Saturday, June 05, 2010

Introducing The Codys: The First Family of Rodeo

Howdy,

You all are readers—I know because you are reading this blog. As readers, you will likely agree with me that when you find an author you love, you want to search out and read all of their books. And when you find a miniseries that really grabs you, you want to read the books one after another. Well, I found one. And it’s called The Codys: The First Family of Rodeo.

I’ve always wanted to do a big family drama in American Romance—something with a western theme, of course. And one night (there may have been some wine involved) I sat down and tinkered away at the computer, coming up with an outline for a town, a ranch, and a big family whose members would find their happiness, one at a time, with the loves of their lives. But things didn’t get interesting until I emailed the outline to six amazing authors who truly created the world of the Codys.

Even after all these years of being an editor, it still delights me to see an author’s finished story. Going from an idea to a book is a long process. It’s fun to brainstorm ideas with authors, or work with them on sketches and small pieces of characters and places and situations. But actually reading the final finished books, and seeing how an author has developed her characters—emotionally, physically, mentally—impresses the hell out of me. Sometimes I think where the heck did she come up with that? Fantastic! And it all came out of one little germ of an idea.

From a small outline, six authors created six great stories. I’ve been reading the finished and polished manuscripts as they came in and they have made me laugh, and get a little teary at times, and most of all they have made me whoop with glee. Wow, guys. You have made this family tick, and taken these characters places I never would have imagined. A shout out to Johanna, who has worked with all six authors from proposal to finished manuscript. She has been an integral part of this miniseries, and is an all-around cool person and a fantastic editor. Way to go, Jo. You da woman!

Thanks, Rebecca, Marin, Cathy, Pamela, Trish, and Lynnette. It’s an honor to work with you all. Thanks for these stories—pick ‘em up, people! You’re going to love them. And who knows…we might end up back at the Cottonwood Ranch one day soon.

Kathleen Scheibling
Senior Editor
Harlequin American Romance

P.S. The pictures here are posters Johanna and I have up in our offices. When we embarked on this journey into the world of rodeo, I thought it would be fun to have some authentic inspiration. These posters are from the Cody, WY, rodeo. Mounted, framed, and hung with pride in our offices at Harlequin.

**Dear Readers don't forget to return tomorrow June 6th for the first One Day Only Social Media Blitz Contest when Rebecca Winters talks about her launch book in the series, Walker: The Rodeo Legend.

12 comments:

Marin Thomas said...

Hi Kathleen

Love the posters! Working with the other authors on this continuity was a lot of fun and I think readers are going to love the First Family of Rodeo!

Rebecca Winters said...

Cheers, Kathleen:
It's a thrill to see our editor posting first today. I got chills of excitement thinking about this series and how happy I am to be a part of it.
Those Stampede posters say it all. The life of the rodeo! But theer's nothing like it when the stories take you inside a real rodeo family. The stories become personal and meaninful, hopefully in a way the readers won't forget.
See y'all at the Cody Stemepede for the next spine tingling months.

Rebecca Winters

Estella said...

Great posters!
I love rodeo.
I am looking forward to the First Family of Rodeo.

Lynn said...

Growing up, I was lucky to be able to attend The Snake River Stampede, in Nampa, Idaho. I loved that rodeo. They had a horse parade every night before the rodeo and I dreamed of the time I'd be old enough to ride.

Looking forward to the First Family of Rodeo!

CC Coburn said...

Hi Kathleen, Great to see you here! I enjoyed hearing how you come up with a series, go about creating the bare bones and then hand it all over to an author to take the characters on their individual journeys.
Looking forward to reading about the Codys from six of our very tallented (and lovely) American romance authors.
CC :-)

shelley galloway said...

Hi Kathleen!
Oh, I love those posters. How neat to imagine them in y'alls offices!
As a writer, I'm so excited that our line has our very own continuity series.
As a reader, I'm very anxious to pick up the books! And I couldn't agree more about the authors mentioned. They are all just amazing writers.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

I'm a little late in commenting. Been at a cabin in the woods with no Internet connection but working like a good little writer. :) It was such a cool experience working on this series. I can't wait to hold all six books in my hands. And working on my book made me want to go back to visit Wyoming again.

Lynnette Baughman said...

Lee -- thanks for directing me to this blog. I'm eager to read this series!
Lynnette Baughman

Barbara White Daille said...

Kathleen - it's very exciting to know the miniseries is starting! I've been looking forward to reading all of the books.

Thanks for the insight into how the idea began and for the look at the posters. Talk about inspiration!

Kudos to you, Johanna, and the authors for all the hard work that went into this project.

Best,

Barbara
http://www.barbarawhitedaille.com

Rebecca Winters said...

For Johanna--

Your initial take on my rough draft helped me get in to the heart of my story and refine it. I couldn't have been given better help.

Thanks Jo!

Rebecca

Cathy McDavid said...

Hi Everyone!

I'm so thrilled that the continuity is finally here!! And like Trish, I want to hold all six books in my hands.

It was such an awesome experience being part of the continuity and working with five fabulous authors and two fabulous editors.

Yeehaw!

Cathy McDavid

Dominique Jessop said...

Congrats Kathleen! & Cheers to Johanna!

I'm sorry I haven't posted sooner. I have been writing like mad and then got the crazy notion to go run the San Diego marathon last Sunday- with very little training. More importantly, I forgot the sunscreen. I've never run for close to seven hours ever!!!! Oh boy, I paid for it all week with a sunburn.

I just finished reading your blog and I loved it. As a Utah girl, from out west, we love our rodeo's, our cowboys and the land. You were able to capture all of it so brilliantly in this series.

I know my mother was thrilled to write Walker's story. She learned a ton about what real cowboys do in and out the ring, through endless hours of research.

As far as brilliant I have to say you editor's really do know how to make us shine. You're the stars behind the scenes. You come up with ideas and somehow pull something out of us we didnt' know we had either.

Cheers and Best Wishes to the editors and writer's of- THE CODYS: THE FIRST FAMILY OF RODEO

Dominique Burton