A conversation with Historical Western Romance author, Kristine Raymond.
Hi! I’m Kristine Raymond, and I’ve been doing this authoring thing for a little over five years. I started off writing historical western romantic suspense before transitioning into contemporary romance, then dabbled a bit with erotic drama, and am currently working on a cozy mystery.
I live in the beautiful Bluegrass state of Kentucky with my husband of 26 years and our menagerie of rescued fur babies. I also host Word Play with Kristine Raymond, a fun podcast where I get to chat with other authors about their books and interests.
Hi Kristine, it is so nice to talk to you today! Can you tell us what inspired you to write the Hidden Springs series?
I’ve always been fascinated by the Old West, even as a child. While other kids spent their weekends riding bikes or playing hide-and-seek, I was settled in front of the TV watching Saturday Afternoon at the Westerns – The Rifleman, The High Chaparral, and my all-time favorite, The Big Valley. Yup; those were the days.
In fact, if time travel was a reality, I’d go back to the late 1800s in a nanosecond! The untamed wilderness, the lawlessness, the fourteen layers of clothing women wore…okay, maybe not fourteen, but whew, were those ladies bundled up! Not exactly a day in the park, yet it holds a certain appeal for me. So, I set out to write stories about how I imagined life was like back then. Friendships and relationships – romantic or not – formed out of necessity as a means for survival. That concept intrigues me.
When you describe the 1800s like that it sounds amazing! What were the challenges you faced in researching this period of history?
I’m not sure it was so much a challenge, but the amount of time I spent researching dates and events and the climate and terrain of 1800s Arizona Territory would make my junior high history teacher proud. And it would’ve been really easy to assume that things like Levi’s were standard back then (when you think cowboys, don’t you imagine a tight-fitting pair of blue jeans?) but they weren’t invented until 1873. Since the stories in the first few books of the Hidden Springs series take place prior to that date, I had to be careful not to include items that weren’t in existence yet.
I think when you enjoy the era you write in research is so much fun. There are many books about The Old West. Can you tell us three things that set your novels apart?
While my stories are as historically accurate as possible, I wove a contemporary quality into the plots. That may sound like an odd concept for a historical romance series, but I wanted readers to be able to identify with my characters and the challenges they face regardless of the story’s setting or time period. After all, love is love no matter the century.
Another thing that sets my books apart is that a part of me – my personality, life experiences, even family names – is incorporated into each one. The stories I tell are unique to my voice and my interpretation of what life was like back then. It was a hard way to live, so people had to be tough and make decisions that wouldn’t necessarily be popular, or even understood, in today’s world.
Along that line, my female characters are tough and fiercely independent, maybe more so than women actually were back then, but that’s the great thing about fiction. As the author, I get to create situations that unfold as I want them to, not necessarily as they would’ve in real life.
Your books sound amazing. Can you tell us what are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on a cozy mystery, but an idea for another historical western romance has been niggling at the edges of my brain, so a trip back in time may be happening sooner rather than later. Because of my deep love for that time period, I don’t think I’ll ever fully step away from writing in that genre, though whether I’ll create another series like Hidden Springs remains to be seen…or read.
Here to Stay
(Hidden Springs Book 1)
Sam Mackenzie rode into the town of Hidden Springs looking for a place to belong. He takes a job at Ryan’s Ranch and is immediately attracted to the ranch’s pretty, female, owner.
Kate Ryan is a woman determined to make it on her own. Chafing at the thought of having to hire help, she nonetheless falls for the handsome stranger who answers her ad.
When they meet, sparks fly and they are drawn to each other. But life in 1867 Arizona Territory isn’t easy. When a secret from Kate’s past comes to light, they are each faced with the challenge of making a difficult decision.
Will they turn and run or are they here to stay?
You can find information more information on the Hidden Springs series as well as where to purchase the books
Kristine Raymond didn’t figure out what she wanted to be when she grew up until later in life. You guessed it! It’s being an author. Since writing and publishing her first book in 2013, she’s gone on to complete two romance series – one historical western and one contemporary; a humorous non-fiction story; a collection of seasonally-themed short stories; and a contemporary erotic drama. She also hosts a podcast called Word Play with Kristine Raymond.
When not writing, she’s navigating the publishing and promotional side of the business. When not doing that, she enjoys spending time with her husband and furry family, reading, gardening, and binge-watching shows on Netflix.