Since I began my research for Roping Venus, I’ve met some wonderful people, like Raechel Bailey Kolb, from the organization, Women Writing the West. Raechel contacted me in response to a poll I had set up in that site, and we’ve been in contact ever since. She is a wife, restauranteur, artist, and horse lover, but her site, Intriguing Trails, illustrates her true favorites: writing and trail riding. As a long-standing member of the AERC (American Endurance Ride Conference), she has logged in over six thousand miles of endurance riding in some of America’s most beautiful country side, and her books are derived from her experiences.
One of those rides led to a series of books–Wait. Why don’t I just let her tell you:
How did you come to be a writer?
I have always loved writing. But the novel was a step I hadn’t considered until I was laid up with mono in 2006. A good friend told me that I should write a book. After an adventure with a friend that turned unexpectedly into an overnight stay in the Colorado wilderness, I sat down at my computer. One thing led to another, and a book was born, then another, and another and… well, they just keep coming.
How long have you been writing?
I wrote my first words before I was in kindergarten. My older sister used to come home and teach me what she learned. As a result, I was writing two years ahead of my grade level. When I was in sixth grade, my first sonnet was published in the high school newspaper after my sister entered it in a competition. I won, beating the best that our gifted high school offered. It was about a phantom horse that ran in my dreams. I still remember some of the lines, but regrettably, I don’t have any copies of it.
When was your first book published?
We exchanged a series of emails recently–which you titled “Sugar or Spice” — in which we were trying to decide how to categorize your writing, whether G, PG or R. You elected R.
Yes, my writing is adult fiction. I would not recommend my work to children younger than 15 (if I hesitate to let my 15 year old read it, I won’t publish it). I don’t perceive my writing as bubble-gum innocent. Sometimes what I don’t say is more suggestive than what I do… Such is the power of being an author.
Tell us about your latest book.
Margarita on the Rocks is an exciting romance with a southwestern, spicy twist. There is no doubt that this novel is saucy with some edgy sensuality. It is iconoclastic, and while the reader may just take a fun romp, most will find an intriguing surprise. The story takes place in the old mining town of Globem, Arizona, and travels through the Superstition Mountains, Horseshoe Bend on the Salt River, Paradox, Colorado, and Silver City, New Mexico. Think about those names! How fantastic that we have such terrific places for settings!
This book is a companion to A Dance Around the Desert, offering more intrigue and suspense to the characters in that novel. While each of my novels are self sustaining, they also play a role in a larger story. Such is life, after all. We play roles in the lives of people we’ve never met. At times, our actions create ripples that cross time and distance to impact people who have never heard of us.
Where do you get ideas for stories?
Every story has an element of truth. I write my best when I’ve “been there, done that.” I’ve been in love, lust, and longing. Sometimes names draw a story right out of the computer! “Margarita” means daisy in Spanish. It’s my favorite drink and I love the song about “wasting away in Margaritaville.” All of my novels live within a horse community and offer some adventure with horses. I’ve ridden my horse in so many different situations, conditions, places and ways that I’ll never run out of ideas. Fifteen thousand miles on horseback gives one a great number of hours to contemplate the meaning of life. I’ve ridden my horse all over this country on endurance rides and pack trips. I’ve been lost and found. The greater problem is deciding which to include in what story and how to keep a handle on my words.
Tune in Wednesday for more from Raechel. Between now and then, if we’ve piqued your interest, you can reach her through her website www.intriguingtrails.org. You’ll find more about her books there, including her book ordering and contact information. She welcomes emails and would love to exchange ideas with anyone who is willing to come along the trails!