types of characters and settings?

I’m an Eastern dude gone West, but I’ve always loved Westerns, and I’ve always been interested in American Indians. I graduated from college with a generation that truly wanted to save the world, and went straight to an Indian reservation to teach high school English. I had a lot to learn, but I’ve always been an eager student.

Are you also a fan of movie westerns? If so, which ones are your favorites?

I loved the new True Grit with Jeff Bridges. We still watch Lonesome Dove with Robert Duvall and Tommy Lee Jones periodically. Both movies are true to the books, and both books are terrific. Another favorite is The Outlaw Josey Wales with Clint Eastwood. Oh, and Two Mules For Sister Sarah. Oh, and....
I see on your website that you teach at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis . Can you tell us more about these classes and how you came to teach there?

The Loft has a wonderful reputation nationally, and for a long time the emphasis was on lit’rary. My friend Mary Bracho (aka Ana Seymour) and I were the first to be invited to teach a course in writing the Romance. We’ve been teaching there for more than 10 years, and we love it. Our “Book In a Month” class fills every time.

With a name like Romance Bandits, you know we love tales of romance here. Tell us how you met your husband, Clyde.

Ah, my favorite romance. I spent the summer between my junior and senior years in college in a volunteer program on a South Dakota Indian reservation. (Remember, I was out to save the world.) I was introduced to Clyde the day after I arrived. He was wearing a red Western shirt, cowboy hat, boots, and man, did he look good in those jeans. He was breaking a horse. I’m here to tell you, there’s no cowboy like an Indian cowboy.

You’ll find a picture of me and my cowboy the summer we met when you visit me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/kathleen.eagle1

We all have those keeper books that we've loved so much that we will never part with them. Your Sunrise Song is such a book for me. What are some of the books on your keeper shelf?

Well, first of all, thank you, Trish. I’m especially proud of Sunrise Song. I have tons of keepers. A few off the top of my head: Tales of Burning Love and almost everything else Louise Erdrich had written; Flowers From the Storm (Laura Kinsale); Silent In the Grave (Deanna Raybourn); Lightning That Lingers (Tom and Sharon Curtis)...oh, so many more!

Thanks for being here today, Kathleen. Kathleen will be giving away a copy of one of the earlier Wild Horse Sanctuary books (winner's choice!) to one lucky commenter today. So fire away with your questions for Kathleen.

54 comments:

Virginia said...

Oh I do love me some cowboys! Thanks for bring the cowboys to the Lair! Congrats on your book.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Congrats on nabbing the rooster, Virginia. Whatever will you do with him? :)

Susanna Fraser said...

So glad to "see" you here, Kathleen! I rarely read contemporary settings in any genre (I'm more of a historical, fantasy, and science fiction girl), but your books are one of my exceptions because your settings and characters are so vivid, and so different from my everyday world (urban, West Coast) that I get that feeling of mental travel I'm always looking for in my reading.

Helen said...

Well done Virginia have fun with him

Hi Kathleen and Trish

Great interview Ladies and boy do I love the sound of these books I do so love a cowboy and a great western romance. There is just something about them in their jeans and boots and hats so yummy.

Kathleen had you spent much time on a ranch before you went of to the Indian Reservation I find this so interesting.

Some of the books on my keeper shelf are those by Kathleen Woodiwiss Johanna Lindsey Shirlee Busbee Samantha James so many to name LOL

Have Fun
Helen

Cath said...

I was going to ask why you write about cowboys...but them I read about your husband Clyde and well, say no more!!!

Kathleen Eagle said...

Hi, Virginia! Caock-a-doodle-doo...The early bird gets the rooster--congrats.

Kathleen Eagle said...

Hey, Susanna, it's a rare treat to be the exception. That feels good. I'm a big fan of historicals myself. Setting is important to me, both as a reader and as a writer. I've lived lots of places (Air Force brat) and I love to travel. I almost never write about a place unless I've been there, or, better yet, lived there for a time.

Kim in Hawaii said...

Aloha, Kathleen! Since you love cowboys, check out the Paniolos in Hawaii - they were originally recruited from Mexico by King Kamehameha III to create cattle ranches in the islands. Their legacy still lives today on the Big Island on the Parker Ranch.

Kathleen Eagle said...

Helen, I have a professional connection with Shirlee Busbee. Eons ago when had just about finished my first book and Clyde had just about convinced me that I might be able to publish it (a historical--PRIVATE TREATY) I started reading up on the biz. We were ranching in ND, living miles from any neighbor, never mind any kind of town. I was reading Shirlee Busbee, and she acknowledged her agent in the book. Figured that was as close to a recommendation as I was likely to get, so I wrote to him. John Payne agreed to represent me. He was a wonderful mentor. When he went out of the business, LaVyrle Spencer hooked me up with Stephen Axelrod, who has been my agent for 20+ years. He's fabulous, of course. I've been so fortunate. Bottom line if you're looking for an agent: other authors are your best resource.

Kathleen Eagle said...

Ah, Cath, as Virginia said, I do love me some cowboys. One in particular. Checout the top strip of photos on my Facebook page for a picture of us when we were just babies, and notice the evidence of one of the two or three things we had in common. Yes, indeed, cowboys do read. Clyde devoured pop fiction, especially Westerns, including Romance! (I didn't. I was very "lit'rary." But that's another story.)

Anna Campbell said...

Wow, Virginia, one chook for you. I think he's coming in western gear today. He looks extremely cute in that cowboy hat!

Kathleen, welcome to the lair! Lovely to have you here and congratulations on your latest release. I loved hearing about how you met your own personal hero!

Kathleen Eagle said...

Hi, Kim! We love the Big Island--spet a day at the Parker Ranch. Clyde became fast buddies with the cowboy who took us riding. (When we go to Hawaii, everyone assumes Clyde's Hawaiian. He loves to give directions when asked. Indian humor.)

Kathleen Eagle said...

Did I forget to mention Riding With The Top Down? Check us out at www.ridingwiththetopdown.wordpress.com. We're 10 authors strong, and just like the Bandits, we're lively.

desere_steenberg said...

I simply adore books about cowboys and this books sounds unbelievable! Count me in for the draw and thank you for being so generous in offering a stunning prize !

My question is how do you manage to fit in writing and juggling everyday life?

Best,
Desere

June M. said...

Gotta love them cowboys! Is there any other genre you would like to try writing at some point?

Susan Sey said...

Good morning, Kathleen! Welcome to the Lair! I love a good cowboy books, & always turn to yours when I'm in the mood for one. Looking forward to Cowboy Take Me Away!

Laney4 said...

I can't say enough good things about IN CARE OF SAM BEAUDRY. I loved, loved, loved it and am sure I would enjoy reading more of Kathleen's books. (Please, please, please?) I was hooked until the very last page, enjoying every well-written page. Thanks for sharing!

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Hi, Susanna. I agree. Kathleen is one of those writers who can really transport you to the place she's writing about.

Helen, familiar names on your keeper shelf. The Kathleen Woodiwiss novels were some of the very first romances I read. I'm sure lots of people here can say the same.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Yeah, Cath, she's got her very own cowboy at home. :)

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Kathleen, what are some of the most interesting places you've lived? Have you set stories in all those places?

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

That's so funny about Clyde giving people directions in Hawaii. LOL! I love what Indian humor I've seen. One of my favorite movies is Smoke Signals with Irene Bedard, Adam Beach, Tantoo Cardinal, etc. I love when the dude does the traffic report.

Randy: Good morning, this is Randy Peone on KREZ radio, the voice of the Coeur d'Alene Indian Reservation. And it's time for the morning traffic report on this rainy Bicentennial Fourth of July. Let's go out to Lester Falls Apart in the KREZ traffic van broken down at the crossroads.
Lester: Big truck just went by. Now it's gone.
Randy: Well, there you go folks. Looks like another busy morning.

Kathleen Eagle said...

Desere, I've been juggling real life with fiction forever, but the older I get, the more challenging it becomes. We have 2 lively granddaughters (7 and 9) who live with us, so I'm raising kiddos for the second time. I have to get my pages done while they're in school and after they're in bed.

Kathleen Eagle said...

June, I'm interested in publishing more "women's fiction." My sigle title books have leaned in that direction. I love historical romance, love to write it, but my publishers have been encouraging contemporary.

Kathleen Eagle said...

Hi, Laney! Great to see you here. Thanks for your kind words for SAM BEAUDRY.

Oh, my goodness. Two of the wild turkeys who hang out in our woods are peeking in my window.

Kathleen Eagle said...

Good morning, Trish!

We lived on Guam when I was a kid, and I have a terrific long-term memory. Can't remember whether I ran the dishwasher last night, but I remember grade school like it was yesterday. Those 2 years on Guam were fun times (endless summer) and truly educational--my first cross-cultural experience. On the way to Japan for a vacacation, the troop trasport plane we flew lost an engine and made an emergency landing on Iwo Jima. Spent a day there, were taken in jeeps all over the island--mid 50's, think of it! I remember it vividly.

Kathleen Eagle said...

"Smoke Signals." Love it! You picked a great scene, Trish.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Your time in Guam sounds great, but OMG, the story of the engine falling off the plain. That gives me heart palpitations.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Um, that would be "plane", not "plain." Yes, I iz a copy editor. :)

Leann said...

Kathleen, the first book of yours that I read was RIDE A PAINTED PONY and I've been hooked ever since! What I'd like to know is do your granddaughters understand what you do and are they at all interested in following your footsteps?

And, a big THANK YOU for transporting me to some beautiful places during our long MN winter. Your stories are so detailed that I can almost forget the cold and snow outside. :^)

Louisa Cornell said...

Virginia! You nabbed the GR! Watch out as he will rustle up all of the chocolate in the house!

Hello, Kathleen! Always glad to meet a fellow Air Force brat!

I have to confess I have never read any of your books, but I know my Mom has as I have seen them on her "reading table" next to her "reading chair" in the living room. She is a big fan of westerns - historical or contemporary. The fact she reads your books is a high compliment as she has very definite opinions about non-Native Americans writing about Native Americans. She is half Creek and half Cherokee and very proud of her heritage.

Has the way you write about Native American heroes altered in any way over the years? I read many of the historicals and contemporaries with Native American heroes when I was younger and much of the writing presented very stereotypical versions of those heroes. And is it easier to write a real Native American hero when you have such great access to one at home?

Dtchycat said...

This book sounds great, just gotta love a cowboy!

jo robertson said...

Hi, Kathleen, welcome to the Lair. Don't we all love cowboys LOL, and it sounds like you got your own true one!

One of the movies I loved was Silverado, a western that made me think westerns were making a come-back.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Kathleen! Welcome to the Lair!

I love cowboys. I'm so glad to see them making a "comeback" in so many books.

Thanks for being here today!

kaelee said...

Hi Kathleen ~ I have some of your books on my keeper shelf. I love the wild horse sanctuary stories. The ending of In Care of Sam Beaudry was so surreal. I loved Sally Drexler's story as well as my brother has MS.

Looking forward to the rest of the books in the series.

catslady said...

I just wanted to say how much I've enjoyed your books :)

Minna said...

Good evening from Finland!

I just have to tell this: our bear is awake again! The snow has melted from the road, so there wasn't a single paw print, but he had pooped on the road -again. So I have to start looking around me again rather carefully when I walk or ride by bike that road.

Beth Andrews said...

Welcome, Kathleen! Thanks so much for being with us today and sharing that wonderful excerpt *g*

Congratulations on your latest release. Sounds like a fantastic series :-)

Kathleen Eagle said...

Leann, I'm so glad you rode the painted pony and got hooked. I've always said that winter was great writing time in MN, but this year was too much. And now that we had two days of spring, we're back to cold and gray today. Give us a break!

Kathleen Eagle said...

Trish, take heart. The engine didn't fall off the plane. This is how long ago it was: it was a prop plane and one of the engines stopped. Big troop transport plane with, hmm, four props I think. The landing with what they called a "feathered" engine kills your ears because you lose altitude so fast.

Anna Campbell said...

Kathleen, I love Riding with the Top Down. Helen Brenna has invited me over there to guest on the 27th April. I think it's going to be a lot of fun! You girls sure are lively!!

Kathleen Eagle said...

Louisa, great questions. First, my love to your mom. Second, it absolutely helps to have a personal resource living with me. We've been married 40 years, and we lived in ND for 20. I'm a white woman sojourning in Indian Country. It's really important to me that my books please the Eagle family, first and foremost. And they do. When we visit, the first question is: Did you bring any of your books? So that's my touchstone.

When I started back in the 80's, I have to confess to having read a couple of those Hollywood Indian books and deciding to write a novel because I had a different story to tell.

Kathleen Eagle said...

Hi, catslady! Hi, Minna!

Minna, we have lots of wild life in our little woods, but your bear tops my deer and ofx. I did see a cougar once. Named the hero of my Oct2011 book after him.

Kathleen Eagle said...

That would be fox, not ofx.

Kaelee, thank you for mentioning Sally Drexler. I have a couple of friends who have MS, but they're back in ND and I haven't seen them in a while. I did lots of research, but I'm always concerned about the hoset portrayal. Sally has become such a dear character that she threatens to take over in all her scenes.

Have you read "Blindsided" by Richard Cohen (think that's his name), who has MS? Wonderful book. He's Meredith Vieira's husband.

Kathleen Eagle said...

Hi Anna, Susan, Jo, Jeanne, Beth, and all the Bandits! Thanks so much fo inviting me over.

Leann--forgot to mention that my granddaughters--first and third grade--both love to write.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Kathleen, are you all supposed to get any of that blizzard that's currently barreling across the northern Plains? Seriously, snow in April. That's just wrong.

Leni said...

I'm in agreement with everyone else when it comes to cowboys being great characters for books.It just brings something extra to the story.

Caren Crane said...

Kathleen, welcome to the Lair! Your story about how you met your husband is so very romantic. You're right - there is no cowboy like an Indian cowboy! Somehow, my Indian cowboy never quite materialized. :)

Have you found periods over your career when the West was a hard sell to publishers? I know readers always love the West, but publishers get odd about certain settings or time periods every now and then!

Virginia, so glad you got to spend some quality time with the Golden Rooster!!

Kathleen O said...

Oh I love this book... In fact I just gave it to my mother to read today.. I love this series and I hope we read more about them all..

Pat Cochran said...

My first "grown-up" reads were by
L'Amour and Grey, my Dad shared them
with me. I've always loved Western
films also. Especially all the John
Waynes and one of my special faves,
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
Thanks for visiting with us today,
Kathleen!

Kathleen Eagle said...

Hi, Caren!
Western historicals have been all too hard to find in recent years, but they're finally coming back. Contemporary Westerns are probably an easier sell in series than single title. I believe in writing the kind of book you love to read, and I've always loved the Western setting.

Kathleen Eagle said...

Pat, my husband's favorite book of all time was "Riders Of the Purple Sage" until "Lonesome Dove" came along. Now I think it's a tie.

Kathleen Eagle said...

It's been a wonderful day riding with the Bandits. Thanks for the terrific discussion. I've had a blast!

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Kathleen, thanks so much for being here today. Sorry I disappeared. I went out with some of my RWA chapter buddies for dinner.

desere_steenberg said...

Thank you for taking the time to reply to my question it is much appreciated.

And wow really that sounds like a really busy schedule my son is 5 and keeps me so busy if I had to be writer I don't think I would manage to fit any writing in so congratz on managing that !
Best,
Desere