Q: Is Miya's Dream true?
A: Miya's Dream is 100% fiction. I made the whole thing up, although the situations that
Miya and Jake confront occur in real life.
Q: How do you know about rodeo stuff like Jake's mini bull ride?
A: My family lives close to Cody, Wyoming where there is a rodeo performance every night during the summer. My family and many of our relatives have been involved with that rodeo, Wyoming Junior Rodeo, and lots of jackpots. For 25 years, we helped put on a small fun rodeo in our community of Clark, Wyoming.
Q: Do you ride horses much?
A: As often as I can. My favorite thing to do is pack into the mountains and camp for a few days. We ride through old and new country, see all kinds of wildlife, play in the creek, and have s'mores every night.
Q: When did you start writing?
A: I wrote my very first horse story in first grade. We visited a friend on a Sunday afternoon and I came home and chronicled the event by writing a book called Mr. Dorman's Horse Farm. Later, I made up and told stories when I taught school. Kids don't usually play around in the hall if they know they are going to miss out on the next chapter of the story.
Q: Do you have kids of your own?
A: I have two daughters and three grandchildren. They help me with my writing. When my girls were younger, we'd ride our horses home and they would say, "Tell me a story Mom." I'd make up a story in the cool of the evening and tell it over the sound of jangling bits and creaking saddles.
Q: Where do you get your ideas?
A: I watch and listen all the time. Well, I talk also, but talking can be overrated. Sometimes I hear just a snippet of conversation and that will start me thinking about one thing which leads to the next thing and
pretty soon an idea is born.
Q: After you get the idea, what do you do next?
A: All day long when I'm walking or riding my horse or my bike, or doing chores or whatever, I keep playing with the idea in my mind. I imagine the characters, their ups and downs, their pets, their friends...Then I sit down at the computer and sketch out an outline. Next I start to write, knowing that I'll probably end up deleting a good bit of the first draft. That's OK. It like trail riding, sometimes you start down the trail thinking about one destination, and then you turn off on another ridge and go someplace different. You didn't waste your day. You did something unexpected but fun and rewarding all the same.
Q: What should I do if I want to write my own stories?