Thursday, October 13, 2011


Today I'm pleased to welcome Elisabeth Grace Foley on the fourth stop of her blog tour. 
Her first eBook THE RANCH NEXT DOOR AND OTHER STORIES -  an anthology of western stories - is available at Smashwords and Amazon for US$2.99. It's a great read with wonderful characters and story lines that stay with you long after you've read the last word. You can read my review here. 

Elisabeth is a young writer (21) who lives in the north east of USA. Today she is going to tell us what inspired her to write westerns. 

I first got acquainted with Westerns in the same way many people probably havethrough film and TV. My dad always liked Westerns, and as a little girl I spent many weekend afternoons watching John Wayne movies and classic TV shows like Bonanza with him. I was also a thoroughly horse-crazy kid, so the presence of so many horses in Westerns was probably a big attraction.

Oddly enough, my introduction to Western literature came by way of Roy Rogers. One of Roy’s early films, The Border Legion (a.k.a. West of the Badlands) was apparently based (very, very loosely) on a novel by Zane Grey. I’d enjoyed the movie and decided to look up the book.

Well, I never did end up reading The Border Legion, but I began with The Light of Western Stars and went through about a dozen more books by Zane Grey. His often melodramatic novels of romance and adventure were a new reading experience for me. But I think it was the West, rather than the flowery prose, that had me hooked. From there I moved on to other classic Western authors, a variety of styles among themLouis L’Amour, Max Brand, B.M. Bower and others.

Somewhere during this time my own interest in writing resurfaced. I’d been writing stories for most of my life, and occasionally talked about getting published someday, but all of that had taken a back seat for a while during my teens while I studied music. I got back into writing by participating in National Novel Writing Month a couple of times. And my lifelong interest in history also experienced a resurgence. History had always been my favorite school subject, and the more I read the more it fascinated me. To me, the American West represents a fantastic opportunity for the historical fiction writer, because there’s such a wealth of material to draw on. So many different settings, climates, people and events—plenty of factual inspiration, and also plenty of room to let your imagination go to work with your own fictional creations.

I’ve started small and simply with this collection, but I put a lot of love and hard work into each of the stories. I hope I can take what I’ve learned in writing them and go on to more ambitious projects in the future. It’s exciting to think about all the stories that are just waiting to be written.

Thanks for sharing with us Elisabeth.
You can visit her blog The Second Sentence here.


  1. Thanks Sue, and thanks Elisabeth for sharing. I remember watching those John Wayne movies with my own father who was crazy about westerns and he just loved Bonanza and The High Chaparel, but that was aeons ago. Great to see those old classics revived through the generations. I'm really inspired by this and of course, I've put it on my TBR list! Good luck with your future projects. :)

  2. Joanne - Mentioning the High Chaparel has sent me on a nostalgia trip! Remember Blue, the young son? I remember naming my budgie after him - I was all of 7 years old!

  3. Thanks, Joanne! I remember seeing bits of High Chaparral too, though I didn't watch it regularly. I liked the theme music. But the beautiful theme from The Big Valley was always my favorite.

  4. Ha! I remember The Big Valley, too! Sort of.
    Sue, I can't even remember how old I was back in the High Chaparel days!!
    No, I don't remember Blue. Maybe someone called Horse or Little Joe - or is that Bonanza? Nostalgic ...

  5. Joanne - High Chaparral was in the late 60's. Yes, Hoss and Little Joe were in Bonanza. I'm surprised at how much I'm remembering - guess I've always been a western fan.
    Elisabeth - I enjoyed The Big Valley too. I don't remember the music though. We don't have reruns of these old westerns in NZ like I think you do over there. I sure wish they did!