In this 28th Equestrian Author Spotlight, I talk with fellow western romance author Julie Lence. Of course, we discuss the best topics on earth — writing, books and horses! In the interview, you'll learn about the inspiration behind her Jackson Creek book series. As a fellow author, I particularly enjoyed her comments on good/bad reviews and how she gets the ideas for her covers. Happy reading!
About Western Romance Author Julie Lence
Author Julie Lence was born and raised in upstate New York. She married her high school sweetheart and accompanied him on his twenty-year career with the United States Air Force. Presently, she resides in the Pikes Peak region, where she’s a stay-at-home mom enjoying a career writing western historical romance.
Throughout her school years, Julie enjoyed reading and writing. A friend introduced her to the romance genre in the late 80’s and she was instantly hooked. She credits Judith McNaught’s flawless voice and Johanna Lindsey’s addictive and endearing Malory family as her inspirations to pen her own novels. Combining her fondness for horses, John Wayne’s cowboy persona, and the television series, Dallas, she settled into writing western historical romance series early in her career.
Julie self-publishes her work on Amazon and designs her own covers. She is also the owner of the Cowboy Kisses blog. When she’s away from her computer, she enjoys taking care of her family and home, exploring the Rocky Mountains, and meeting fans of the romance genre.
Nice to meet you, Julie! Let's lope into your interview.
What is your favorite horse memory?
Since I was little, I have always loved horses. They are such beautiful animals, with a lot of love to share. My earliest memory of seeing a horse up close dates back to childhood. One of Dad’s co-workers lived in the country and he owned several horses. His daughters rode in small town parades and competed at local state fairs. When we would visit their home, it was a treat to be able to pet their horses. Always, I longed to ride, and that day finally came many years later.
My husband was in the Air Force and was stationed to Cheyenne Mountain Air Base in Colorado. Ft. Carson is situated just below Cheyenne Mountain. On the Mountain Post, the army has their own riding team for parades and rodeo appearances. They have stables for their horses, and better still they have stables where military families can house their own horses.
Within the same area, Ft. Carson hosts trail riding for military families. My favorite horse memory is discovering this and enjoying my first real horseback ride. The hubby and I signed up for the guided ‘moonlight ride’, where we took the horses out at dusk, rode to a designated spot for a cookout and then rode back to the barn. The 5 years we were stationed in Colorado, I went trail riding as often as I could.
Why did you choose to write horse books?
Early in my writing career, I started penning contemporary romance. The stories had nothing to do with horses. Upon completing two of them I realized something was missing, that I wasn’t happy with what I was writing. It was around this same time I fell in love with Johanna Lindsey’s Malory Family books and heard the phrase, write what you know and what you love.
Well, I’ve always loved horses, John Wayne’s cowboy movies, the old west, and the television show, Dallas. Incorporating all of those, I switched to writing western historical romance and I was hooked. Horses may not be the star of my works, but all of my books have horses in them. My cowboys and outlaws take good care of their mounts, my heroines know how to ride, and the times when the horse plays an important role in a scene, he/she is well-trained, loyal, loving, and very smart.
Do you write full time or part time?
When I began writing, I had a regular 9-5 job, so I wrote part time. After I had my son, I left the workforce and became a stay-at-home mom, which I have enjoyed. Once my son was in school all day, I was able to write full-time, and I love it. Working around a school year, I’m able to incorporate a daily writing schedule with home and family life. The kiddo is now entering a local college. He’ll live at home, and I will continue to write full time. Going back to the 9-5 grind no longer interests me.
When or where do you get the most writing done?
I have a home office with a desktop computer. I write all my books on the desk top. It’s easier for me to type on that keyboard vs a laptop. The bulk of my writing I accomplish during the morning. That is when the muse works best, though I am known to work out a scene giving me trouble during evenings and weekends.
What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?
Good reviews are always exciting, and I always send up a little prayer of thanks for the person who took the time to not only read one of my books, but to write a review. I do share these reviews on my Facebook author page and my website. As for bad reviews, if the reviewer leaves something constructive, I try to learn from it and move on.
If your books are part of a series, would you share little about it?
Slade is my latest release. He first made an appearance in my short Valentine story. He didn’t have a name in that story, and his description was vague, because I had no intention of using him again. Until a fan wrote and asked if I was writing his story next. After giving it some thought, Slade suddenly had a name, backstory, and he kicked off my new Jackson Creek Series.
Managing the farm since her pa’s death hasn’t been easy for Jillianne Prescott. The list of repairs is long and money is scarce. To add to her burdens is the deal Ma struck up with the sheriff. In exchange for food and a warm bed, the sheriff sends his prisoners to work the farm. Never one to bother with men, Jillianne is nonetheless thankful for the help, until, one by one, they run off. This latest one won’t be any different. Heavily muscled and full of tomfoolery, she has no doubt he’ll sneak off to Mexico before the sun rises. But when he proves her wrong, and takes it upon himself to find the coyote prowling the farm at night, Jillianne can’t help but admit there’s more to Slade than sinew and tomfoolery.
Be the guest at a necktie social or work at the widow Prescott’s farm? He might be an outlaw, and have a lot of faults, but stupidity isn’t one of them. Slade Barlow will hide out at the farm until tempers cool and then leave Texas for good, have the spread he’s been saving for. But the widow isn’t the frail woman he expected. And her daughter does things to his gut best left ignored. Then again, Jill has an intriguing birthmark. And curves his fingers itch to explore. Sassy and pretty, she’s the type of woman a man marries. Never one to favor a woman’s long list of rules, he’ll keep his distance, track down her coyote, and steal more than one kiss from her.
How did you get the idea for the cover of the book?
Most romance covers have people on them; a pretty girl, a hunky guy. A few years ago, I happened upon Kim Killion. Not only does she design covers, but she gathers live models during the year for photo shoots and has a website where authors can buy her pics to design their own covers. I love Kim’s work and have used her pics on several of my covers.
For background images, I have had great success with Dreamstime and Bigstock. I draw on something from the book, or the series, and see what I can find. For Slade, I found his background on Bigstock. But for Slade himself, I scoured Kim’s site a while back and was instantly drawn to this model. His entire being said he was Slade right from the start.
What’s next? Future goals for your writing?
I’m toying with the idea of writing another short story before jumping into the second book in the Jackson Creek Series. I have the basics of the hero figured out, but the heroine and a plot line haven’t spoken to me yet. They will, but rather than force it, a plot and characters for the short story are ready to go. Maybe in time for Christmas. If not, then for New Year’s or Valentine’s Day.
Discover more about Julie Lence's books!
Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/julielence
What a spur jingling interview!
A BIG thank you to Julie Lence for participating in my Equestrian Author Spotlight series. I enjoy these interviews. I learn so much from other authors and appreciate how unique each of our writing journeys are. I love that all the authors featured in this series are linked through our creativity, passion for writing, and love of horses. I think it is so important to support each other. I appreciate the support of a fellow author. Thank you for giving me the gift of your time, Julie! #authorsunite
I LOVE HORSE BOOKS! If you are an author who writes about horses and would like to be spotlighted let me know. I’d be happy to include you, too. Sharing about fellow horse book authors makes my spurs jingle! Visit my contact page to fill out a request: https://www.carlykadecreative.com/contact.html
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Carly Kade writes for anyone who loves horses, handsome cowboys and a great romance. Creative writing about horses makes her spurs jingle!
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