A Conversation With Davalynn Spencer
Davalynn Spencer writes heart-tugging, cowboy romance set along the Front Range of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. She is the wife and mother of professional rodeo bullfighters and an award-winning rodeo journalist and former crime-beat reporter who caters to Blue the Cowdog and mouse detectors Annie and Oakley.
Where do you get the inspiration for your plots?
Davalynn: Inspiration for my Western romance comes in many forms—from a lady on her cell phone sitting in a car at the market (yes, that became a historical novella), to a sudden “video” that flashed through my mind like a movie preview. That last form is how I met Mae Ann Remington. I was relaxing near my woodstove on a cozy winter evening; she was standing in a bank lobby with her groom, a man who had written for a bride. A loud gunshot, the pinch of gunpowder, the jolt of a heart stopping – that’s what I heard, smelled, and felt in a flash, and I knew I had to write Mae Ann’s story.
How do you pick the location/setting of your romantic suspense novels?
Davalynn: For me, setting is a character in the story. One of my contemporary suspense titles is set in Santa Cruz, California, in a beach house. The sea and everything coastal are integral parts of the deeper story. But all of my historicals have taken place in Colorado. There’s something mysteriously romantic and challenging about the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. Rugged beauty, breathtaking sunsets, extreme and sudden weather conditions that can threaten survival. All of my stories have an element of danger. Maybe that’s why I like living here in this “alpha” state.
What did you want to be as a child (and did that dream come true)?
Davalynn:I’ve been writing since the sixth grade, and as an adult, I continue to self-medicate with words. I have to write, whether for journals, blogs, interviews, or novels. Words and I have an ongoing relationship. In fact, my computer screensaver says, “In the beginning was the Word.”
How do you ensure your books are accurate?
Davalynn: One of my historical series, The Cañon City Chronicles, is set (obviously) in Cañon City, Colorado. I live nearby, and believe me, there is a historian on every corner. If I don’t get something right, they’ll let me know! Before my fiction days, I worked as a journalist and crime-beat reporter for the daily newspaper. That kind of writing is all about getting the facts straight and double-checking those facts by citing more than one source. As a reporter writing occasional feature pieces, I became acquainted with the well-informed people working at the Royal Gorge Regional Museum and History Center. Much of the research for my novels today is done there. The History Center is a goldmine for a historical author. Cañon City was truly an Old West town, one that survived.
Current book: An Improper Proposal
Widowed before she says “I do,” a mail-order bride does the unthinkable and ends up a rancher’s wife facing snakes, scoundrels, and second chances.