Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Heidi Thomas, Author and Editor

It's always so interesting to learn about writers, 
such as where they come from, how they 
became involved with  writing,  and what
 motivates them. Well, we'll learn about author 
and editor, Heidi Thomas,  and her young 
adult novel, Cowgirl Dreams.
Heidi is a longtime writer, a journalist and a 
pre-published novelist. In addition to writing 
for herself, she edits manuscripts for others and 
teaches classes in Memoir and Beginning Fiction 
Raised on a ranch in isolated eastern Montana, Heidi Thomas has had 
a penchant for reading and writing since she was a child. Armed with a 
degree in journalism from the University of Montana, she worked for 
the Daily Missoulian newspaper, and has had numerous magazine articles
A tidbit of family history, that her grandmother rode steers in rodeos 
during the 1920s, spurred Heidi to write  a novel based on that 
grandmother’s life.
Cowgirl Dreams is the first in a series about strong, independent 
Montana Women. 
Heidi is a member of Women Writing the West, Skagit Valley Writers 
League, Skagit Women in Business, and the Northwest Independent 
Editors Guild. She is an avid reader of all kinds of books, enjoys hiking
 the Pacific Northwest, where she writes, edits, and teaches memoir
 and fiction writing classes.
Married to Dave Thomas (not of Wendy’s fame), Heidi has no children, 
but as the “human” for two finicky felines, describes herself primarily as a
“cat herder.” Now, let's find out all about Heidi's book. In a sentence,  
Cowgirls Dreams is about a young woman following  her dreams.  
But, the synopsis can tell us more.

Synopsis of Cowgirl Dreams 

Defying family and social pressure, Nettie 
Brady  bucks 1920s convention with her 
dream of becoming a rodeo star. That 
means competing with  men, and cowgirls 
who ride the rodeo circuit are considered 
“loose women.” Addicted to the thrill of 
pitting her strength and wits against a half-ton 
steer in a rodeo, Nettie exchanges skirts for 
pants, rides with her brothers on their Montana 
ranch, and competes in neighborhood rodeos. 
Broken bones, killer influenza, flash floods, and family 
hardship team up to keep Nettie from her dreams. 
Then she meets a young neighbor cowboy who rides broncs and 
raises rodeo stock. Will this be Nettie’s ticket to freedom and 
happiness? Will her rodeo dreams come true?
Based on the life of the author’s grandmother, a real Montana 
cowgirl, Cowgirl Dreams is available from the publisher, 
Treble Heart Books, Amazon.com, or the author website. 
It is suitable for both adult and young adult readers.
Wow, this book sounds great! I love 
books about strong, independent woman. 
Hold on, there's more. Just read these two raving reviews of  
Cowgirl Dreams:
It is a wonderful YA (Young Adult) book! For the duration of 
the story you are completely immersed into the world of 
growing up in Montana in 1920s. Hard work on a family ranch, 
dreams that defy conventional wisdom, hard choices and, finally, 
success. Try becoming a rodeo star, when rodeo 
circuit is a man’s world and you are a teenage girl!
I appreciated author’s meticulous research. All the details of 
everyday life on a ranch, food, clothes, and people’s mindsets 
were so interesting…more 
It is a wonderful YA (Young Adult) book! For the duration 
of the story you are completely immersed into the world of 
growing up in Montana in 1920s. Hard work on a family 
ranch, dreams that defy conventional wisdom, hard choices
 and, finally, success. Try becoming  a rodeo star, when rodeo 
circuit is a man’s world and you are a teenage girl!

I appreciated author’s meticulous research. All the details of 
everyday life on a ranch, food, clothes, and people’s mindsets 
were so interesting, true and well placed throughout the story; 
I could not help but admire it! If you  are a fan of “Little Women”,
 “Secret Garden”, “Little House on the Prairie” and “Ann of 
Green Gables,” take a note of this author, she is the one for you.
I would say the book is a great coming of age story with a lesson in history, 
lots of adventures, a touch of romance and a great lesson in perseverance. 
I am buying this one for my daughter.
Svetlana Kovalkova-McKenna rated it: 5 of 5 stars
Some girls claim they were born as horses and only later grew up to be western 
women. Heidi Thomas  gives us one of those passionate, persistent young 
women in Nettie Brady, and she's  based this sparkling and enduring character 
on her own grandmother s story. Cowgirl Dreams is a heart-warming read for 
all ages and lets us all know why Ms. Thomas is not only a fine editor of other
 authors’ books but shines as a skilled and compassionate writer herself. 
Jane Kirkpatrick, Award Winning author of A Sweetness to the Soul 
(Wrangler Award, 1995) and A Tendering in the Storm, winner of a 
WILLA Literary Award, 2008.
Cowgirl Dreams will make a perfect gift for that young lady in 
your life; why not pick up a copy today.  
You can learn more about Heidi Thomas and 
her book at:
Website: http://www.heidimthomas.com
Blog: http://heidiwriter.wordpress.com
Here are the links you can use to purchase  
Cowgirl Dreams:
Heidi, it's been great having you as a guest and getting to 
know you a little better. I wish you much success with your 
book and look forward to learning even more about you and 
your work through tours such as this.

Well, that's it folks! This month we are touring only one day. 
Next month, for the new year, VBT Writers on the Move will 
have a couple of changes to our schedule and strategies. 
We look forward to touring with you all in the coming 

Have a safe and happy holiday season!

Talk to you soon,



DarcĂ­a Helle said...

Terrific post, Karen!
I love that Heidi's female character is strong and independent. Nettie sounds like the perfect role model for young girls everywhere.

Nancy Famolari said...

I love horse stories. This sounds like a terrific read and a true story to boot. Great post Karen!

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

What a great role model your grandmother must have been. I have this book on my 'want-to-read' list.

Katie Hines said...

Hmm. Went to post (obviously, since I'm commenting) and about what I consider a third is overlapped by the right hand column. This is in Firefox.

Katie Hines said...

Belay my last! Was a problem on my end that I fixed.

Great interview, and always nice to learn about new authors and their books.

kathy stemke said...

Thanks for sharing your Grandmother's story with the world. I love her spunk and determination! Way to go!

Karen, your post is EXCELLENT! You always honor your authors with a caring and thorough post. Thanks!

Karen and Robyn - Writing for Children said...

Thanks for stopping by, All,
Heidi's book does look like an excellent read for young adults.

It is wonderful to have those experiences of your grandmother in a book. What a treasure.

My little guy is taking a nap, so I'll try to squeeze a few sites in.:)


Debra Eckerling said...

Strong women rock! Thanks for sharing, will check it out!

The Old Silly said...

Very nicely done feature post, Karen and Robyn. Always enjoy learning more about Heidi and her writing and this post did not disappoint!

Marvin D Wilson

Mayra Calvani said...

Sounds like a very nice story for girls. Good luck with the book!

Heidiwriter said...

Thank you, Karen, for hosting me today and doing such a nice job!

Thanks to all of you who have visited and commented. I enjoy hearing your take on the subject.

I come from a line of strong, independent Montana women, which will be reflected in my series.

BTW, I'm no longer a "pre-published" novelist, but a "published one!" Hooray! My sequel, Follow the Dream will be released in 2010.

Thanks, All!

Connie Arnold said...

Thanks for sharing the great interview, Karen. Your book sounds very enjoyable, Heidi, and congratulations on your upcoming sequel!

Helena Harper said...

A really interesting post, Karen.

Your book sounds like one great read, Heidi. And I love the title for the second one - is that based on your grandmother as well?


Heidiwriter said...

Yes, the sequel will take up where Cowgirl Dreams leaves off. The 3rd in the series, which I'm starting now, will also be about the same character and based somewhat on my grandmother, but even more fictionalized than the first two.

Karen and Robyn - Writing for Children said...

Thanks All for stopping by. And, Heidi it's been a pleasure hosting you today. Congratulations on the upcoming book - I wish you much success!


Heidiwriter said...

This has been fun! Hope you all had a great day on your blogs!

10 COLORADO said...

Fantastic, thanks!!!

Karen and Robyn - Writing for Children said...

Thanks for stopping by 10 Colorado!