Sunday, May 6, 2012

What's the Draw for Westerns?

I'd feel lower than a snake's belly if I didn't inform you all about the charm of western romance novels whether they're historical or contemporary.

We've all felt that visceral pull when a man in tight blue jeans, cowboy boots, T-shirt or a long sleeved work shirt, and a cowboy hat came into view. Before you even see the face, you sigh. We all watched Bonanza, Gunsmoke, and The Virginian growing up. Or the western movies with John Wayne, Tom Selleck, Sam Elliott… I could go on and on.

In our culture the cowboy means chivalry, honor, duty, loyalty. Traits we all cherish in a hero. That's why I like to write westerns- historical or contemporary. The cowboy way of life and spirit is embodied in the heroes I write.  My Halsey brothers while they're more miners than cowboys, they have the mentality to fight for what's right, treat a lady with respect, and love children and animals. The hero Brock in Perfectly Good Nanny owns a ranch.  And while he'd do anything to keep his family together, he won't compromise anyone to do it. He battles the land to keep his family fed and clothed and he battles his own demons while helping the heroine conquer her own.

And the great characters in the secondary western characters… Gabby Hayes, Tonto, Festus, Trampus.  I use the secondary characters I've loved in movies and TV shows to make my secondary characters in my books.  In the Halsey books, I have a widowed woman who takes the Halsey brothers under her wing when their parents die. She's a bit nosey but only because she cares. And though she's a tiny thing she doesn't think twice about taking one of the grown brothers by the ear and making them do what's right. And they listen to her because she is their elder and a woman. A cowboy trait.  In Perfectly Good Nanny the sidekick is an elderly Klamath Indian who helps the hero's daughter order a nanny online, sets the hero straight when he needs someone to vent to, and finds a way to disappear when trouble is brewing. A good secondary character gives levity to a story in my opinion.

Another reason I write westerns could be the fact I grew up riding horses on a 200 acre ranch and exploring the mountains around our house. The early 1900's ranch house we lived in had a wood cookstove, an outhouse, and a woodshed.  Also an earth cellar, we butchered chickens and rabbits, made butter and ice cream. I lived a life similar to the lives of the characters in my historical books. Owning 350 acres raising hay and cattle, I live the country life that I put into my contemporary westerns.

Western romance books whether they're historical or contemporary are about the lifestyle and the cowboy way of life that we all love: God, country, respect, honor, loyalty, and duty. And that's why I write westerns.

Why do you like westerns?  Who is your favorite western character either in a book, movie, or TV show? Why?

 You can read excerpts for all my westerns plus a free read at my website. 


desitheblonde said...

i like the book i love to read all and any type of book and then i blog on t hem the cover are great and the info is super

Debby said...

I love westerns. They are our own unique history. It is a fascinating time with his own morals and discipline. Thanks so much
debby236 at gmail dot com

Paty Jager said...

Desi, Thanks for stopping in and commenting!

Hey Debby! I agree Westerns are unique. Thanks for coming by.

Tanya Hanson said...

Me like cowboys. Congrats on the release, Paty. Xoxox

Paty Jager said...

Thanks Tanya! I like them too!

Peggy Henderson said...

I love my westerns, but that can also include mountain men and trappers, and scouts, and rangers. Westerns shouldn't always just be touted to be about cowboys.

Paty Jager said...

I agree Peggy any occupation that was held west of the Mississippi in the 1800's would make a great hero.

Lyn Horner said...

Western romance has been my first love for many years, and it still is. Love your books and covers, Paty!

Paty Jager said...

Thanks, Lyn!