Wednesday, March 25, 2009
IMHO welcomes western romance author Stacey Kayne!
Stacey Kayne brings her love of American history to vivid life with stories set in the wild west, featuring heroic women and the stubborn men strong enough to love them. Stacey’s unpublished works garnered four Golden Heart finals and over sixty regional contest wins. Her debut Harlequin novels Mustang Wild and Bride of Shadow Canyon kicked off her Wild and Bride series in 2007. Mustang Wild took second place to Linda Lael Miller for "Best Western Historical of 2007" in Love Western Romances’ reader poll. The second book in both series, Maverick Wild and The Gunslinger's Untamed Bride (which is Stacey’s contribution to the “I LOVE ME SOME HISTORICALS” basket), were released in 2008. The hero of Maverick Wild , Chance Morgan, is currently a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award nominee for "Best Historical KISS Hero." RT BOOKreviews says, "Kayne's series is fast-paced and laced with humor and action as it rushes headlong to an exciting conclusion."
The final book in her Wild Trilogy, Mountain Wild, will be released this July. The third installment of her Bride series arrives this June as part of an anthology, Stetsons, Spring & Wedding Rings. Residing on her California ranch near the base of the Sierra Mountains with her husband of twenty years and their two teenage sons, Stacey is fast at work on a new western historical series for 2010.
IMHO: Did I say the woman was prolific, or what? Stacey, welcome to IMHO, and please tell us your “story behind the story.”
SK: Hi TJ! Thanks so much for inviting me to share my story behind the story. The initial premise of my upcoming novella, "Courted by the Cowboy," part of the Stetsons, Spring & Wedding Rings anthology, was inspired by a true story. I had just begun to dabble in writing when I heard about a local woman who’d ended up in California as the result of a house fire in Montana in the early 1900’s. Eighteen years old and working as a housekeeper in a boardinghouse, she’d accidentally knocked a kerosene lamp into a basket of linens. No fire-retardant fabrics back then, the room was quickly ablaze and she suffered burns to her legs and hands.
The rural Montana community didn’t have a physician capable of treating such burns—not without the loss of her legs. The town sent out a wire asking for help. The nearest hospital willing to treat her was in San Francisco, and arrangements were made to send her to California by train. Back then a caboose was coupled at the back of each train and the only doors on the standard cars were on the ends, the passage too narrow for a stretcher to get through. Bound to the stretcher with blankets, she was hoisted up by a number of men and slid in through a window. Her treatment was a success and after her release from the hospital she found a teaching job outside of San Francisco. She met and married a farmer and eventually found her way to our small agricultural town where she taught school until she retired.
I was fascinated by the imagery of this young woman being bound to a stretcher and the fear she must have felt as that window swallowed her up into the belly of the train, transporting her hundred of miles from her home. Those images started the manuscript originally titled Morning Star. The moment my hero stepped onto the scene, he took over the plot line (as you can see in my website excerpt), adding new twists and turns to the story line. When I was asked for my next Bride story to be part of the spring anthology, I did some drastic down-sizing, and wouldn’t you know—the loading scene at the train station was the first to go… *sniffle*. I hated to lose the scenes that sparked the story. I’ve thought about offering those lost pages as “Deleted Scenes” on my website.
IMHO: Stacey, I think that would be a great idea! Thank you so much for sharing this. What a fascinating “story behind the story.” Okay, folks, be sure to leave a comment for Stacey and at least one other March guest author to be eligible to win the “I LOVE ME SOME HISTORICALS” gift basket. Let Stacey know if you like reading deleted scenes on an author’s website or knowing what happens to the characters after the book is over. The contest ends March 27, and the gift basket filled with fabulous autographed historical romances from our guest hosts and a $20 gift card from Amazon.com (to feed your addiction) will be awarded to one lucky winner on March 28! You’re just days away from literary bliss, gentle readers, so comment away!
Stacey has brought up a great point about scenes that wind up on the cutting room floor. As it happens, authors rarely know which idea will spark a book—and sometimes the instigation for the whole story gets cut from the final version. I know it has happened to me. That’s why next month's theme is going to be "The scene/story/book you (the reader) almost didn't read." Every author has that story which sometimes proves difficult to write or has a bumpy road to publication. I’ll share my story over at PASIC’s To Be Read blog on April 3. It involves a scene in the first draft of my May 2009 release, The Promise, which turned out had to go…until I found a way to rescue it. I’ve already confirmed veteran historical romance author Madeline Hunter, and Medallion Press author Anna Louise Lucia, as two of my guests here at IMHO in April who will tell us about their near-misses. I’ll let you know the rest of the lineup as soon as I have confirmations. So be sure to come back soon for more details, and don’t forget to leave a comment for Stacey Kayne!