Although you can read The Final Ride without reading Give the Lady a Ride first, to catch all the fun, it’s best to read them in order.
For those who don’t know it already, I’ll share with you where the idea for Give the Lady a Ride came from: television. Two shows, both on Country Music Television (CMT).
Cowboy U was a reality show that aired from 2003 to 2007. It featured eight city slickers who had to learn all about ranch life. The first thing that happened when the contestants arrived at the ranch-of-the-season was their luggage was exchanged for cowboy duds. That meant the women had to do without their nail polish and electric hair dryers.
Activities, aside from adjusting to a more rustic lifestyle and learning to ride a horse, included calf-scrambling, steer wrestling, barrel racing, and yes, bull riding. Even the women had to learn.
The show’s stars, Rocco Wachman and Judd Leffew, used a type of bucking device to teach their dudes to ride. Sometimes it was a barrel suspended by ropes between two trees, sometimes an actual bucking machine. The former bull rider I interviewed said he’d start his riders off with a bull rope on a horse–so that’s what I did. If you haven’t read Give the Lady a Ride, you missed out on the scene with the New York socialite bouncing on the back of Tandy, a dapple gray quarter horse, with nothing to hold on to but the bull rope at Tandy’s withers.
Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed the show. It was always fun watching these folks shift from having their noses turned up to truly enjoying the challenge. Since Patricia’s father was raised on a ranch in Texas, I wondered how she would respond, being a society woman with the wild West lying dormant in her blood.
Once Cowboy U was taken off the air, Ty Murray, founding member of Professional Bull Riders, Inc. (PBR), stepped to the chute. Ty hosted some stars from TV, movies, and sports on their 2000-acre ranch right close to Stephenville, Texas. Since my family once owned a ranch out there, I put my imaginary Circle Bar Ranch in the area. Of course, I took a little license with some of the rodeo arenas in my story, but the location is the same.
Some of the folks involved in Ty Murray’s Celebrity Bull Riding were musician Vanilla Ice, actor Stephen Baldwin, Ultimate Fighter Josh Haynes. These guys and several others got the full bull-riding experience–thrown, hooked, stomped; broken arms, cracked ribs. Ty started his riders off on the barrel too, and when they graduated from his school, they rode an 1200-pound bull in a live PBR rodeo. But, compared to the real riding professionals, they looked a bit like cyclists with training wheels.
Both shows were fun for the same reason it’s fun to watch anyone adjust to being out of their element. Take your fish-out-of-water comedy, where the players take everything seriously, and throw some animals into the mix, and you’ll get a few giggles. Of course, I got more than that. I got a spark to my imagination.
New York socialite Patricia Talbert is my “fish out of water,” ranch foreman/bull rider Talon Carlson is the man with the bait, and the bull, Mostro, is thrown into the mix to make the story one fun ride!
The cast returns in The Final Ride, along with some new folks to the show. I’ll share them with you in the following weeks, let you get to know the characters I’ve spent the past year developing. I think you’ll get a kick out of them.
Meanwhile, Give the Lady a Ride is on Amazon, and the Kindle version of The Final Ride is ready for pre-order on Amazon. I’ll have the print version available for pre-order this week, too.
No harm in admitting TV can be a source of inspiration. Although lately I find the majority of shows on cable TV are divided into murder investigations and home reno shows. I wish some of our more valued shows would be seen on re-runs more often.
After Gary Dahl, inventor of the “Pet Rocks” craze of the 1970’s died (at the age of 39 he invented Pet rocks – making 1.5 million selling 2 tons of rocks), I wrote a poem on his experience. Then I wrote of all possible sources of inspiration – two were on TV – at 17 he may have seen Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz in the movie: “The Long, long Trailer” where she collects rocks and stores them in a side cupboard of the trailer. He may have also been inspired by the Flintstones – one of the first cartoons geared to adults as well – which he may have watched when he was 24.
How cute that your poem was inspired by that. Love it! 😀
How fun to see behind the scenes to what inspired the stories.The two books are indeed a fun ride. Love the backdrop, the plot, and the characters, not to mention the great writing that brings it all to life.
Actually my poem was inspired by reading his story after Gary Dahl died. He had a more monetarily lucrative inspiration – first by his friends in a bar who were complaining about the high cost of Vet bills, when he commented they should have pet rocks instead. Some wanted to share credit for his idea and part of his money that he made. (If anything – the residents in the area of Rosarito beach in Mexico where he got the rocks should have got a percentage.) I then wrote about all possible sources of inspiration for Pet rocks. I speculated on the whole variety of possible contributions to his idea of pet rocks – including the many rock fences, walls, buildings in many countries from Ireland, Scotland, Israel, Palestine, Afganistan etc.This shows that many ideas are slowly developing in our mind and can come from a variety of sources. He later came to regret the impact on his life that the pet rock phenomenon had as it complicated his life so much.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Sad that it complicated his life.
Oh, wow, I remember when you first shared the inspiration for Ride way back on CW!
Feels like forever ago!
Pingback: Story of the Writer: Linda Yezak | The Writing Train: Join the locomotion
Pingback: Story Idea: The Final Ride | 777 Peppermint Place