Friday, December 17, 2010

One y'all in a story does not make him a cowboy.

So, I have to admit, I love cowboys.

Love them.

Come from a long line of them.

I love how they’re prideful and strong. I love how they look. I love jeans and chaps. I love the drawl from the Texan version and the craggy lines from the mountain version. I love the hands of the ropers, the mouth scars of the roughstock boys. Boots, hats, trucks, dogs – I’m in.

It’s my heritage.

This is why last night I went hunting cowboy romance and… Wow.

Wow.

I have Texas and mountain cowboys in my family. I know literally hundreds of cowboys.

They’re vain. They’re close-knit at best. There’s a code that you either follow or… shit, I don’t even know what the 'or' is.

When I want to read cowboys, I don’t want to read a strange white-washed, generic romance hero plopped into a Stetson and boots because that’s what popular and that’s what sells right now. I want to read a man like the amazing men I grew up with. I want to hear the sound of my life – the tone and phrases that any ranch-raised girl knows means ‘I’m here and it’s going to be okay now, baby girl’. I want to believe in the story.

In other words, the only horseshit I want to smell needs to be from the horse, or I can’t get into the story. I’m tired of choosing a book and getting four pages in and discovering that the author has obviously never been to a rodeo once, much less once a week for every rodeo season she’s been alive.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve written Italians after only spending a few weeks in Italy. I’ve written an eco-terrorist without actually having blown anything up. I get it. We’re writers. We research and do our best. Hell, my editors pray daily that I write a book where the characters speak and think in ‘proper’ English (don’t hold your breath, y’all).

But sometimes a girl just wants to get in bed with her Kindle and read a love story with a cowboy. A real, recognizable cowboy.

You know what they say, don’t call him a cowboy until you see him ride.

1 comment:

Lisa Sirmons Edwards said...

‘I’m here and it’s going to be okay now, baby girl’
Yep - that's it, that's the dividing line, right there. (And I'm not sure how, but you make it work for mm too!)