Featured Interview With Jocie McKade
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
Howdy! I was what I like to call a company brat. My family was moved a lot by the company my mother worked for so I attended LOTS of schools and lived in LOTS of places. Right now, I’m a Midwest girl and live in a very rural area. I have an office mascot — Diesel the Wonder dog. He is part Jack Russell, part, I’m not sure. He was a pound puppy and is, wow, almost eleven years old!
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
I was one of those nerdy early and voracious readers who could read before they went to school. I actually wrote my first full length novel at twelve. It was horrific, I mean it was a fire-starter, but it taught me a lot. I have written most of my life — as a journalist, advertising, marketing and for magazines. I’d written dozens of books, but they gathered dust as I raised a family and worked a ‘real’ job – the kind with a paycheck and benefits. Then, after my hubster went through cancer I realized if I wanted to grab this dream I needed to go for it. I published my first novel only about five years ago.
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
I read everything! Seriously, stick a cereal box in front of me, I’ll read it. About the only genre I don’t read is horror – mostly because I’m a coward and I can’t afford the leave the lights on all night. I love thrillers, mysteries, romance, and anything with humor.
My writing isn’t necessarily inspired by other authors. Honestly, people who have the tenacity to stick it out, even when that is the toughest thing to do, they inspire me. When I get rejections, or a bad review, I usually read a story about someone who overcame real difficulty and it puts those rejections in perspective pretty fast.
Tell us a little about your latest book?
Baer Truth is the first book in the series, The Three Baers. Yeah, I couldn’t resist that pun. The story smacked me in the head in the great state of Wyoming. We were taking a family trip to Yellowstone, stopping in Cheyenne at the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo. (Can you say hot cowboys?) Anyway, my mind rambles often and it went, ‘what if one of those beef ranching country cowboys feel for a city born, vegetarian? The Baers were born.
The first book, Baer Truth finds Abby Clark stranded alongside a road in Wyoming in January. She soon comes across a downright grumpy Joe Baer. His ranch is being lost, his family is in shambles and they aren’t exactly a match made in heaven.
Abby has not clue about anything on a ranch, and she’s well, a klutz and disaster follows her like a dark cloud. Hired as a cook on the ranch, she soon worms her way in the cowboys hearts and eventually into Joe’s.
Here’s an excerpt of her arrival at the Hidden Rock Ranch:
“Please, call me Mike.” He smiled, starting the engine. Making a hard u-turn, the truck slid across the pavement.
Abby fastened her seatbelt and grabbed the handle above the window.
The truck fishtailed across the ice, but Mike didn’t slow down. “I hope you don’t plan on going shopping very often.” He turned the wipers on. They screeched painfully across the glass. “It’s a fair piece to the nearest store. We plan far in advance for shopping trips, so you’ll want to keep a list for pantry purchases.”
They pulled off the main road onto a gravel road. He made several more turns onto smaller and smaller gravel roads, until they reached a rutted, one-lane dirt road. Suddenly the dirt road gave way to a smooth blacktop drive that wound around snow-covered banks, atop which a red snow fence ran as far as the eye could see.
“I think I’m going to have to drop breadcrumbs to find my way in and out of here.” Abby couldn’t remember ever having been so far from civilization. “Tell me, do you ever get snowed in back here?” As far as she could see in every direction was nothing, absolutely nothing, except hills, snow fence, trees, snow, and huge mountains.
“Occasionally we’ve been snowed in for a few days. We’ve got snowmobiles and we can get out for supplies with them.”
A lump formed in her throat that refused to be swallowed.
“We’ve also got the Cat and the Deere with plows and shovels.”
Abby had no clue what he was talking about, but as long as those things could get her out of this desolate wilderness, she liked them.
“Nobody’s lived at the cottage for awhile. I had the boys go in, knock down the spider webs, and make sure no snakes or anything was living inside, but they don’t always get everything. You aren’t afraid of spiders and such, are you?”
The lump on her head began to ache. Mike’s expression was kind, but odds were she was about to face those things, afraid or not. “I can’t say I care too much for them.”
“Well, snakes are hibernating this time of year. But they can move about when you start disturbing them. I’ll have the boys leave you a hoe just to be safe.” The truck slid across the blacktop road. Mike chuckled. “That was fun.”
Abby pushed a hand against the dashboard, her mouth becoming suddenly dry. “A hoe? What do I need a hoe for?”
“For hacking the snakes’ heads off, honey.” Mike was matter-of-fact.
“Hack its head off?” The ache in her head turned to throbbing and was joined by a rumbling nausea deep in her stomach. “Couldn’t I just call you or one of the men to come and–” she shuddered– “hack the thing?”
“Sure, but we’re usually out in the field or up at one of the cattle barns. It could be awhile before one of us could get it for you. By then it could disappear under the floor only to pop back out in the middle of the night and snuggle up with you in bed.”
“They’re cold-blooded, you know, and they like to find a warm spot to sleep. So it would be best if you just hack them when you see them.”
Her head swam. Her vision turned gray and began sliding into black. She had gone from a bad dream to a horrific nightmare. Abby pinched her thigh, wincing at the pain. Awake. She was awake. The nightmare was real.
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