Laura Sutton - When a City Girl Ends up on a Cattle Ranch

Laura Sutton - When a City Girl Ends up on a Cattle Ranch
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Laura Sutton writes romances and the compelling, sexy heroes that dominate those pages and the heroines that fall in love with them. Her day-to-day is full of time at the beach, playing fetch with her dogs in her backyard, and often thinking up new ideas and worlds that help bring her books to life. She's a small-town Texas girl who likes to dream big and put those big dreams down on the page. As our Author of the Day, Laura tells us all about her book, To Love Her Cowboys.

Please give us a short introduction to what To Love Her Cowboys is about.

To Love Her Cowboys follows Gywnn, Jason and Dean as they fall in love. It’s a steamy MFM menage story, but at its core is a romance. An unconventional romance, to be sure, but still a romance. After a year of putting it off, Gwynn has decided to finally take the plunge and become a fiction writer. She decides the best place to do this is away from the hustle and bustle from her hometown of Houston. She rents a house on a cattle ranch all the way out in West Texas for a few months to give her the peace and quiet she needs to finally write her book. What she doesn’t count on is meeting not one but two sexy cowboys.

Jason and Dean are best friends who served in the army together and both are instantly attracted to the curvy, shy, intelligent woman that will live on the ranch for the next few months. Instead of fighting over her affections, they decide to share them instead and quickly fall in love with everything about her.

When she finishes the book faster than expected, they can’t expect her to stay. She’s like a bright a star in the Texas sky, beautiful and wondrous, but surely what they have together can’t last. Or maybe it’s a love meant forever.

What inspired you to write this story?

I’m from Texas and I have grown up around cowboys and cattle ranches my entire life. I’ve always heard the old advice, “write what you know”, so I did just that for the first book I published. Also, cattle ranches and the isolation found in West Texas is beautiful and unique in its own right. Plus, cowboys are sexy, so that helps.

Tell us more about Gwynn. What makes her tick?

Gwynn grew up in her beautiful mother’s shadow, never measuring up to her exacting demands. It’s hard for women to find their beauty (and all women are beautiful; we don’t have to fit a specific mold to be beautiful), and to have a mother who picked at her flaws made it even harder. Gwynn always used books and writing as an escape, so to find love and appreciation for that and not just physical looks means a lot to her.

Don’t be mistaken, Jason and Dean find her incredibly sexy but that is hard for to believe after a life of hearing she wasn’t good enough. Really, I think Gwynn is like a lot of us, wanting to be loved for who she is, flaws and all, and discovering her self-worth along the way.

Why did you pick a cattle ranch in West Texas as the backdrop for your story?

I think there is still a certain mystique to cattle ranching, something everyone loves. I grew up around some of the oldest and largest cattle ranches not just in the United States but in the world, and it’s still a little awe-inspiring to see them do things like round-ups. Plus, if I wanted to get away from the world for a little bit, West Texas is probably one place I would go, it’s beautiful and still a little desolate. I would probably get a ton of writing done if I could do like Gwynn and unplug my world for a time.

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Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?

I’m a great cook! Like really good, there’s not much in the kitchen I can’t do and it’s a skill I took for granted until I went off to college and realized LOTS of people can’t cook. My best dishes are probably my fried chicken with roasted garlic mashed potatoes, and I make a fantastic chicken-fried steak, a Texas specialty.

Why, would you say, are cowboys so enticing?

I think cowboys speak to a sense of freedom we all want; they aren’t bound by the confines of an office, though cows wait for no man. Also, I think it’s the swagger they possess. Not much is sexier than confidence, after all. It doesn’t hurt that they look good in their jeans, have sexy arms… and when they tip their cowboy hats and say “ma’am” with a grin, you can’t help but melt a little.

Which character was the most challenging to create?

Probably Dean. He was a little more closed off and reserved, and I had to dig to get to know him and make him express himself on the page. He really is the big, silent type, and that’s hard to convey when writing a character sometimes.

Do any of your characters ever go off on their own tangent, refusing to do what you had planned for them?

ALL THE TIME. Sometimes I’ll set out to write a scene, something I’ve carefully plotted, and the characters have minds of their own and take it somewhere totally different from what I planned for them. In a different book, I had the ending planned where my hero’s vile sister is mean to the woman he has fallen in love with, and he stands up for his girl. When I wrote it though, the heroine said, “Nope, I don’t need to be saved; in fact, I need to save my guy!” and she tells off his sister instead. It was not at all what I set out to write, but it suited the story and the characters MUCH better.

Is there an underlying message you wish to relay about basic human nature through your characters?

That we all deserve to have love, and that we will eventually find it. You don’t need to be perfect to find your person, they will love your imperfections as much as you love theirs.

When working on a new book, what’s the first thing you do?

Oh, gosh. Once I have the idea, I build my characters. I firmly believe you can’t have a good story without excellent characters. If you don’t know the ins and outs of them, how will you know how they'll react in different situations? So I do in-depth character sheets I always have on hand when I’m writing the story.

Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?

I aim for 2,500 words a day, but I don’t beat myself up if I don’t make it. Some days life only allows me the time for 400 or 500 words and that’s okay. As long as I’m writing, I’m happy with myself.

Do you have any interesting writing habits, what’s your average writing day like?

I still work a regular nine-to-five job, which I love. I work for a small museum as a curator and marketing director. So I do most of my writing at night, sitting at my desk in my bedroom. Pre-COVID I had a local deli/coffee shop I loved going to, as well, to sit and work, so I’m looking forward to getting back to that soon!

I’m lucky that I have fantastic friends who also write romance fiction, and we do writing sprints every night, usually kind of late in the evening when we can each escape from our everyday lives. We usually get in three to five 20-minute sprints, so for me, that’s between 1,600 to 2,000 words. It’s nice because it doesn’t feel like I’m working alone, even if my friends are all around the country, and doing it in twenty-minute intervals makes it feel not overwhelming.

What are you working on right now?

I’m currently writing a new series that is a little darker than my first. It is about four brothers who grew up in a Mafia crime family. Each brother is dark and dangerous and oh-so-sexy in their own way. I’m hoping to get the first of those books out, including a prequel novella, at the end of October. I’m excited to stretch myself as a writer with this series and create even more complex and interesting characters.

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Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?

The best place to reach me and stay informed with my upcoming books and insider extras– including bonus content and giveaways– is via my newsletter. You can sign up here:

http://eepurl.com/gG6nRD
I’m also fairly active on social media mostly Facebook and Instagram: https://www.facebook.com/LauraSuttonAuthor/
https://www.instagram.com/laurasuttonauthor/
You can also follow me on Amazon and Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19873941.Laura_Sutton
https://www.amazon.com/Laura-Sutton/e/B07Z49WWJL 

Susan Rooke - A Mixture of Fantasy and All Things Heaven and Earth
FEATURED AUTHOR - Susan Rooke is a multiple Pushcart nominee, Best of the Net and Dwarf Stars nominee, and author of the Space Between series. Her poems and short stories have appeared in publications such as The Christian Science Monitor and The Twilight Zone Magazine, among many others. She and her husband live surrounded by cows on a square of green, peaceful country in Central Texas. When she's not writing speculative fiction and poetry, she blogs fortnightly about real life, food and cocktails at SusanRooke… Read more