Heidi Thomas Book Tour
I’m delighted to introduce my friend Heidi M. Thomas, whose novel Dare to Dream has just been released by Globe Pequot Press/TwoDot, part of a trilogy about her grandmother who dreamed of being a rodeo cowgirl and went after that dream.
I met Heidi at a writers conference in Seattle, and now we share a publisher and an editor. This post is part of Heidi’s virtual book tour, so please come along and see what she has to say. Then let’s have a conversation with our comments. ~Janet
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by Heidi M. Thomas
Working outdoors and riding horses was Grandma’s life. She loved it more than anything, and I think she wanted to instill that love in me as well. I did enjoy it and I helped my dad round up our cattle for branding and shipping, but it was part of the “chores” of ranch life for me. It wasn’t my life’s dream.
After my grandmother died when I was 12, I was looking through photo albums with my dad, and he said, “Your grandma rode steers in rodeos, and she beat Marie Gibson (a world champion bronc rider from Montana).”
I thought that was about the coolest thing a girl could have as a memory, and I carried it around in the back of my mind for many years—until I was an adult and had years of journalistic writing under my belt. I wanted to tell my grandmother’s story, but I decided to write it as a novel, so I could explore the feelings she must have had during a time of opposition to women riding roughstock with men, of having to put her rodeo dream aside to raise a family, of moving more than 20 times during the 1930s when drought drove them from one abandoned homestead to another and finally 400 miles over steep mountain passes with their horse herd to find grass.
That first novel, Cowgirl Dreams was set in the 1920s, the sequel Follow the Dream in the 1930s, and Dare to Dream has completed the trilogy, set during the war years of the 1940s. In this new book, our heroine Nettie Moser completes her rodeo dream by mentoring two young neighbor girls in trick riding, since the national cowboy association the RAA no longer allowed women to compete in roughstock. This story is more fiction than the others, since to my knowledge my grandmother did not get into mentoring (unless you count me).
So, from that tiny tidbit of family history has come a novel trilogy (with two or three more books planned to round out the family saga) and a non-fiction book about the old-time cowgirls of Montana, Cowgirl Up!, to be released September 2 by Globe Pequot Press/TwoDot.
Little did I know…
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Good news, blog readers! Everyone who comments on this post today has a chance to win a prize. If you join the conversation you may be the winner! Please leave a comment with your (regular) T-shirt size to be placed in a drawing for a Cowgirl Up! shirt (design at right).
Tomorrow, May 7, Heidi’s blog tour host will be Brenda Whiteside. You’ll find Brenda’s blog at http://brendawhiteside.blogspot.com. Heidi and Brenda will be happy to see you there.
Thank you for visiting. ~Janet