Heidi is a longtime writer, a journalist and a pre-published novelist. In addition to writing for herself, Heidi edits manuscripts for others and teaches classes in Memoir and Beginning Fiction Writing. Heidi lives in the Pacific Northwest. Her latest book series is on cowgirls. The books, Cowgirl Dreams and Follow The Dream tell the story of Nettie, a 1920s cowgirl.
I think it is a fresh idea that young adult readers will enjoy. I'm looking forward to everyone getting to know Heidi and Nettie better!
Welcome Heidi as she talks about the cowgirl behind the series. Enjoy!
The Cowgirl Behind Cowgirl Dreams and Follow the Dream
In a scrapbook my grandmother created is a clipping from the Sunburst Sun (Montana) newspaper, Aug. 26, 1922, that reads:
1:00 Parade of cowboys and cowgirls, headed by Cut Bank brass band
2:30 Tootsie Bailey will enter competition with entire field, riding wild steers with only one hand on cirsingle
Another clipping states “Tootsie Bailey won first and Mary (Marie) Gibson second prize in the steer riding.”
Marie Gibson was a well-known Montana cowgirl and won national awards for bronc riding.
Tootsie was my grandmother and she would have been 17 at that time. I did have the opportunity to spend time with her, ride horseback, and get to know her pretty well before she died suddenly when she was only 57 and I was 12.
I know that she was an avid horsewomen and that she was more at home on the back of a horse than behind a dust mop. My dad told me she had competed in rodeos, riding steers, when she was young. I kept thinking how courageous that was, especially as I got older and watched bull and bronc riders. Grandma was petite—five-feet two-inches and weighed a little over 100 pounds. I was amazed that she would pit herself against an animal that weighed 900 pounds or so, one whose sole purpose was to get that pesky rider off its back and then maybe stomp on her!
My character, Nettie, has a dream to become a rodeo star and the tenaciousness to follow that dream. In Cowgirl Dreams, during the 1920s, she faces family and social barriers to that dream. The sequel, Follow the Dream, finds her still holding on to her dream. But the drought and depression of the 1930s forces her to make some tough choices and rethink how her dream works in with her family and life in Montana.
Both books are available through my website http://www.heidimthomas.com/, from my publisher http://www.trebleheartbooks.com/SDHeidiThomas.html and from the normal on-line sources. Follow the Dream is also available on Kindle.
Heidi M. Thomas grew up on a ranch in eastern Montana and now lives in western Washington where she writes, edits for other authors, teaches community writing classes and blogs http://heidiwriter.wordpress.com She is a member of Women Writing the West (http://www.womenwritingthewest.org/, Skagit Valley Writers League (http://www.skagitwriters.org/) , Northwest Independent Editors Guild (http://www.edsguild.org/) and VBT—Writers on the Move (http://www.vbt-writersonthemove.blogspot.com/) .
Thanks to Heidi for guest posting today! If you'd like to meet and get to know another amazing author stop by Robert Medak's blog where Debra Eckerling will be guest posting.