I love writing about cowboys. Why? Because cowboys live by a code of honor. They are raised to work hard, be polite, and to take care of their families. Sure, there are those that call themselves cowboys who don’t adhere to the cowboy code, but to me they aren’t the real thing.
I was born in Lubbock, Texas. My parents grew up picking cotton, working in the fields from dawn to dusk on the days they weren’t in school. It was a hard life, but my grandparents were no nonsense people who worked hard themselves and taught their children well. My dad gave me an example to look up to and a yardstick by which I could measure any future potential husbands. He was a gentleman, a good provider, and a strong but quiet man who loved his family though he rarely actually said so.
When I met my husband, I saw those same strong, quiet qualities in him and I was instantly hooked. That’s how it is for my heroines, too. They see what they want and they’ll fight–sometimes themselves–to get it. They want a man who has values, a man who knows God is an important part of his life though he doesn’t speak of it often. They want a man who will love them, and only them, for the rest of their lives. A man who won’t be tempted to stray, or to leave them alone for any reason other than death.
In my Lone Star Cowboys series, I tried to infuse my heroes with the cowboy code, to make them men any woman would be proud to call their own. They work hard, they live by the code, and they would die to protect their families. They’re quick to offer a helping hand to their neighbors while reluctant to be on the receiving end. It would never occur to them to live off a government handout. That just isn’t done.
They are kind to kids and animals, and would never raise a hand in anger unless to someone trying to hurt someone they love. They know how to ride a horse and shoot a gun, pull a calf or build a barn. They are strong enough to fight a brush fire, smart enough to manage a ranch, and inventive enough to figure out how to earn a living miles from the nearest town.
And after thinking about these things, I realize these are qualities I saw in my father and uncles, and ones I see in my husband and my cousins. (At least the ones who still live on and work the land.) No, they aren’t perfect, but they are honorable men and to me that makes them worthy of being called a cowboy.
I’ve never been particularly attracted to a man in a suit. Give me a pair of snug Wranglers, some dusty boots, and a hand-tooled leather belt any day.
So what kind of man attracts you? Do you find that you read books about those kinds of men? If you’re a writer, do you tend to write about a certain type of hero? Cowboy or tycoon? Which would you choose?
In my upcoming release, The Bluest Eyes in Texas, I continue the Lone Star Cowboys series with Nancy (Megan and Carol’s friend) and Cooper Saunders, a professional bull rider who is being forced into retirement due to injuries. The rodeo is all Cooper has known since he was in high school and he’s feeling a bit lost. Nancy helps him find his way and gives him a reason to keep going. And together they help a critically injured little girl get back on her feet. Look for The Bluest Eyes in Texas sometime in February. You can check out my book list at http://amzn.com/e/B004FVIOG2 .