Girls Write Out
Friday, January 19, 2007
Hey bloggers, I'm happy to post a blog from our friend Susie Warren. Her new book Reclaiming Nick is just coming out. It makes it especially fun to post today because it's also my birthday. Shh, I'm 55 but don't tell anyone. Holy cow, I feel old today!

Just a cowgirl…

When I was little, I had a horse named Sun Dancer. He lived in my basement, in the corner, and his springs squeaked when I rode him. He ate things like Cheerios and potato chips, and on him, I galloped the rolling hills of Montana, chasing down them varmints who stole my pappy’s land.

Yeah, I wanted to be a cowgirl. But it ain’t easy to emulate Annie Oakley when you live in the suburbs. So I read a lot of Louis L’amour and dreamed of the day when I’d move west and start my dude ranch.

But my vision of ranching was Bonanza, and little Joe, and cute cowboys in Stetsons, and horses. It was Oklahoma and square dancing and rodeo. Boiled down, I thought ranching was a country music song.

I got news for you. It ain’t. I know because I spent a week playing cowgirl on a real ranch, helping the owners dig a water line, and riding fence. It’s hot, smelly work, with cows who don’t like being told what to do, and horses who’d just rather go home. And not only that, but the ranch, well, it was on the backside of nowhere, over the river and through and through and through the woods until we came to a place not on any map. I got a big red star in the middle of Montana when I Mapquested it.

And being there, I learned something. Sometimes the dream is better than reality. Sometimes the smell of the pumpkin-nutmeg latte is better than the taste, the look of the leather pants on the mannequin better than in the two-way mirror. Which, frankly, is why I like to read books, why I like to write. My imagination is richer. It contains a soundtrack, and lots of handsome, tan cowboys. Besides, no one really wants to hear about the hours spent watering the bulls. We want to cut to the fun parts, like when the bull chased me into the truck. Or when the stars came out over the Montana night and seemed close enough to pluck from the sky.

I had dinner recently with a friend who says, “I never read fiction because it isn’t true.” Yeah, well, that’s why it’s called, uh, you know, FICTION. But he says he doesn’t like to spend time focusing on things that don’t let him engage in the world. (He reads a lot of theology and political books – way too much brain food for me).

Here’s me saying that sometimes I don’t WANT to engage in the world. Like when the washing machine seal breaks and floods my basement. Or when the dog eats all the chocolate cake and his face blows up like a balloon. Or when my husband gets food poisoning and is sick in bed for two days. I need to close my door to the world and escape into Montana, or Alaska, or even the Lifetime movie channel. Because, hello, no one is sick in my imaginary world. It’s cleaner. And less smelly.

In short, give me my fiction, some chocolate and close the door behind you when you leave.

So, here’s to handsome cowboys and Bonanza and the FAKE world of ranching.

Now, I wonder what it’s like to be a fire fighter….

Susan May Warren let her imagination run wild in her new suspense/romance book, Reclaiming Nick, the modern-day story of a prodigal who heads home to his Montana ranch to face secrets, right old wrongs and restore the Noble legacy. Read an excerpt at
Colleen Coble  
posted at 9:24 AM  
  Comments (17)
Delicious Delicious
At 9:30 AM, Blogger Tina said...

She never reads fiction because it isn't true? That poor girl. :)

The hardest part of being a writer is losing time to read more fiction!

At 9:44 AM, Blogger Cara Putman said...

Happy, Happy Birthday, Colleen.

And I loved this book. It was a fun read.

At 11:41 AM, Blogger Diann Hunt said...

I'm with you, Susie! Give me chocolate, give me FICTION, give me a starry Montana sky and my man in a Stetson!!! Whoohooo!!!

Thanks for visiting Girls Write Out!!

At 11:50 AM, Blogger Rachel Hauck said...

Happy Birthday, Colleen!!!

Montana Sky is a great book. ;)


At 12:30 PM, Blogger Denise Hunter said...

Loved your blog, Susie! Thanks for joining us for the day.

Here's to escaping reality!

At 1:44 PM, Blogger Kayla said...

People wonder why I read so much.

They also wonder why I handle troublesome events so well.

And why I go to a bookstore when I'm sad.


Thank God for fiction! And chocolate.

At 1:47 PM, Blogger Ane Mulligan said...

"So, here’s to handsome cowboys and Bonanza and the FAKE world of ranching."

I'll life a coffee to that, Susan. :) Life's too short to spend it all on engaging the world.

At 9:19 PM, Blogger SaraBeth said...

Oh my soul - I am ROTFLOL right now. I have never been here before, but I was was checking out Kristin Billerbeck's site and saw the link. Wow. I have been readingold entries - y'all are so dang funny! Where does it come from?
I think I have read at least one - if not all - of y'all's novels. I'm pretty young (like 16), but I think they are so funny. Y'all are so funny! So anyway...happy brithday, Ms. Coble. And thanks to all of y'all for writing and cracking me up. I will definitely be checking this blog regularly! Oh and how do you decide who writes what day? Is it "preordained" or just spur of the moment?
Again - thanks!

At 9:51 PM, Blogger Denise Hunter said...

Welcome to the blog, Sarabeth!

To answer your question about the order of blogging, we've tried both scheduled and spontaneous. Spontaneous didn't work so well! So, we're back to order and organization which sits very well with my obsessive/compulsive self.

We generaly blog M-Th and sometimes invite a guest author to take Friday.

At 10:06 PM, Blogger SaraBeth said...

Thanks! And thanks for the info - that makes sense. ;) I have continued reading through the archives, and you don't know what a relief it is! I am taking a class this weekend so I can lifeguard this summer, and man! This is like a fresh, still-warm, oozy brownie for the brain!

At 2:33 AM, Blogger Pam S. said...

Good blog, Susan. Yep! You're totally right: Give me a fiction escape any time.

BTW my cowgirl horse (two ladders with a scaffold between them, set up in the yard when I was 10) was named SunDance. (Where did we come up with that name? Was that Little Joe's horse's name? Can't remember.)

Speaking of escape....I just finished reading FIRE DANCER last night. Wow! What a great (!!) escape (instead of writing next week's finals and grading piles of papers). That was a good-nail-biter read, Colleen. I never suspected you-know-who to be the arsonist. I think it's your best book yet! :0) I liked the way you put us inside of the skinwalker's head without telling us who he was. Very clever.

Happy birthday, Colleen! Hope it proves to be a great year...and that you write many more books as well-written as FIRE DANCER.

At 10:33 AM, Blogger Kristin said...

Susie, where is that cover???? Here I'm thinking oh good Susie's here we get her hot guy cover on our blog. BUT NOOOO she doesn't post it. Speaking of which, is that cover your screen saver? Just asking.

At 11:57 AM, Blogger Jenny said...

Happy Birthday, Colleen! You're on the 19th, I'm on the 20th and closing in fast. Let's just say we were born in pretty close the same decade ;-)

And Susie, I remember seeing that cover for Nick at the booksigning in Dallas--Whoa Mama! You are inviting him to this year's shindig, right? If ever a cover could cature a reader, that one can and will continue to do so (love my alliteration?). I get all warm and toasty right down to my toes just thinking about it!
Abundant blessings,
Jenny Cary

At 1:10 PM, Blogger Heather said...

Happy birthday Colleen!

Laughing at the "I never read fiction because . . ." comment. She hasn't figured out the allure, huh?

At 4:46 PM, Blogger Sally said...

I have to read enough serious, boring, non-fiction junk for work or projects or research...give me fiction!

Reading is fun, and non-fiction isn' my humble opinion (except for the John Grisham book I just finished, The Innocent Man...hard to believe stuff like that still happens)...anyway, give me fiction and chocolate, any day!

At 11:14 AM, Blogger Sassy Style said...

Happy Birthday, Colleen! I pray this next year of life is by far the best so far.
I agree, Susie, give me fiction and imagination to help the reality pill go down better. :)

Is it possible to change the settings to allow those who don't have a google or blogger account to post, too?
I used to be able to leave a comment with just my name and website.

At 11:16 AM, Blogger Sassy Style said...

Ack - I meant to sign my name to the above post since it requires a user name instead. :)



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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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