AUTHOR: Lorrie Unites-Struiff
BOOK TITLE: A Heap of Trouble
BUY LINK: http://tinyurl.com/AHeapofTrouble
Tell me a little about your book.
Sheriff Cole Walker keeps the peace until events toss him a heap of trouble. Cattle rustlers are on the loose in the hills. The mayor is depending on him to stop a feud between the cattleman, JJ, and the farmers. Along comes Mattie Wells, the first woman to jingle his spurs in a long time. Cole falls hard for Mattie who refuses to marry for secret reasons of her own. Of course, Cole keeps a secret from her. Can Cole and his new sidekick Beggar, overcome the problems in Cold Creek?
What gave you the idea for this particular story?
I’ve always wanted to write a shoot-um-up western. But, I wanted to make it different. I wanted to throw in some romance, some cattle rustling, and of course humor. So, along came Beggar, the little thief of a monkey that adopts Cole. The story just took off from there.
Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time?
At the moment I would say a part-time writer. I’d love to be full time writer but with so much to do, as you know, it’s difficult finding the time.
When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
When my English teacher encouraged me in high school. He loved my vivid imagination and always pointed out my stories to the class.
What do you hope readers will take from your writing?
Pure entertainment. I write for the love of it, and to please all genre readers.
Which genres do you write, which do you prefer, and why?
I write paranormal, historical fiction, pulp fiction, westerns, romance. Actually I’m pretty much across the board with genres.
I prefer to write whatever strikes my fancy at the time. Although, now I am working on a short story -10k each- paranormal series that I’m having fun with.
What is the toughest part about being a writer and how do you get past it?
Editing is the toughest part of writing for me. I get past it by depending on my fantastic crit partners who give it to me straight. If it weren’t for them, I would not be an author.
Is there anything in your story based upon a real life event? If so, tell me about it.
No, not a thing. There goes my vivid imagination again. Lol.
How much is your protagonist like you? How different?
Very different. First of all I have a male protagonist. Ha, not like me at all.
And when Cole sets his sights on either Mattie, the rustlers, etc., he gets what he wants.
What kind of research did you do for this type of story?
I did a lot of research into monkeys, and into the clothes of the era. My town is fictitious as are the characters.
Do writing violent or highly sexual scenes bother you? Why or why not?
I don’t know about violent. I don’t think so. Highly sexual scenes bother me because I can feel my mother looking over my shoulder. Although in my Gypsy Blood, I did take the plunge. But not off the high diving board.
What about your book makes it special?
The mix of characters. The humor. I mean, whoever heard of a monkey playing third fiddle in a western? The whole town of Cold Creek, Kansas, has a great mix of characters.
Where can people learn more about you and your work?
or my author page at Amazon
Any tips for new writers hoping to write in the genre of your book?
Keep learning the craft. It’s not as easy as the wonderful published authors make it look. I found that out in a hurry.
What’s in the future for you?
I’m hoping more COD Club Stories for the series. She is such a fun character to work with and I’m really having a ball with her. Although at times Winnie can be a little bossy.
Thank you so much for having me today, Penny. The interview was fun.
Excerpt for Heap of Trouble.
Cole cracked open his eyelids to the pink rays of dawn invading his bedroom. He swatted at the tickle on his cheek. “Pesky flies.” He stretched his long limbs. Soft fur brushed his bare arm. He yelped and leaped to his feet, his heart pounding like the hoofs of a runaway horse. Beggar lay on the pillow next to his, blinking doleful brown eyes at him, and playing with a gold pocket watch.
“Dang you, Beggar, you almost gave me a heart attack. If you’re going to stay here, you best be finding your own bed ‘cause I ain’t sharing mine.” Cole took a deep breath to settle his heartbeat. With a quick swipe, he grabbed the watch. “Where’d you get this?” He clicked it open. Inside the front panel, an inscription read,
To my son Harold Farley
“Oh, shoot! This is the Mayor’s watch.” He jangled the watch from the chain in front of Beggar’s face. “You snuck into their house last night? What if Missus Farley saw you? She’d have screamed her fool head off. You could’ve got shot. Would’ve served you right, too. You’re a miserable, thieving little rascal!” Cole kicked the bedpost. “Yeow!” Pain shot through his foot.
Beggar screeched, tumbled off the bed and scrambled beneath it.
Cole hobbled around the room until his bare foot stopped throbbing. He got down on hands and knees, snatched the monkey’s hairy arm and dragged him out, along with the dust-clumps, two bright-red poker chips, four five-cent pieces and a fancy hand mirror.
“What in blazes?” Cole examined the extra loot.
The monkey wiggled away and perched on the windowsill.
Cole limped to the window and crossed his arms over his wide bare chest. “Not only do I have cattle rustlers to fret about, now I got a varmint that takes to stealing. I’m the sheriff, Beggar, do you understand? The sheriff! And you’re downright embarrassing.”