MK: From your website – “..my stories will take you inside the hearts of temperamental cowboys and the code of honor they live by, hardened outlaws with their own code of justice and the women who helped them settle the west”…I really like that line. Does this pretty much describe all of your books?
JL: Yes. All of my books take place in the mid-1800’s. My Weston Family Series features three brothers; Lucas, Royce and Creel, and they are cowboys. Royce’s story, Luck of the Draw, is set on the family ranch, Wooded Acres. For Lady Luck, Lucas was taken out of his comfort zone of ranching and set in San Francisco, though he does not lose his ‘cowboy’ ways. No Luck At All is Creels’ story. For this book. Creel is the town doctor, living on his part of Wooded Acres and still breaking wild mustangs.
My latest series, Revolving Point, Texas, features outlaws for heroes. Buck headlines Zanna’s Outlaw. He had guest appearances in Luck of the Draw and Lady Luck and definitely needed his own story. In Zanna’s Outlaw, Buck must quit his outlawing ways and become sheriff of Revolving Point, a town he hates, or the governor will rescind his pardon and let the authorities hang Buck. Lydia’s Gunslinger is my latest work and features Roth, another gunslinger who trades Outlaw Trail for deputy duties in Revolving Point.
The heroines in my books are strong, feisty and not adverse to helping their men settle the wild west, be it a parcel of land on Wooded Acres or a wild west town bent on becoming respectable. The women know what they want and aren’t afraid to go after it.
MK: Do you have a favorite character you’ve written and why?
JL: Buck Grayson. As an outlaw, Buck is temperamental, a smart ass, and lives by a code all his own. He was fun to develop and write for, because he’s not a proper gentleman, or restrained to polite mannerisms. He doesn’t care what other people think of him, except for Zanna. He’ll get the job done-his way.
MK: What is your favorite scene in No Luck At All?
JL: No Luck At All started out to be Creel’s story, but then Racine took over. She has a lot of baggage in that her mother and sisters treated her horribly when she was growing up. Racine believes she is not loveable, except maybe to Creel. My favorite scene would have to be when she happens upon Lucas and Royce one morning and discovers they don’t think of her as ugly or someone unworthy of their time. They tease with her, as they do with the other members of the family, which makes her realize someone other than Creel has accepted her, faults and all.
MK: What do you enjoy most about writing westerns?
JL: Everything; horses, ranch houses, cowboys, outlaws, women in long dresses, stagecoaches, covered wagons, a dusty, nowhere town. The list goes on and on. I love that whole era and always will. I have my dad and John Wayne to thank for that. I grew up watching John Wayne westerns with my dad on Sunday afternoons.
MK: Have you ever written an outlaw you end up liking?
JL: I like Buck and Roth—they are two devils in desperate need of a woman’s love, and a woman’s touch. Their pasts are shrouded in pain, which has played into their adult lives. But at heart, they are good men, capable of committing to one woman and doing right by her, even if that means curbing some of their menacing ways.
MK: Without giving it all away, please tell us a little something about how Racine in No Luck At All, is going to get through her biggest challenge?
JL: After a devastating loss, Racine is going to try to put her demons to rest by placing all of her trust in Creel, hoping he is the one person who can help her, and love her unconditionally.
MK: Do you have any quirks when it comes to your writing process?
JL: I like it quiet. I used to write while listening to the radio, but that became a distraction so I stopped doing that years ago. And I cannot move on to the next chapter until I have the current one correct. It drives me nuts if I’m working on chapter four and keep thinking in the back of mind that chapter three is not right.
MK: What do you have in store next for your readers?
JL: Currently, I’m working to get Zanna’s Outlaw and Lydia’s Gunslinger into print via Amazon and Create Space. Once that is done, I will go back to working on Debra’s Bandit, the last book in the Revolving Point, Texas Series.