Hello Linda: Thank you for having me as your guest today. For those who don’t know me, I’m western historical romance author, Julie Lence. To date, I have self-published 7 novels and 2 short Christmas stories.
Writing romance is not a career I would have chosen when I was a young. Like many little girls, I wanted to be a teacher. In my teens, I wanted to be a secretary. I was taking shorthand classes in high school and enjoyed them. But then, I married young and entered the work force in the accounting field, mostly working for banking institutions and the Air Force. It wasn’t until I began reading Judith McNaught and Johanna Lindsey did I contemplate a career writing romance.
The road to becoming published was long and filled with trial and error. I first began writing contemporary romance then switched to western historical. Why? Because I read somewhere to write ‘what I know and what I love’. I love horses, and knew some things about them. I also love cowboys and ranch houses, thanks to John Wayne’s western movies. Covered wagons and stagecoaches, old towns and sawdust on a saloon floor, and a good gun battle top my list of favorites. I also had a love for the television show ‘Dallas’. The family bond, along with the backstabbing and romance kept me engrossed weekly.
Initially, incorporating all of these things was easy for me. At the time, I didn’t know the term ‘world building’ but that’s exactly what I was doing when I created the Weston Family. Like Dallas, the Westons live on the family ranch, with plenty of horses. Also like Dallas, I created three brothers, Lucas, Royce and Creel. Unlike Dallas, the brothers didn’t stab each other in the back, but they did wrestle and argue amongst themselves, and they had a rival family in the Jansens. To further fuel my passions, I set the series back in the old west. Fictional Coyote, Colorado was born, complete with Sam’s saloon. Poker and gambling found their way into the stories, as two of my females played cards as a means of survival.
World building within a series requires time, devotion and a notebook to keep plot points and characters in order. But it’s also fun and rewarding. The Westons started with a ranch and expanded to San Francisco, a fictional town in Texas and the eastern slopes of the continental divide as a fourth story was born and recently released.
Some other things I enjoy when not writing are family, home, exploring the old west and meeting fans of the romance genre. You can find me on Facebook, Google and Goodreads. Stop by and say hello, ask a question or tell me something you like about cowboys and the old west. Chaps and Wranglers come to mind. Stetsons and a slow drawl, too. I’ll be sure to respond back.