write what you know

Before I decided to write romance novels, I always heard “write what you know.” So the first story where I actually wrote more than three pages took place in Boston (where I was born) and centered around a community theater. I know those things, and the story went along fairly well until I got bored and stopped writing.

My cowboy story takes place in South Carolina and Wyoming. I’ve never been to Wyoming. I’ve only been on a horse once in my life. I’ve been to South Carolina, but only either traveling through or as a guest of my brother. But today I had a chance to do something in my story: Ride a mechanical bull.

I’m sure the guy operating it didn’t have it at breakneck speed. I didn’t fall off, and there was a lot of shrieking and laughing. Mostly from me. Oh, and I realized why there’s always one hand in the air. This came after I had both hands through the rope holding on for dear life… and nearly fell forward when the bull’s butt bucked up.

In my story, the heroine is riding the bull and it’s in the hero’s POV. So there’s not much sensory additions, but I did get to give a more well-rounded version of what she was physically doing while riding. I almost didn’t ride it, also. But I told myself – it’s research. I should do it. Plus I had no reason not to, not after doing a blog post (on www.rubyslipperedsisterhood.com) about conquering fear.

I roped the horn of a calf, too, but it was just a fake head on a sawhorse. 🙂

ETA: A picture!

Abigail on a mechanical bull


  1. J.S. Nichols says

    That’s so cool! When my husband was in the Navy and out to sea for six weeks, the guys would email home (on public emails) what they were doing.

    One day they said they were swimming with sharks. So the wives got together and decided to ride a mechanical bull at the local cowboy bar. (We couldn’t let the men out do us on new experiences!)

    It was a blast! I can’t remember if I fell or not, but I probably did. 🙂

    Yeah you! for doing it.


  2. says

    Oh how I would’ve loved to see you on the bull! *seriously LOL*

    I can’t imagine any romance sub-genre you couldn’t write. In fact, with your humorous bent, I think you should write a Regency akin to Julia Quinn. (I didn’t mean for that to rhyme!) I would love to hear your voice in a fun little romp from that era.


    • says

      ACTUALLY, you can! I’ve been on a couple of farms lately, and each of them had trees lining the LONG driveway to the house. Do ranches have that, too?

      and thanks for stopping by, Jaye!


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