Saturday, October 22, 2016

Interview with Historical Author Heidi Thomas

Heidi M. Thomas grew up on a working ranch in eastern Montana, riding and gathering cattle for branding and shipping. Her parents taught her a love of books, and her grandmother rode bucking stock in rodeos. She followed her dream of writing, with a journalism degree from the University of Montana. Her first novel, Cowgirl Dreams, won an EPIC Award and the USA Book News Best Book Finalists award, and her second novel, Follow the Dream, won a WILLA Literary Award. Dare to Dream, the third in the novel trilogy, was a finalist in the International Book Awards. Cowgirl Up! is Heidi’s first non-fiction book and won the Global E-Book Award for non-fiction/history.

Welcome to my blog. Please tell us about your book: Cowgirl Up! A History of Rodeo Women.

When someone says “Cowgirl Up!” it means to rise to the occasion, don’t give up, and do it all without whining or complaining. And the cowgirls of the early twentieth century did it all, just like the men, only wearing skirts and sometimes with a baby waiting behind the chutes. Women leaned to rope and ride out of necessity, helping their fathers, brothers, and husbands with the ranch work. But for some women, it went further than that. They caught the fever of freedom, the thirst for adrenaline, and the thrill of competition, and many started their rodeo careers as early as age fourteen.

This book won the Global E-book Award for non-fiction/history. Where did you get your inspiration for this story?

This book was inspired first by my grandmother who rode bucking stock in rodeos during the 1920s. The research I did for the novel trilogy based on her life led to a non-fiction history of those women who competed with men on bucking broncs, bulls and steers.

What kind of research did you do?

I read books about the old-time cowgirls, researched newspaper articles, I had stories my dad told me about my grandmother, and I interviewed descendants of some of the cowgirls.

America is known for their rodeos. What makes you so interested in cowgirl and rodeo history?

My grandmother. After she passed away when I was about 12, my dad and I were going through some photo albums and he made a casual remark: “Did you know Grandma rode steers in rodeos?” I knew she loved horses and preferred riding the range to domestic chores, but that tidbit of information intrigued me. I filed it away until many years later when I decided to write a book to tell her story. That casual remark led to four published books!

Where can my readers find you online?

Twitter: @heidiwriter

Thank you for this interview, Heidi. I hope my readers will check out this book.

29 comments:

Library Lady said...

My granddaughter is a cowgirl at heart. If I win, I will give this book to her.
Thanks for entering me in your giveaway.
Janet E.
von1janet(at)gmail(dot)com

Jana Leah B said...

This book sounds fascinating. Thanks for the chance.
turtle6422(at)gmail(dot)com

Michele said...

I love horses and non-fiction! This looks awesome. Thank you.

shermie40 at yahoo dot com

karen chappell said...

Thanks for the chance to win a copy of this book.

karen chappell said...

Kisajtoo@gmail.com ,sorry i forgot!

Meredith said...

This book sounds great! I don't think I've ever seen much written about rodeo women. meredithfl at gmail dot com.

slogan1990 said...

This sounds like a great read!


stheissen1990@yahoo.com

jean602 said...

I'd love to read this book.It sounds fantastic thanks for the chance.

jean602 said...

jean60212@gmail.com

jean602 said...

jean60212@gmail.com

Linda Moffitt said...

This looks like a very interesting book. Thank you for sharing it with us and for the chance to win a copy. My email is iamabho (@) gmail . com

Linda Moffitt said...

This looks like a very interesting book. Thank you for sharing it with us and for the chance to win a copy. My email is iamabho (@) gmail . com

Melanie Backus said...

Sounds like a great read!

mauback55 at gmail dot com

Heidiwriter said...

Thank you all for commenting and entering the give-away. If you're not the "lucky winner" I hope you will still get the book and also check out my "Cowgirl Dreams" novel trilogy that is based on my grandmother. Cowgirl Up!

deana dick said...

What a great book. I would love to read it. My granddad had a farm so I was always around horses, cows etc. I loved going there and being in the open country. Thank you for the chance. I would be honored to read your book.

Jane Hirsch said...

I have the pleasure of knowing Heidi. She is such a remarkable "lady" in every way. Not only have I read all of her books, I am honored to have her for our instructor in "How to write Historical Fiction". She has taught a class of 3 of us for the past several years and has a wealth of amazing information she shares with us to help us begin our (hopeful) career in writing. Her books are the best. If you enjoy reading about rodeo and the old west, you will be enthralled with all of her books!! I highly recommend them!

Tia Dalley said...

I am obsessed with cowboys and cowgirls, boots, and chaps! I would love to win this and read about the rodeo!


videoclimber AT yahoo DOT com

Edye Nicole said...

I love the sound of this books! I'd give this as a gift to my friend :)

mia2009(at)comcast(dot)net

Sonja said...

Now, this sounds so fun to read. As a little girl I always wanted a horse. But of course, never got one. I would love to read this!

LAWonder said...

This sounds like a fun, unique story. I love historical anything!
'It reminds me of some of my Dad's tales.
Thank you for he fun Interviews and giveaways.

Cynthia P said...

This book sounds very interesting. I don't think I've heard of many women doing what the men do at the rodeo.

James Coyne said...

I would love to read this book

Jeanna Massman said...

This sounds like a great book. Thanks for the giveaway!

Jeanna Massman said...

Oops, forgot my email! jeanna_massman(at)hotmail(dot)com

Krystal Larson said...

Thank you very much for the chance! edysicecreamlover18 AT gmail DOT com

Jennifer Ortiz Cruz said...

Thanks for the chance!
ocjenny1991(at)gmail(dot)com

Linda Weaver Clarke said...

The author has picked Sonja as the winner of her book. Congratulations! I hope all of you check out this book.

John Smith said...

I should be contactable through Google account. And I would love to win this book because my mother always said she was the Cowgirl Queen of Montana!

Shirley Strait said...

I love the idea of a book about cowgirls. The movies and books of fiction about cowgirls are great, but the stories of the real deal are even better. I really look forward to reading this book.
Shirley
straitfrmothehive(at)gmail(dot)com