The Few Cowgirls Around

T. P. Graf Author Interview

A Cowgirl’s Stories is a companion book to the trilogy featuring Jaime Cruz, but here we get to focus on Sallie’s character. Why did you feel like Sallie needed a book of her own to tell her story?

Sallie was introduced very slowly in the trilogy and while as the story progressed, we learned how influential she was to her family, we never had the chance to really hear her story and the stories of her parents. My editor friends all agreed that when the spirit moved Sallie to tell her story, this author needed to take her promptings seriously. I first told them I didn’t think Sallie was in any rush. Then one morning at breakfast, my spouse asked what I was thinking about. (I guess I looked like I was off in some distant place—which I was.) I replied, “I’m not sure you want to know. Sallie is writing the first chapter of her story.” As with all my novels, once I start to write I write everyday as though some tap has been turned on and won’t turn off until the story is told.

What sources of inspiration did you pull from to create Sallie’s character?

Visualizing Sallie was easy. Living in West Texas as I did for many years, there were the few cowgirls around that made my descriptions of her authentic—if a bit of an amalgamation.

As to her essence, I’ve known some strong women in my life including my own mother. I’ll tip my hat to them for all they have taught me by their example. None ever smoked Swisher Sweets or had Sallie’s course tongue. Still, it wasn’t hard for me to imagine that growing up as the eldest daughter on a remote ranch would imbue Sallie with the love of nature, humor, grit and tough old cowgirl demeanor that defines her character.

What scene in the book was the most emotional for you to write?

I have to mention a couple scenes: the day’s events when Bill shares with his in-laws and Sallie, Billy’s leaving home; and when Billy mourns in solitude on the Sierra Diablo, the passing of his beloved grandparents. They share in common the hardship of grief and mourning in the midst of estrangement—making any sadness all the harder to bear.

Did you feel like you were able to complete Sallie’s story with this novel?

Yes. While she would, no doubt, continue her influential role in the family, she clearly states in the final pages, it is for others to pass along her gifts of love, understanding and wisdom to those who follow along with their own stories. Any future telling would fall to Noah or Billy, though I’m not sure the author will get the job done. It would only make sense to me if such an addition followed several years from now when Billy or Noah can really weave a new generational tale.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Website

No one member of the Geermann-Schlatter family defines the life and essence of the ranch quite like Sallie.
When her great-nephew, Noah, says to her, “Grandpa writes the poems; you need to write the stories,” Sallie reflects upon the lives of those before her, those in her life now and the extraordinary healing that comes to all when hearts are open.
Sallie’s own life has been molded by her father’s reverence for “nature’s symbiosis” and her mother’s contemplative spirit. She blends her characteristic wit and gravitas with her unending love for the people, land and creatures that surround her. She takes us along on the journey as only she can.

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on September 25, 2022, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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