19 April 2012

Interview with Susan Spence

Yesterday I reviewed A Story of the West and today I have the privilege of interviewing the author Susan Spence. Let's start with a couple of icebreakers and then we'll move into the book questions.

1) Do you own any pets?

Define pet. We have all kinds of animals that we live with. Besides the basic companion animal varieties of cats and dogs, we also have goats, horses, chickens, geese, cattle, mm, let’s see, oh yea, and ducks. They are all friendly and enjoy attention, well except for the ducks. But that’s another story.

2) Are you a city girl or a country girl?

I am definitely a country girl and have only lived in cities for short periods of time during my life. I need wide open spaces.

3) Is A Story of the West your first published book?

It is. I had never even thought about writing, much less publishing a book, before attempting to tell this story.

4) The back of the book says you used first person narratives and historical accounts to research A Story of the West. Did you run across anything in these accounts that particularly struck you or surprised you?

People who lived before the modern conveniences of today amaze me. I doubt most of us who live now could manage the things they did to survive back then. Just think, with a total of only ten riders, cowboys drove herds of two thousand cattle from Texas to Montana. There were no fences to contain the wild longhorns, and certainly no rest stops or convenience stores to shop at.

5) I am always amazed at the amount of work that goes into writing and also by the tenacity of authors. Was there ever a time when you were writing A Story of the West that you became discouraged? How did you overcome it?

The main thing was that I didn’t pressure myself. I worked on my book sporadically and just to see if I could do it. Since I had very little writing experience, sometimes the words to describe a particular scene just didn’t come to me. Plus there were times when I thought that what I had written really sucked. When that happened, I just continued moving forward, putting down the story as well as I could. It took a lot of rewriting to get it right.

6) I really enjoyed reading about the beginning of Lavina and Matt's romance. What part of the book was the most fun for you to write?

The romance was fun to write about, as was thinking up all the twists and turns in the plot. The part that gave me the most satisfaction was the epilogue. Since I like tying up loose ends, it was fulfilling to write. By that time I was also planning a sequel, so I had fun thinking up elements that would carry over to the next book.

7) Are you working on something new right now?

The sequel will be out soon, but I can’t tell you the title, because I don’t have one. I did have a name I liked, but after googling the phrase, I found out that it’s also the name of an erotic short story. I think I’ll change my pending book title just to avoid any possible confusion. Except, you never know, it could help my book get noticed.

8) That is so funny! Do you have a website or somewhere that readers can keep up with your future endeavours?

I blog about ranch life, using photos to help tell stories. Lately I’ve been posting pictures of our new calves and my mare is getting ready to foal in the next couple of weeks, which is really exciting.

Rocking Seven Mile Blog

I also have a website that I use to post reviews of books I’ve enjoyed reading, plus other articles. www.writing-ranching.com

Thanks so much Susan! It has been fun getting to know you.


  1. I love her "pets." We live in a forested area where the animals wander in and about our place. Love the deer. They just can't eat my deck daisies. Otherwise they are welcome. We have goats and chickens and quail. Mountain lions like to stop by once in a while. The deer let me know when those big cats are nearby because we don't see one deer in the vicinity when that happens.

    I'll stop in to say hi to Susan. Thanks for her interview.

    1. That is fantastic! I would love to live somewhere that the animals came to visit.


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