Today, we catch up with the Culpepper Cowgirls – the two authors of the fabulous new contemporary series, Culpepper Cowboys.
What gave you the idea for Culpepper Cowboys?
Kirsten – Someone suggested I write about a town. I like to write marriage of convenience books, so I thought about how to make it work, and I came up with the idea of using Dr. Lachele, who was the matchmaker in my At the Altar books to match up four brothers, and I figured we could go from there. We did.
Merry – Honestly, it was Kirsten’s idea. She had an epiphany about doing a series with four sisters marrying four brothers. We’d been friends for a while, so she picked on me…I mean, asked me if I’d like to join her. I’ve wanted to write more contemporary romances, and this was exactly what I’d been looking for!
As far as how I came up with the ideas for the stories themselves, the books needed to be light and humorous to match our writing styles. I’ve always considered myself as writing emotional, heart-felt stories. So the challenge of writing humor was an awesome one. As we came up with the characters, I just kept asking myself, “What would be the funniest thing that could happen to these people?” That’s still my jumping-off-point for each book.
Is it difficult to co-write?
Merry – Yes and no. And the answer has been different for different books in the series. The first four were easy-peasy, mostly because Kirsten and I planned a lot. We also wrote them one at a time, read each other’s work, and then proceeded with our own stories. The fifth and sixth books were harder because we were writing them simultaneously, and we kept writing things that directly conflicted. There were a few days there where I thought the two of us would probably kill each other! *LOL* Fortunately, Kirsten and I actually are friends, and we were able to work things out literarily. But lesson learned. Since those books, we’ve been careful not to have our story timelines or characters overlap too much, while including as much crossover as possible. We’ve each had to tweak a few things to make sure every detail works for both of us, but nothing major. It’s been incredibly fun to work together overall! Kirsten is the best! Although I’m still convinced she wants to kick my tush half the time.
Kirsten – Most of the time Merry and I kind of mesh when we write. Sometimes we have to iron out little tiny details that are important to one of us for whatever reason, and we do and it works. It’s really been as seamless a process as writing with another person can be.
Whose story is up next?
Kirsten – Next story will be Felicity and Allen. Felicity is one of the Quinlan cousins who started a ranch with Grace. Allen will be someone who comes in to work on the bakery, expanding it to add a breakfast area.
Merry – That would be Kirsten’s story about Felicity, Contractor’s Cookies. I know a little bit about what she’s going to do with it, but I can’t wait to read the full story! After that, I’ll be writing about Sly O’Donnell and his romantic adventures in Tycoon’s Tryst.
Have the historical western romance readers been supportive of this contemporary series?
Merry – Yeah, I think they have. It’s a little outside of their box, but in my experience, readers are wonderfully versatile. They’ll try anything as long as they know the characters will be engaging and the stories will be fun.
Kirsten – For the most part, they really have! There are some die-hard historical fans who won’t even try them, but they’re missing out, because these are fun books about sexy cowboys.
What do you like best about cowboys?
Merry – I like the freedom and ruggedness that they have. They aren’t tied down to desks or cities or commutes. I feel like I can write a cowboy hero with a much easier manner to him. Not to mention that with all that physical work, they’re pretty buff! I like writing about the countryside. My trip through Wyoming this past April was awesome in terms of getting a feel for the land and the potential it has. It really helped me to write the cowboy characters.
Actually, funny thing…. I have Honor Culpepper suffering from the altitude as soon as she arrives in Culpepper. That little detail got into the book because that’s exactly what happened to me when I ventured into Wyoming. It’s at such a high elevation that anyone who has lived close to sea level will have a hard time breathing until they adjust. I didn’t stay long enough to adapt, but all those physical sensations I experienced and the anxiety that went along with it totally informed Honor’s character and her reactions.
Oh, but that’s not about cowboys. Oh well. 😉 It’s about Wyoming, and I LOVED Wyoming! I’d love to go back.
Kirsten – I like how they look. What do I like least about them? Usually how they smell. Cowboys sure are handsome, though.
What book of yours are you most proud of and why?
Kirsten – It’s going to be two together. Lazy Love and Literary Love. I came up with the idea for Lazy Love, and I never meant to write it. But I couldn’t seem to stop myself. And then I realized that I had to write Literary Love. There is so much of me in both of those books. My heart lives inside them. I think they’re by far the best books I’ve ever written, and they take my writing to the next level. I wish more people would give them a chance!
Merry – Gosh, that’s like asking me to pick a favorite child! I’m proud of my medieval, Noble Hearts series, because those are the first books I dared to publish (even though I’m a much better writer now). I’m proud of my Paradise Ranch series because I LOVE the little town of Haskell, Wyoming that I invented, I love the characters, and I love how challenged I’ve been by writing both a spicy and a sweet version. And I potentially love my new Nerds of Paradise series that is coming this fall, which is the contemporary world of Haskell, because I get to write about nerdy guys/girls and cowboys/cowgirls getting matched! And of course I love these Culpepper Cowboys books because readers are responding so well to them and falling in love with the world Kirsten and I have created.
USA Today bestselling author Kirsten Osbourne knows how to write romance. Each book is an experience that transplants the reader, indulging them in decadence, intense emotion and sweeping love.
Hailing from the state of Wisconsin, she has lived in Texas for over thirty years as a mother, writer, and wife. Married to the love of her life for more than fifteen years, she knows that true love exists and shares that vision with the world.
She writes contemporary and historical romance as well and also ventures into the realm of paranormal romance. She invites you to join her in her world of fantasy, love, and make believe, no matter the location, where there is always a happily ever after at the end.
Merry Farmer lives in suburban Philadelphia with her two cats, Butterfly and Torpedo. She has been writing since she was ten years old and realized one day that she didn’t have to wait for the teacher to assign a creative writing project to write something. It was the best day of her life. She then went on to earn not one but two degrees in History so that she would always having something to write about. Today she walks along the cutting edge of Indie Publishing, writing Historical Romance and Women’s Sci-Fi. She is also passionate about blogging, knitting, and cricket and is working towards becoming an internationally certified cricket scorer.