Have you wondered why I chose two such incongruous subjects for my Texas Druids series? I mean what do Druids have to do with Texas? Well, to begin with there are Druids in Texas. Did you know that? Neither did I until my son happened across their website while helping me build this blog page. Now, I don’t know the first thing about these modern-day Druids, but I do know a little about Irish mythology and legend, and I love tales of the Old West. I grew up watching westerns on a little black and white TV with my dad, who was a native Texan and a great fan of John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart, Randolph Scott and a host of old time film cowboys. I also cut my romance reader’s teeth on western romances by Rosemary Rogers and her many emulators. So, when I decided to try writing a romance myself, I naturally chose to follow in their footsteps.
We were living in the Chicago area at the time and that gave me the idea to have my heroine live through the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. From there, she would journey west over the country’s new transcontinental railroad and meet a hunky hero somewhere along the way. Months, no, years of research went into plotting the path of her journey, creating plausible back stories for her and her Texas-born mystery man, inventing a truly nasty villain and working out all the plot twists. There was also the little matter of learning to write. I’d always had a taste for putting words together, but doing so in a concise, flowing manner didn’t come naturally. I suffered through many rewrites before daring to submit my baby to an editor, only to be told it wasn’t what they were looking for. More rejections followed, discouraging but instructive.
Paranormal romances had, by that time, come into vogue. I read my share, enjoying some, finding others too farfetched, and eventually I got the bright idea to add a paranormal element to my western romance. But what? Time travel? No, that was being done to excess already. Vampires or werewolves perhaps, or space aliens? No, no and no again! I wanted something a bit different, kind of far out but at the same time within the realm of possibility. In the midst of my dilemma I recalled a true life experience (several actually) I’d had years before, and that set me on the plotting path I’d been searching for.
The experiences I’m referring to occurred when I was pregnant with my first child – my son Dan. On several occasions I had prophetic dreams. No, I’m not making that up, I swear! One night I dreamt the Red Owl grocery store where my husband and I shopped had burned down. The very next day the local TV stations reported that a store in the Red Owl chain had, indeed, burned to the ground over night. It wasn’t the store where we shopped, but close enough. On another occasion I dreamt Ken was in a terrible car accident. That was scary! Within a day or two a good friend told us his cousin had been in a serious accident on the night of my nightmarish dream. Crazy!
Actually, I once read that such prophetic dreams are not uncommon among pregnant women. I’m guessing it has to do with hormones and their effect upon the brain. Be that as it may, those dreams of mine convinced me to give my heroine, Jessie Devlin, the gift of second sight – clairvoyance – and have her suffer a series of dreams and visions that send her west on a desperate search for the man she dreams about. And, because she’s Irish, it wasn’t much of a stretch to make her a descendant of ancient Druids, from whom she and her two siblings have each inherited a unique psychic talent.
To follow Jessie’s adventures in the wild west and witness her magical gift, purchase Darlin’ Druid at: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004asndes This Kindle book is priced to sell at just $3.99!