by Livia J. Washburn
a short story in
Wishing for a Cowboy
Prairie Rose Publications
RTW is pleased to host the authors of Wishing for a Cowboy, the debut offering of Prairie Rose Publications. It's available in ebook at Amazon and Smashwords, and in print at Amazon.
My special guest today is Livia J. Washburn, who's been writing award-winning, critically acclaimed western, romance, mystery, and historical novels for over thirty years. She's secretary and publisher at Western Fictioneers and co-owner of Prairie Rose Publications.
Livia's story in Wishing for a Cowboy is Charlie's Pie — Lauralee Brannam just wants to bake her son's favorite pie for his birthday, which happens to fall on Christmas Eve. But then a wounded stranger shows up on her Texas ranch, and his fateful visit leads to violence, tragedy, and redemption in this stirring Western tale.
RTW: How did Lauralee and Burke come to you? Were they fully formed, or were they stubborn about telling you their stories?
|Livia J. Washburn|
Livia: They came to me almost fully formed. Both have secrets, or at least things about them that aren't immediately apparent, but I knew what those things were before I started the story. Because of the length, there isn't room for a great deal of history about either of them, but I was able to get in the important things, I think. Sometimes when I start a story I don't know that much about the characters and even less about what's going to happen, but that wasn't the case here. I have no idea why some stories are so much more developed in my head before I start writing, but it's a happy accident when it happens. Of course, I always allow myself the freedom to change my mind if something better occurs to me during the writing.
RTW: What is it about Christmas that lends itself to romance? How is Charlie's Pecan Pie incorporated into your story and is it a part of your own family lore?
Livia: For me, Christmas lends itself to romance because it's a time of year when we take stock of our lives, a mile marker on another year nearly done, so to speak, a time to reflect on all the good things we have in our lives but also the things that we're missing. I had the heroine of "Charlie's Pie" bake a pecan pie because that's my youngest daughter's favorite type of pie, and I like it a lot, too. It's a central part of the story not only because it's the main catalyst for the action but also because of what it represents to Lauralee.
RTW: If you lived in Lauralee's house, how would you decorate it for Christmas?
Livia: If I lived in Lauralee's house, I would definitely have a Christmas tree. It's just not Christmas without a tree! I'd decorate it with colorful bows and ribbons and homemade ornaments carved from wood. If any holly plants grew in the area I'd put sprigs of holly on the fireplace mantle. I might have candles burning, too, but carefully. You don't want to be careless with candles when you live in a wooden cabin.
RTW: What other books do you have for our readers to enjoy?
Livia: I have a sweet romantic western that came out a few years ago, but is still available, Mending Fences. The eighth book in my Fresh Baked Mystery series, Wedding Cake Killer, was released in mass market paperback on November 5 (it's already available as a trade paperback or e-book), and #9, The Fatal Funnel Cake, was released in trade paperback and in e-book on the same day.
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