by Jane Porter
After writing several suburban mom novels set in affluent Bellevue, Washington, I was really ready to write about a different part of America, a more rural, rustic lifestyle and that’s what I did in She’s Gone Country.
Although I live in Microsoft land now, I wasn’t raised in a sophisticated society. My hometown in Central California was an ag-based community. One of my best friends in high school was a beautiful brainy and very blonde rancher’s daughter who was active in 4-H and Future Farmers of America. Cyndi wore mascara, cowboy boots and tight faded Wranglers with a massive silver heart belt buckle. I’m pretty sure Cyndi influenced the character Shey in She’s Gone Country, as did my maternal grandfather, a handsome Texan from El Paso.
My grandfather, William Lyles, was tough as nails and a self-made man. He learned early in life that he could do anything if he worked hard enough, so he worked very very hard. He owned two cattle ranches and a large successful construction company and to get from Texas to California, he flew his own plane, finding it far easier to build his own airstrips on his ranches and fly right in, then to travel by commercial aircraft and need a rental car.
My grandfather died during a round-up on the Parkfield Ranch, 40 miles east of Paso Robles, California. But [amazonify]0446509418[/amazonify]my grandfather’s focused and yet resilient nature made a lasting impression on me. It’s also helped shape the way I look at life, and as the mother of three sons, I want my boys to be strong, but I also want them to be themselves.
She’s Gone Country is a story of all the things I love best—raising boys, wide open spaces, ranchers and cowboys, and love. Love for our men. But also, love for ourselves.
To go along with the title of this blog, I asked Jane what luxury meant to her.
My luxury is travel. I literally work to travel. And whenever I can, I take my kids with me, too, as I think one of the best ways to live life is to explore the world around us. And while I like camping, nothing beats a great hotel with a gorgeous pool, 5 star spa, and all the amenities. It’s absolute bliss to walk into that cool, plush, luxurious room and fall onto the down duvet covered in the softest, whitest Egyptian cotton. Heaven!