Kathleen Eagle AuthorView
What or who inspired “Ride a Painted Pony?”
This was one of those stories that began with a scene playing out in my head—a man behind the wheel of a pickup on a rainy night swerves to avoid hitting what he thinks is an animal. I saw him search the bushes and find a woman. I saw her face right along with him. She was, indeed, a wounded animal. I love it when this kind of scene comes to me because the writing, which is always a process of discovery, becomes a mystery that only I can solve.
What do you like most about “Ride a Painted Pony?"
I particularly love the hero in this one. His ranching partner calls him “big Indian,” which is an Indian Country term for the stoic guy who keeps his thoughts and feelings to himself. He’s a wounded warrior, a survivor who dares to dream, a loner who can’t help caring.
Who’s the most heroic person you know?
At the moment, my younger sister comes to mind. She’s a bigtime survivor, and she has such class. Just a little over a dozen years ago, as a single, unemployed mom with a toddler, she won a heroic battle against breast cancer. She’s since built her own business, married and made a lovely home, raised a beautiful daughter, and inspired me in more ways than I can say. Have I told you lately how proud I am of you, Jill?
Why don’t you write Indian heroines?
Funny you should ask. I’m writing an Indian heroine now. The working title is “Mystic Horseman,” and it’s a spin-off of “Ride a Painted Pony.” The heroine is half Indian, and I try to keep my own daughter in mind as I write. I’ve written an Indian heroine before, and it’s intimidating. It feels presumptuous. I’m writing a woman’s story, while I see the world through a woman’s eyes, I can never presume to know what it looks like through an Indian woman’s eyes. There’s also a viewpoint character in “Mystic Horseman” who’s a white woman, and even though she’s not as sympathetic as the Indian heroine, she serves as a touchstone for me.
Tell us about your new group blog, www.RidingWithTheTopDown.blogspot.com . What about blogging have you found challenging? What about it’s got you jazzed?
I love the camaraderie we have going at “Riding.” We’re all romance writers—Betina Krahn, Lois Greiman, Michele Hauf, Helen Brenna, Susan Kay Law, Deb Dixon and yours truly—and we’re friends, some of us for years and years. We’re a community of women at various stages of our lives and careers, various focuses in our writing, a variety of interests—all of this is “jazzy.” Challenging: I’m basically shy. I cover by waxing “instructional,” which I have to watch lest it become tedious for the people around me. Guess you can take the girl out of classroom, but you can’t take the English teacher out of the girl.
I’ve seen your novels shelved in fiction, yet you’re considered a romance writer. What’s up with that?
It’s all about marketing, which is beyond me, rhyme-, reason-, and control-wise. I’ve yet to write a book that doesn’t have a strong romance element front and center.
Answer the question you wish an interviewer would ask.