Sara Daniel Romance Author: Tuesday Toolbox - Listen to Your Muse @HolleyTrent's Muse Likes #Cowboys

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tuesday Toolbox - Listen to Your Muse @HolleyTrent's Muse Likes #Cowboys

My Muse Like Cowboys
by Holley Trent

Last fall, I was on Colorado’s 287 driving south to a meeting—doing my usual in-car sing-along to…oh, I want to say "Panic! at the Disco." Suddenly, with the mountains of the Front Range in view, my muse plopped her mouthy self into the front passenger seat and said, “Hey, you need write a cowboy romance.”

Naturally, I scoffed. I’m a Carolina girl (lapsed, but still). We didn’t have ranchers back east. We just had farmers. What do I know about cowboys (beyond the fact they tend to wear their jeans quite well)?

Muse said, “You’re thinking too literally. You can tell a cowboy story without it being a treatise on ranch management.”

And I said, “Oh yeah? You want to tell me what, precisely, this story should be about? ’Cause I’m plenty busy already.”

Muse said, “Picture it. A single dad workaholic living in the middle of the Wyoming boonies.”

I said: “Wyoming?”

Muse said: “Yeah? Remember that road trip through southeastern Wyoming and that never-ending dirt road that tested the mettle of your marriage?”

I said, “Oh. That. That was…educational.”

Muse said: “Now imagine a community so sparsely populated because of the size of the ranches that most of the kids are home-schooled.”

Me: “Uh…”

Muse said: “And because few people are really qualified to home-school those kids, a couple of those ranchers have to hire a tutor from a service.”

Me: “Ah. I see where you’re going here.”

Muse: “Fish out of water. Carolina beauty queen intellectual versus stubborn Wyoming rancher.”

Me: “Hmm. I might could work it. Can I have a big cast?”

Muse: “The biggest. Grey’s Anatomy didn’t have a cast this big.”

Me: “So I can write in some insane secondaries. Can I make it snarky?”

Muse: “The snarkiest, babe. I’ve got an idea for a sidekick named Phil. He can be this book’s resident misanthrope. Oh! And a bossy mother. You can have one of those, too.”

Me: “Okay. I’m tempted. Maybe after NaNoWriMo.”

Muse: “No. NOW. You don’t want to ignore me. Remember what happened last time?”

Me: *glowers*

Muse: “Oh. Since it’s going to be a doorstopper of a book, anyway, why not just go on ahead and add in a secret baby?”

Me: “Leave.”

Muse: “Fine. Be back next week. I have an idea for a—”


And, that’s how the story of Ronnie and John came to be. It’s called Teaching the Cowboy and will be trotting into e-readers sometime this fall. Watch the TtC page my blog to learn more.

Holley Trent writes contemporary and paranormal romances with Southern sass. Her previous Musa releases are the chick-litty Executive Decision and Her Resident Jester. Holley's comedic paranormals Mrs. Roth’s Merry Christmas and Love by Premonition.

Learn more about Holley and her upcoming works on her website and blog. Stay in touch with Twitter.


  1. Love your muse, Holley. I only wish mine were as pushy! Good luck with Teaching the Cowboy!

    1. I've found the best way to lure my muse out is to tell myself I'm taking a break. :(

  2. Very a-muse-ing blog Holley. The plot sounds very promising. Look forward to seeing it on the shelves.

    1. Thanks, Susan! It was a really fun book to write.

  3. Oh, I'm jealous. I'm a Idaho girl stuck in Carolina :( My husband is from Colorado, and everytime we visit his family, I burst into tears. I miss those mountains! They are definitely muse-wakers!

    1. Sigh, to switch places with ya. I got all verklempt at RWA a couple of weeks ago because I was *so close* to home, but not quite.

  4. Love the blog and love cowboys! Had one for a husband once. sigh. Congrats on another awesome book. I look forward to reading it.

    1. It's a long one! Fingers crossed it doesn't grow too much during editing.

  5. Sounds like your Muse has got the upper hand, Holley! LOL! Best wishes to both of you on your newest collaboration! Cheers!

    1. I don't know why I'm surprised she's as bossy as she is. I *did* lure her out with promises of fame and fortune. :-\

  6. ha ha ha. That's one pushy muse. Mine might start to get some ideas.

    1. She's got me on a leash most days. It's exhausting.