Tuesday, July 02, 2013

An Interview with Vickie McDonough

We’re glad to welcome Vickie McDonough as our spotlight author this week! Vickie grew up reading horse stories and dreaming of marrying a rancher. Instead, she married a computer geek who’s scared of horses. But those old dreams have found new life as she pens stories of ranchers, lawmen, and others living in the Old West. Vickie is the award-winning author of 26 books and novellas. 

Vickie will be giving a copy of her newest title, Whispers on the Prairie, to one of our visitors this week. Just answer this question in the comment section: 


What are your top three favorite names for a hero in a historical novel with a western setting?

Hello, Vickie, and thanks for joining us at Novel PASTimes! It’s been a while since you visited, so we’re glad to have this chance to learn more about your latest novel, Whispers on the Prairie. Tell us a bit about the storyline and the main characters.

Whispers on the Prairie is the first book in my Pioneer Promises series. It’s set mostly at a remote stage stop in eastern Kansas. The Harper family—Ma, Pa, and their three grown sons: Aaron, Josh, and Ethan, as well as Aaron’s two young children—run the stage stop. Life is busy, but the Harpers find contentment in their family, faith, and work. When Sarah, a pretty, young woman from Chicago, gets stranded at the stage stop, turmoil invades the Harpers’ peaceful existence, and men flock to Sarah faster than spinning dust devils.

Though his sister-in-law died several years ago, Ethan still feels responsible. He thinks if he can find his oldest brother, Aaron, a new wife, the guilt will go away—and he believes Sarah is that woman. But the more interest his brother shows Sarah, the more anxious Ethan becomes. A marriage between Aaron and Sarah is what he wants—isn’t it?

Whispers on the Prairie is the first book of your new series, Pioneer Promises. Many times, it seems like book series focus on sisters or other female characters, but Pioneer Promises centers on three brothers. Why did you decide to focus on the men?

I’m the mother of four grown sons, so it comes very natural to me to write stories about men. As I was working up the idea for a series based around a stage stop, I just knew that the main characters would be men. I honestly never considered making them women. Maybe all those Bonanza episodes I watched when I was younger made an impact on me.

How is that different for you from focusing the series around women who are connected to each other?

It really isn’t much different because I write romance, and I always include the hero’s side of the story. Some of my books are close to 50/50 hero vs. heroine point of view.

What sparked the idea for the Pioneer Promises series?

My husband and I visited the Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop in Olathe, Kansas back when I was searching an idea for a Kansas series. Mahaffie’s is much the same as it was back in the 1860’s, and it is the only stage stop on the Santa Fe Trail that people can visit. It sparked the idea for Pioneer Promises and a series based on a family running a stage stop.

Very fun. :-) What drew you toward writing historical romance?

I grew up watching the cowboy shows of the late sixties and early seventies. I have always loved horses and enjoyed stories set in the West with lawmen, ranchers, or cowboy heroes.   What do you like most about it? I enjoy traveling back in time to an era when our nation was still growing and adventurous people were still settling the western half of the country. The determined men and women who pioneered the West have always intrigued me, and I love reading and writing their stories.

You’ve written more than 25 novels and novellas. How do you keep your ideas fresh enough to keep telling good stories?

I write character-driven books, and when you write about specific characters, you learn that each one is quite different, just like real people. He/she has a different background from my other characters, has had different experiences—both good and bad—and so they react differently to the situations I put then in. That’s the key. You can set all of your books in Texas and still make each one different because of the characters. I also research locations and time periods, trying to find special details that I can work into my stories to keep them fresh.

You’ve been part of quite a few novellas. Can you tell us how authors and ideas come together for those projects?

Come back tomorrow to learn Vickie’s answer to this question, and more! And, remember to leave a comment with your answer to Vickie’s question to have your chance to win her brand-new release, Whispers on the Prairie. Here’s the question again:

What are your top three favorite names for a hero in a historical novel with a western setting?

Be sure to include your name and email address (spelling out ‘at’ and ‘dot’ to help cut down on spam). If the winner lives in the U.S. or Canada, you’ll receive a paperback copy. If the winner lives in another country, Vickie will send you an electronic version.  The drawing will be held Friday morning.


Wendy Newcomb said...

Oh jeepers, let me think. I guess maybe Dillon, Matt or Wayne would be good names, lol.


Vickie McDonough said...

Thanks, Wendy! Wayne was my dad's middle name. :)

Anonymous said...

The names that come to mind are Dalton, Cole, and Joseph.

I can't wait to read the Pioneer Promises series. I love to read books about the time period.

Katie J.


Alyssa Faith said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alyssa Faith said...

Would love to win!!
Alyssa W.

CentralEast2 said...

Matt, James, Bud would make great names centraleast2 at gmail dot com

Brenda Hurley said...

Tuesday, July 2nd ....
Favourite three names for a hero in a historical novel with a western setting: James, Logan, and Daniel.
"Whispers on the Prairie" sounds like a wonderful book, and I would love the opportunity and chance to win.
Thanks so much !
Take care, and, God Bless,
In Him, Brenda Hurley

Vickie McDonough said...

Thanks for all of the excellent hero name suggestions! I'm curious--are they names you like or names of someone in your family or a friend?


Anonymous said...

I like Daniel, Sam and Luke
marypopmom (at) yahoo (dot) com

Wanda B. said...

Luke is my all-time favorite name so no trouble on that one. As for the other two, I think Holt and Kade. Love those names. thank you Miss Vickie for the interview and giveaway!

Wanda Barefoot

Pam K. said...

Matt, Seth, and Zeke. Those were the first names that came to mind. I'd never really thought about it! Since I live in Kansas, I really enjoy reading historical books set in my state. It would be fun to win a copy of Whispers on the Prairie. Thanks for blessing someone with a copy of the book.


bn100 said...

Zack, Calhoun, Gage

bn100candg at hotmail dot com

bonton said...

Micah, Luke, & Hunter.


Merry said...

Hmmm, Chase, Ethan and Seth are a few of my favorite names for western heroes.
Worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

karenk said...

thanks for the chance to read this novel.

names...brock, landon, dale