The first story I actually got paid to write was “Back in the Saddle.” I submitted it for Dreamspinner’s cowboys and gamblers anthology, Know When to Hold ‘Em, and crossed my fingers. I was over the moon when I found out it had been accepted. This was in April of 2008.
The story follows young Obie Watson, a drifter and gambler who finds himself stuck when his horse goes lame. His ticket out of town is the Bar Jay Ranch, which will heal his horse in exchange for a few months’ work. Reluctantly taking up the hard life of a ranch hand, Obie finds himself drawn to the handsome but distant owner, Ben Johnson. As his relationship with the older man grows and he himself starts changing, Obie must decide whether to return to his familiar, lonely life or to take a chance at something more.
Being published was thrilling, and then I actually got a review! Connie at JoyfullyReviewed.com declared “Back in the Saddle” one of her favorite stories in the anthology, calling it “an emotional and satisfying tale and well worth a read.” All in all, a very satsifying way to begin my writing career.
Months later, my friends threw me a surprise “book signing party.” They’d all bought copies of my published books and demanded I sign them. And they’d made the most amazing (and delicious) cake…
It was probably the best part of the experience, realizing I had friends who understood just how important a milestone it was to me. It was a hell of a party.
Know When to Hold ‘Em is available through Dreamspinner Press, linked to the right.