Rawhide 'n Roses Author Alison Bruce

First in the book and last in the interviews... makes sense. Besides, how does one interview oneself?

By answering the same questions I asked everyone else of course.

What inspired your short story in Rawhide 'n Roses?

At the same time that I was looking for inspiration for a short story, I also had to find a topic for Cowboy Kisses. Since it was around the Chinese New Year, I decided to tackle the history of the Chinese in the old west... or part of it. 

Being a research junkie, I went off on a few tangents, one involving Chinese hand laundries. Add to that one of Maggie O's five-word story challenges and decided to write about a young woman named May working in a Chinese laundry in a mining town, running afoul of a lawman and saloon owner, with mayhem ensuing.

The road to becoming a published author is rarely smooth, what were some of your most noteworthy bumps or potholes?

For the longest time, I was the poster girl for what not to do to get published. I gave up trying after three rejections when I was in my early twenties. I never gave up writing, but I only ever took one writing course and every time I tried to get involved with a critique group, someone in my family would get deathly ill.

On the other hand, I did learn how to write nonfiction. I majored in history and philosophy at university and got my first paid writing job while I was a student. Later, when I was taking care of my sister and father, I started reading about the writing process. Robert Sawyer and Janet Evanovich became my writing teachers. They were very informative and I didn't have to worry about being late for class.

Tell us a little about your latest release?

Hazardous Unions is a book with two novellas about twin sisters who work for families on different sides of the war. I wrote about Maggie, who worked as a lady's companion on a plantation in Tennessee. When the plantation is occupied by a Union cavalry troop, she does her best to keep the family safe despite themselves. Kat Flannery wrote about Maggie's twin, Matty, who has her own adventures thwarting a treasonous plot.

It was an exciting project because it was the first time I had ever collaborate with another fiction author. Although our stories are separate, Kat and I had to build a common background for our respective sisters.

Hazardous Unions was also special because it was written within a year of when it was published. My first two books were started years ago. In the case of Under A Texas Star, it had started life as a short story written twenty years before it was published as a novel. The first draft of Deadly Legacy was written shortly after my mother died in 1998.

Saddle up your horses and head out to the heart of the Wild West in this collection of short love stories by authors of Western Romance from all over the country and around the world. Whether your passion is historical or contemporary, there's something inside for everyone.


"I usually purchase anthologies hoping I'll enjoy half of the stories. Wow! I loved every one of these tales, most of which left me wanting more. I highly recommend this anthology to anyone who enjoys a good western! Great job, everyone!"