History Hoydens


Historical Romance Writers Dishing the Dirt on Research

13 October 2007

Welcome, Tracy Garrett!

Tracy Garrett

Touch of Texas

Available Now!


A blizzard blows Texas Ranger Jake McCain to Rachel Hudson’s cabin and trouble is right behind him. He’s badly wounded. Taking care of him is the right thing to do, but she knows the local gossips won’t see it that way. Suddenly, everything Rachel’s fought for is at stake—and the past she’d hoped to escape looms over her future. Still, when Jake turns his dark gaze on her, all she wants is his strong, seductive touch…


Jake McCain has never stayed in one place. A home and a family aren’t for the likes of a man accustomed to the rough life of the trail. But when he sees the trouble she’s in, he can’t leave her behind. Not when her innocent kisses burn straight into his soul, and the sight of her smile is the only bounty he cares to collect…

Touch of Texas is set in the Wild West. How did you become interested in this time period? What do you love about it?

I grew up on stories of this time period. My grandmother was the youngest daughter on a wheat farm on the edges of society in North Dakota. Oh, the stories she tells! She instilled the love of history in my mother, who passed it on to me. I’ve always loved cowboys: Roy Rogers, John Wayne, Tex Ritter, Clint Eastwood... I love the “pioneer spirit” the sense of adventure - or at least of possibilities - that led people to explore and settle places on this continent they’d never heard of, let alone seen. Can you imagine loading only your most precious possessions into a wagon, tying a length of canvas over the top of it, and joining a dozen other wagons to walk from Virginia to Texas?!

What do you like least about this period? Anything that constrained you or that you had to plot carefully around?

All that unsavory personal hygiene – I chose to leave out the details since most of us have studied enough of the period to have an idea… No need to belabor the point. I tried to keep in mind that written accounts of the period are probably like our own time. Most of what is recorded in today’s media is slanted to press home a viewpoint. Chances are, the same thing happened in the 1800s. Anything is possible with smart, driven, ambitious humans. So I ‘bent the corner of the envelope,’ so to speak, and let my characters be people, not historical figures.

What sparked this book? Was it a character? An historical event? A scene you just couldn’t get out of your head?

The hero, Jake McCain, knocked on my creative door one morning with a story to tell and wouldn’t go away. The heroine, Rachel Hudson, came from a History Channel segment on the brothels in El Paso, Texas, in the 1800’s. I began to wonder how a young woman could escape that life, and Rachel was ‘born.’

Did you have to do any major research for his book? Did you stumble across anything really interesting that you didn’t already know?

I didn’t know there was gold mining in Texas until I began my research for Touch of Texas. It was never a large operation, and never profitable, but mining did go on.

What/Who do you like to read?

Anything with words on a page! I love to read. I always have. I remember once, in high school, I was helping ready a house in my home town for a refugee family, and found a stash of books in the attic. They had to come looking for me – I got lost in the pages of some old book. I read almost anything in the romance genre. Currently at the top of my TBR pile: Lorraine Heath’s Just Wicked Enough, Christina Dodd’s Scent of Darkness, and Linda Lael Miller’s A Wanted Man.

Care to share a bit about your writing process? Are you a pantser or a plotter? Do you write multiple drafts or clean up as you go?

I’m a pantser. I write mostly linearly, although sometimes a scene pops into my head fully formed and I write it out, even though it won’t come into the story until much later. I usually clean up as I go, although that bogs down the creative process and gives my muse a headache.

What are you planning to work on next?

I’m writing the follow-up story to Touch of Texas. The hero is Wolf Richards, a broken-hearted loner whom you meet in Touch of Texas. His beautiful, perfect wife had been murdered and his children stolen. Now he’s trying to build a new life with his son, but intends to do it alone, because he’s not willing to risk being responsible for another woman. Enter Lizzie Sutton. The heroine is as opposite his late wife as you can get. She’s a rough-talking female with a soft center and a deadly aim with a gun. Think “The Outlaw Josie Wales” meets Calamity Jane! I’m having such fun bringing these two together.

Anything you’d like to add?

Thank you for having me! I love talking history and books. My second book, currently titled Texas Rose, will be released by Kensington next year, so watch for it. Visit my website, www.tracygarrett.com, to keep up on the latest happenings and releases. And if you’re anywhere near any of my book signings, stop in and say hello. I’d love to meet you!


Blogger Tracy Garrett said...

Good morning, all!

8:50 AM  
Blogger Kathrynn Dennis said...

Hi Tracy! Thanks for posting...

Beautiful cover man you have. ;-) Whata cowboy!

....and I love the broken-hearted loner hero to come.

Congrats on the release of A Touch of Texas!

9:48 AM  
Blogger Tracy Garrett said...

Thanks, Kathrynn! Wolf is stealing hearts already. I can't wait to finish the mss so I can find out what happens. :D

12:02 PM  
Blogger Tracy Grant said...

Hi Tracy, from another TracyG :-). Your book sounds fascinating--I love stories that center around two people with scarred pasts. How wonderful you were able to draw on your own family history!

12:31 PM  
Blogger Tracy Garrett said...

Hi Tracy! I don't usually meet anyone who spells Tracy the way I do. :D

My family is a gold-mine of stories and history, I think. Lots of ideas to work with, anyway.

12:46 PM  
Blogger Tracy Garrett said...

I'm about to get on a plane bound for Dallas and the Buns & Roses Tea for Literacy. I'll check in later tonight.

12:51 PM  
Blogger Kathrynn Dennis said...

Hope you are having fun in Dallas! Can I ask you, do you look for your books in airports? Or visit bookstores in whatever city you may be passing through and sign your books? ;-)

I admit I do. It's a kick. But for the cost of the cab ride is painful, compared to the cost of my books! ;-)

5:38 PM  
Blogger Tracy Garrett said...

You know, Kathryn, I haven't yet--but I will. :D On my way out of here, at DFW Airport, I plan to check out the stock. And when I land at home, I'll have time to swing through. Believe it or not I didn't think to look on my way through this morning. :( Thanks for the reminder.

I do check out the book sections/bookstores for Touch of Texas. It is a real kick to see it there--finally.

7:58 PM  
Blogger Tracy Garrett said...

Oops, I mean Kathrynn! :-)

7:58 PM  
Blogger Rachel Donnelly said...

Hi Tracy,
Congrats on your new book. I love westerns - reading them as well as writing them. Thanks for sharing those great research sites.

Rachel Donnelly
Waving to her fellow wildcards!!!!

9:57 AM  
Blogger Tracy Garrett said...

Hi Rachel! Glad you stopped in. If you write anything set in Texas, check out the Texas Handbook Online. It's maintained by the U of Texas - and it is a great resource of all things historical in Texas. All the articles are well attributed, too.

7:24 PM  
Blogger Tracy Garrett said...

Ladies, before the evening is gone, let me say thanks for having me here. While it was a crazy weekend, I had fun popping in to chat with you.

7:25 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Free Web Site Counter
Kennedy Western University Online