Visit Julie Lence's web site
Read an excerpt from Zanna's Outlaw
About Julie Lence
I grew up in an average-size city in upstate New York. All through school I enjoyed writing as long as I could choose the topic. I even tried to write a novel length story in middle school, but since I was young I didn't stick with it all that long.
I met my husband during the latter part of 12th grade and married him two years later. He had already enlisted in the Air Force and I enjoyed accompanying him on his twenty years of service. By marrying young and entering the work force full-time, the writing bug didn't bite me again until the early 90's when I read Double Standards by Judith McNaught. I was already hooked on the romance genre and family sagas, thanks to Johanna Lindsey's Malory family, and the little critter of a muse dug his teeth in deep. By combining my love for romance, family and the old west, I have settled into a career writing western historical romance.
Zanna's Outlaw is the first book in my new Revolving Point, TX Series and features Buck Grayson, my outlaw from two previous books, as the hero. Currently, I'm working on the third book in this series. I'm a stay-at-home mom who enjoys taking care of family and home, reading and anything to do with the American West. I also enjoy meeting other fans of the romance genre, so if you've got time, say hello at firstname.lastname@example.org
Also by Julie Lence
Weston Family Series:
Luck of the Draw
No Luck At All.
An Interview with Julie Lence
By Holly Hewson for The Romance Studio
HH: Julie, thank you for talking with us at TRS. Your featured book is Zanna's Outlaw and is the first in your new Revolving Point , TX series. What can you tell us about the series and its inspiration?
JL: The Revolving Point, TX series was inspired by my outlaw from Luck of the Draw and Lady Luck, Buck Grayson. In writing Buck's character for both of these stories I knew he needed a story of his own, and someone to love. At first, I thought of pairing him with a new female character, but the more I thought about it, the more I decided against it. Buck isn't going to go out of his way to find someone to love him. He's a loner (and with reason), though he does respect women and will help one in need, hence him taking a job to protect Missy Morgan while she searched for her family. Buck spent winters at Missy's gaming hall and met one of her poker dealers—Suzanna. Blonde, with a soft, southern drawl, Buck dodged Suzanna's invites to join her between the sheets, mostly because her blatantly pursuing him scared the hell out of him. At the end of Lady Luck, he came back to San Francisco for her, because he finally realized there was more to her invitations than just lust. She loved him and became his heroine.
Revolving Point, TX is a fictional town. Originally, I had wanted to place Buck and Suzanna in Oklahoma. I had read about a small, out-of-the way town where some outlaws hid and thought this would be the perfect place for Buck to redeem some of his 'outlaw' traits and pin on a badge. But that town in Oklahoma did not exist in the year Zanna's Outlaw takes place, so I moved the story back to Revolving Point; a place notorious for gun fights, card sharps and soiled doves. Each of my heroes in this series is an outlaw learning how to live within the boundaries of the law, and each of my heroines respect their hero for who and what they are. As a side quirk, my heroines names all end in 'a' and the books are titled after them.
HH: How does Zanna's Outlaw kick off the series?
JL: Zanna's Outlaw not only re-introduces readers to Revolving Point, TX (the town was in both Luck of the Draw and Lady Luck) it shows what has happened to the town since Buck last visited. A fire nearly destroyed the entire place, except for Miller's saloon and a few other buildings. It's up to Buck to bring law and order to the streets as the townsfolk try to rebuild. And prove his love to Suzanna as he searches for the man wanting to kill both of them. Zanna's Outlaw also introduces the hero to Lydia's Gunslinger and the heroine to Debra's Bandit.
HH: What can you tell us about Suzanna and what makes her unique among your heroines?
JL: Suzanna is smart, kind and knows exactly what she wants out of life. As a former soiled dove, her past is filled with skeletons and heartaches. She's never regretted being a prostitute; it was the only way she could provide for her younger sister. Now that she's ridden with Buck for a few years, she knows her love for him is ever-lasting and can only hope he feels the same for her. He's never said he loves her, and she knows and accepts his reason for that, but she also knows it won't kill him to forget outlawing and settle down with her and give her the children she wants. Circumstances separate them, and Suzanna goes to Revolving Point to wait for him. While there, she builds a respectable name for herself, and when Buck arrives she expects their reunion to be a good one. It's anything but, and fearing she really doesn't mean that much to him she gives Buck an ultimatum: court her and prove his love or leave town for good. I think most women can relate to her demands. Even back then, women weren't going to sit around and wait forever for a man to make up his mind.
HH: What can you tell us about Buck and why will readers love him?
JL: For me, Buck was the easiest hero to write. As an outlaw, he's not bound by society's restraints and mannerisms. I can put him in situations, let him say what he wants and act ornery as long as he has good reason. Readers will enjoy his greenhorn attempts to court Suzanna and his methods for ferreting out trouble. He's sly, quiet as a mouse, good at trading barbs and he loves Suzanna more than anything.
HH: What can you tell us about the stories to come in this series?
JL: Lydia's Gunslinger is the second story in this series. Roth is the hero and completely taken with the governor's niece, prim and proper Lydia Tyler, though he isn't quick to admit to feelings from the heart. Lydia has trouble on her hands in the form of a man related to Roth's old nemisis and Roth is only too happy to help Lydia get rid of him.
Debra's bandit is the third books. Devil-may-care outlaw, Gage Cantrell is the hero and Roth's sister, Debra, the heroine. Like Suzanna, Debra wants a home and a family, and she wants them with Gage. Gage won't admit to any feelings for Debra until he can settle the demons from his past, namely a Pinkerton searching for him these past six years.
HH: What else do each of you have in store for lucky readers?
JL: Currently, I'm working on Debra's Bandit. After self-publishing Zanna's Outlaw and Lydia's Gunslinger, I just got back to writing Debra's Bandit. I don't have all the details worked out, but Gage is another fun character to write. And Debra is in for one heckuva shock.
HH: How has the romance genre changed since you began writing?
JL: When I began back in the early 90's, home computers were just coming into the fold. As were cell phones. The internet didn't exist, but now that it does, it has helped introduced new authors of this genre on a daily basis. Which is great. I'm all for folks doing what they love, and with e-readers and tablets, Amazon and Create Space and numerous e-book publishers, the romance genre is rewarded with many fascinating stories and unique writing styles.
HH: What sources of inspiration do you draw from for ideas?
JL: Johanna Lindsey for family sagas. Judith McNaught for her flawless writing voice. Linda Lael Miller for anything western. These three ladies have always inspired me, and I learn from them. Sometimes it might be a term or stringing a few words together. Other times locations may be inspired, or a thread of an idea will take shape from just a simple sentence.
HH: What's your favorite book so far in 2012?
JL: Rook, Rhyme and Sinker by R. Michael Philips. Mike writes mystery and this is his second book in his East London Adventures Club Series. I thoroughly enjoyed the characters, the plot and trying to piece together clues surrounding the mystery.
HH: What are you most looking forward to in 2012?
JL: Summer. It has been incredibly windy here these past two months. Summer is usually much calm, plus my son is home and I enjoy having him with me all day.
HH: Thank you!