Monday, May 21, 2012

Manic Monday - A Day in the Life of Susan Spence author of A Story of the West


A day in my life might be described by some as erratic since I dislike schedules. Going to work every day at a set time, whether it’s sitting down in front of a computer at home, or commuting to a job, is really difficult for me. I read one time that there are some people who function best with a set routine and others who prefer variation. I’m definitely one of the latter as I like the freedom to take my days as they come.
As such, my daily routine changes frequently. It’s somewhat dependent on the seasons, but it’s more about enjoying the choices I have working for myself. I don’t even own an alarm clock. As I realized long ago, if I have difficulty waking up, it’s because there’s something in my life I dislike and, until I fix it, I’ll be dragging myself out of bed every morning. 

I do have priorities however. We live on a ranch, so our animals have to be taken care of. This doesn’t usually take a lot of time and it gives me a chance to get outside. For instance, right now we’re calving, so these days we are frequently out checking our herd. But my husband usually takes care of the daily chores to leave me time to write.

I can be an early riser. This morning I stepped outside just as it was getting light. I heard the birds calling in the new day and it was awesome. That can vary also though.Night time is a good time to write as the house is quiet, so sometimes I stay up past midnight pecking away.
 
Lately I have attempted some discipline as I push to finish my next book. I have even set a loose deadline. It’s really bad timing on my part though, as spring is here. It’s warming up and turning green and it’s a lot harder to sit inside compared with say, during a snow storm.

But I am writing in between planning my garden and other activities. I don’t intend for writing to become a full-time job, but I am spending more and more time at my computer, so we’ll see what that evolves into.


About A Story of the West 

Matt Daly’s eyes narrowed as he faced the stranger in front of him. “I know I don’t have a quarrel with you because I don’t know you,” he growled.
“But I know you,” the menacing outlaw sneered back, clearly ready to use the Colt revolver hanging from his hip.
Only a few years earlier Matt and his father had trailed a herd of longhorns north from Texas into Montana Territory. Upon arriving, they decided to stay and raise cattle on the fertile grasslands.
Shortly after the Northern Pacific rail line was completed and it became easier for people to head west. Lavina Lavold stepped off the train in Miles City with her family and immediately caught Matt’s eye. When they fall in love, Matt’s life seems perfect.
There are unscrupulous men, however, determined to build cattle empires. A ruthless neighbor decides he wants the Daly’s claim, and he will stop at nothing to acquire their ranch. Since the entire area is undeeded land, it is up for grabs and there is no law on the rough frontier to prevent a range war. When Matt refuses to back down, his life takes a dangerous turn.
Forced to abandon his family, his travels take him down a long road of misery. An encounter with an Indian medicine man helps him to regain his sense of self, but not until after he gives in to his desperation.
A Story of the West depicts life during the open range ranching days of the Wild West. Besides plenty of action, I have added a women’s perspective to settling the American West. I researched the era to ensure historical accuracy and have written an accurate portrayal of life during this time, as well as an exciting read.
You can visit her website at www.writing-ranch.com.


About Susan Spence

Susan Spence has always been intrigued with life in the west in the 1880s. She researched historical accounts and first-person narratives as she prepared to write A Story of the West. A lifelong resident of the west, she currently lives in Montana on an old sheep shearing station with lots of furry critters and one partially furry critter. This is her first novel, and she is busily working on a sequel due out in late spring.
You can visit her website at www.writing-ranching.com.

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