Bookmark and Share

Published on Friday, February 28, 2014

An Interview with


KC Sprayberry

 

The Western Online: Can you describe your story for our readers?

KC Sprayberry: Abby Weston dreams of riding for the Pony Express, but she's a girl; a lady, and ladies don't ride horses destined to deliver the mail. In Abby's words, "Being a lady stinks!"

TWO: How is your story one that would interest the readers of The Western Online?

KCS: A fifteen-year-old girl coming of age on the western frontier in 1860 has more worries than there are members of her family. There are the pesky neighbors who would try the Lord's patience. Six older brothers who hover over her like she's a porcelain doll. Parents who make sure she abides by the rules of being a lady, and an uncle she's forgotten; the irritating trapper, Andy.

Abby discovers many things about her family in this young adult tale; including the reason her ma doesn't want her anywhere near the horses. Yet, when her pa falls ill in nearby Carson City, and can't work with the horses, she is given a great opportunity... to do one of the things she dreams of, get the chance to see the Pony Express in action, and even befriend Pony Bob Haslam.

   

TWO: What motivates the protagonist in your story? What is she trying to prove?

KCS: Abby has a special touch with the horses in Pony Dreams. She can talk to them and get them to do what she wants them to do. In her mind, she believes that a horse has never hurt her, and never will. When tragedy strikes her family, not once but twice, she steps up to help. While she outwardly rebels against all the rules she must live by, she also understands her duty without being told and always puts her family first. All she is trying to prove is that women can do whatever they want without restriction.

TWO: How would you define the term "Western" and what does it mean to you?

KCS: A Western is a tale that harkens back to a simpler time, when good and evil were more defined. Westerns portray the exploration and building of this country, when people pulled up stakes from the comfortable and headed into the unknown. The women had to be as strong as their men to survive. Their lives were far from easy, as Abby notes several times in the story, "Life is harsh on the frontier."

TWO: What draws you to writing Westerns?

KCS: I love the West in all its glory. Being raised in Southern California before Los Angeles became the sprawling, overcrowded metropolis it is today, I looked forward to visits to the many missions dotting the state, exploring old ghost towns from the Gold Rush era, and hiking in the foothills near my home. Then I had the opportunity to live in both Arizona and Colorado, and my thirst for discovering areas that drew settlers was only whetted, but never quenched. A weekend spent near Tombstone opened a desire for knowledge about that area I have never lost, and a fascination for the charismatic Earps, and how they helped to define history. We lived in the foothills of Colorado's Front Range and often spent weekends discovering the small, almost forgotten towns that saw glory days when gold and silver were king, but are now nothing more than either a marker on the side of the road or buildings that appear as if they'll fall over in a strong wind.

The images of what it was like to live there, to experience life without all the modern conveniences, strikes at my imagination. The hardy strength of both the men and women proves to me what it took to settle that part of the country.

TWO: What writers have influenced you the most?

KCS: Louis L'Amour, Zane Grey, and William W. Johnstone. While I love and collect as many of Johnstone's books as I can, Zane Grey holds a special place in my heart. I grew up with his books on the shelves in my home, as my dad was a fan. Reading those books opened so many vistas. Then, as an adult, I had the chance to view Grey's cabin on the Mogollon Rim in Central Arizona prior to the fire that destroyed it. I was very impressed by the sparseness of this abode, where he was inspired for the books about the rim area.

TWO: What is your favorite Western, either novel or movie? Why?

KCS: My favorite western is actually a series, William W. Johnstone's Blood Brothers. They're about two men exploring the west after the Battle at Little Big Horn. These men, Matt Bodine and Sam Two Wolves, have been blood brothers since they first met, but are unsettled after watching that battle from afar. They take off to scratch the itch in their fiddle feet and take on all comers as their reputation for bringing law and order to the Wild West takes off.

TWO: If you could go back in time and meet one famous person in the Old West, who would it be and why?

KCS: Morgan Earp. While there were actually five Earp brothers, only three made their mark in history. The youngest of that group has always fascinated me. There is little really written about him when compared to Virgil and Wyatt, yet Morgan has always appeared to be a man out of his time, a man willing to buck convention to stand by what he believes in.

TWO:What are you plans for the future? Are you working on a sequel?

KCS: My plans for the future include another installment of the Call Chronicles, featuring Hank and his search for something he can't define. The story includes a love interest, Anabelle, who is standing up for the gold mining town of Luckless, Colorado, by taking over the position of sheriff, after her pa is shot down by thieves.

There are several other projects still in the planning stages. Pony Dreams won't have a sequel though. Although, there may be other tales of strong young women taking on the west and fighting for their dreams.

TWO:Is there anything else you'd like to add?

KCS: The best writers that I've ever met produce Westerns. While some people will claim the Western as a genre is dead and claim no one can write about something that has been so immortalized as this time has. Yet, I meet men and women who do write about this time, and do it very well.

 

   
KC Sprayberry started writing young, first as a diarist, and later through an interest in English and creative writing. Her dedication to writing came after she had her youngest child, now in his senior year of high school. She lives in Northwest Georgia where she spends her days creating stories about life in the south, and far beyond. Her short stories have appeared in more than a dozen magazines, six anthologies, and as featured novelettes on Amazon. To date, her novels include Softly Say Goodbye, Take Chances, Where U @, The Wrong One, and Pony Dreams. Evil Eyes and Starlight will release soon.

 

Back to   Top of Page   |   Fiction  |  Artwork  |  Historical Articles   |   Book Reviews   |   Site Information   |   Submission Guidelines