Today I welcome Dawne Prochilo to talk about what made her decide to write historical western romance.
I have always been an erotic / contemporary romance author but I do have a prolific writing background- from newspaper staff writer to online web content writer and my 12 novels- I have a wide range of writing.
I also have an expansive reading genre selection. Thrillers to suspense and all sub-genres of romance. But my one true love in the romance genre is westerns... historical westerns to be exact. I have never attempted to write westerns, let alone historical westerns. I've always been a contemporary/present day romance writer. So here I am challenging my writing abilities and styles. I am stoked!
Catherine Anderson, Carol Finch and Linda Lael Miller to name a few, have always been my idols and I love their writing styles, story premises and characters. So here I am, Dawne Prochilo- former erotic romance author, heading into the ranks of these amazing authors.
I started writing my historical western romance series (The Butlers of Willow Creek) about one month ago and have almost 9k into it. I am building the characters, learning the old weest lingo (with the help of a couple of research books purchased from eBay) and starting my own little old west town and story lines.
I am having so much fun with the era words, clothing, etc- I actually had to chuckle recently. I had sent over the first two chapters to a mentor's review. She writes cowboys and knows the lingo very well and I respect her opinion. Everything was perfect with the exception of the man pulling up his knickers... really? Yes, I laughed. She chuckled. I changed it to trousers and moved on.
There's just something about a cowboy calling a woman darlin', his swagger in his denim jeans, the way you just know he smells of leather and a hard day's work and the strut of confidence he has that makes me swoon- see, I got the word right.
It is all trial and error when writing about unfamiliar topics, centuries and all that goes along with them. I have discovered the story flowing from me, with a few roadblocks when I am stumped with verbage. I know the way I want the story to play out, I just need to make sure I say it the right way. My series is based in 1898 in the Northeast Colorado Territory and I want perfection and no reader to question a phrase or word.
I recently read a historical western based in the same era/decade and saw a few phrases that really stood out. One was 'a walk in the park'. Were there any parks in the 19th century old west? Doubtful. But when did that phrase really begin? Regardless, it stuck out like a sore thumb to me. Hence why I am taking my time, re-reading and editing as I go.
I am thrilled with my transformation back to contemporary romance, and even more anxious for this series to be completed and submitted. I do love challenging my writing abilities and hope to continue on with the western writing. I may have found my 'branding' in the business.