MK: History, Romance, Humor--and Cowboys! What a great way to describe your books! What is your favorite thing about writing cowboys?
MC: I have this working understanding of the old west that I've developed from reading Louis L'Amour books. The American West stripped away pretense and allowed men to be as strong as they could be, or if they were weak, it drove them back East or killed them off. That makes for great characters. Larger than life characters and they are really fun to write. The heroes, heroines and villains all become really fascinating.
MK: Because these are set in a place I love, please tell us a little about the Montana Marriages Trilogy. Do you have a favorite among the stories?
MC: Belle Tanner from The Husband Tree is possibly my favorite character of all time. She is just the toughest lady rancher you've ever seen. To find a man strong enough to handle her, even … TAME her … took all my writing skills. That was a really fun book to write.
MK: Will you tell us a little something about Ethan and Audra in your latest book In Too Deep? What inspired these characters?
MC: Ethan is the middle child in the Kincaid series. I tried to have three brothers with fairly typical traits based on their birth order. A bossy, protective older brother. A social, likeable, easy going middle brother, a spoiled, reckless little brother. Then I had a terrible tragedy that almost took the little brothers life, change them. I tried to leave them with their natural traits but twist them in a reaction to a traumatic event. So the bossy brother becomes a tyrant. The social brother becomes a shallow charmer. The reckless little brother becomes so daring he risks his life to the point of madness.
Audra has been under some man's thumb all her life and her life hasn't gone that well. She'd taking charge of her life and doing it right now. And if Ethan doesn't like it, she'll leave him trampled in the grass. Except it doesn't come naturally to her and Ethan's not real apt to issue a bunch of orders, so she'd having trouble finding someone to boss around. She and Ethan could probably go along happily for fifty years and never have much trouble, if people would just stop trying to kill them. Ethan find out when Audra's at risk, that his shallow feelings for her are getting deeper all the time.
MK: What got you started on the path to becoming a published author? Was it an easy road or did you have a few rewarding bumps along the way?
MC: It was a very hard road. I wrote for ten years before I got my first book published. I had twenty finished books on my computer on that fateful day. I did well in writer's contests and that kept me going. But honestly, looking back, I can't believe I persevered as long as I did. I may have just not wanted to dust my house!?
MK: What has been your greatest pleasure since becoming published?
MC: I love everything about writing and take great pleasure in all of it. I don't know if there has ever been a sweeter moment than the day I held my first book in my hands. I danced with it. I slept with it. I broke out into semi-hysterical laughter at unexpected moments. I can still remember the pure pleasure of that day.
MK: If you had to pick a time and place in one of your books to visit, which would it be and why?
MC: In the book, Deep Trouble my hero and heroin go into the bottom of the Grand Canyon. I would love to do that. I think I'll wait until they build a nice four lane highway down, though.
MK: What is your favorite non-writing pastime?
MC: Reading, crossword puzzles, sudoku puzzles. I know, all sedentary. Like it would kill me to go for a walk once in a while.
MK: Reading is such a fun pastime and worth every moment curled up with a book! So, you’re a regular contributor to the wonderfully named Petticoat & Pistols blog. What can a reader expect to read from you on the blog and when can they find you there?
MC: I try and bring comedy to the western flavor of the blog. I love that blog, everyday there is some really interesting tidbit of information about the west that is just fascinating.
MK: What is the best piece of advice given to you before becoming published?
MC: Write and keep writing. If you want to be a writer, you've got to write. You've got to finish something. You can learn everything you can about the craft of writing but if you don't write you won't get better.
MK: What do you have in store next for your readers?
MC: Coming in August, Book #3 or the Kincaid Brides Series, Over the Edge.
This one was so fun to write. The crazy brother, Seth Kincaid. And his wife is tired of having to do all the thinking in the family.
In Too Deep
History, Romance, Humor--and Cowboys!--from Bestselling Author Mary ConnealyIn 1866 Colorado, Ethan Kincaid agrees to a marriage of convenience with the same casual disregard he gives every decision. Audra Gilliland, young mother of two, accepts his proposal because she wants to stop being a burden to her newly married stepdaughter.And suddenly both of them are in far deeper than they'd planned.Ethan doesn't expect Audra to affect him so profoundly, and when she begins to, he's terrified of the pain he's felt before when someone he loved was seriously injured on his watch. He's determined that his new wife will do as he says so he can keep her safe from the dangers that lurk on their ranch.Audra has been cared for all her life by one man or another--and they've done a poor job of it. Now she's planning to stand up for herself. And her new husband had better agree or get out of her way! What will it take to transform two wayward hearts fearful of getting in too deep into two trusting hearts ready to risk falling deeply in love?
Out of Control
Julia Gilliland has always been interested in the natural world around her. She particularly enjoys her outings to the cavern near her father's homestead, where she explores for fossils and formations, and plans to write a book about her discoveries. The cave seems plenty safe--until the day a mysterious intruder steals the rope she uses to find her way out.Rafe Kincaid has spent years keeping his family's cattle ranch going, all without help from his two younger brothers, who fled the ranch--and Rafe's controlling ways--as soon as they were able. He's haunted by one terrible day at the cave on a far-flung corner of the Kincaid property, a day that changed his life forever. Ready to put the past behind him, he plans to visit the cave one final time. He sure doesn't expect to find a young woman trapped in one of the tunnels--or to be forced to kiss her! Rafe is more intrigued by Julia than any woman he's ever known, but how can he overlook her fascination with the cave he despises? And when his developing relationship with Julia threatens his chance at reconciliation with his brothers, will he be forced to choose between the family bonds that could restore his trust and the love that could heal his heart?
Find Mary Online!
Mary will be giving away a signed copy of Out of Control, Book #1 in the Kincaid Brides Series to one lucky commenter. Drawing will take place June 10th!