Sunday, June 24, 2012
Susan Spence
Author of The Story of The West
Susan Spence has always been intrigued with life in the west in the 1880s. She 
researched historical accounts and first-person narratives as she prepared to write A 
Story of the West. A lifelong resident of the west, she currently lives in Montana on an 
old sheep shearing station that she shares with lots of furry critters, some domestic and 
others wild. This is her first novel, and she is busy working on a sequel due out in late 

A Story of the West
Spending summers trailing herds of longhorns north from Texas, Matt Daly and his father eventually arrive in Montana Territory in the 1880s. They realize immediately this is where they want to make their home. There are few people living on the frontier at this time, and the two are determined to build a ranch running cattle on the fertile grasslands.Once the transcontinental railroad was completed, it became much easier for people to head west, and many did, leaving the populated east behind. Lavina Lavold stepped off the train in Miles City and immediately caught Matt's eye. She had ridden out with her family looking for adventure. When she meets Matt and falls in love, she decides she would like nothing more than to share his life on the isolated prairie.
There are other men however, determined to build cattle empires. When a ruthless neighbor attempts to take control of the land they had claimed as their own, Matt and his father have no choice but to defend their home and family. Although the land is still owned by the federal government, there is little law on the rough frontier to manage the threatening range war. 

The Interview
If you could have any Superpower, what would it be? To be able to manifest myself anywhere I wanted.

M&M Or Skittle? It used to be M&M’s, but now I’m not really into either.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer? It was fairly recently, within the last few years, as I was completing A Story of the West. I realized I had to write another book as there was more of the story I wanted to tell.

What was the most exciting moment in your process from book idea to publication? Receiving the proof in the mail was probably the single most exciting moment.

Most influential person in the process? Supportive? My husband is both my most influential and supportive person. He is the model on the book cover, as well as the person who encourages me to continue.

Favorite book? There are so many. To Kill a Mockingbird has to be right up there.

Favorite color? Purple, but I like many different colors depending on my mood.

Did you base any of your characters around people you know? No, but I sometimes wonder if people I know find aspects of themselves, or me for that matter, in my characters.

Advice to aspiring authors? I consider myself to be an aspiring writer, so I don’t know how much advice I can give. As with any kind of success, you just have to keep persevering. And stay true to your
vision. It’s easy to get side-tracked listening to the advice of others.

One quality you have in common with your MC? It’s taken both of us quite a while to mature.

One Sentence Book Description? A Story of the West is about the early ranching days of the American West and  particularly, one family’s adventures and misfortunes, as they strive to, not only survive, but prosper on the frontier.

Favorite movie? Thunderheart is one movie I watch every few years.

If you had any other author to dinner who would it be? I just looked in my book case for ideas on an author I would invite to dinner and realized that any author whose book I enjoyed could be on that list. My criteria would be the same as for any other person and I prefer those who are open-minded.

Favorite quote from your book? “Kirsten led the way, her blond braid streaming out behind her as she urged her horse on. Lavina was right behind her, holding on tight. She didn’t have a lot of riding skill, but she wasn’t hanging back as the water drenched her. Matt remembered her hair had come loose and followed her in shiny, brown waves. He and Jesse turned to look at one another, then back to their beautiful wives, their grins matching the delight on the women’s faces. Right then they knew they were the luckiest men in the world.”

Is there a book that encouraged you to write? There’s no single book that encouraged me. Actually I could say that writers I admire could have the opposite effect, because I don’t know how I could ever come anywhere near doing as good of a job at telling a story.

Mismatched or matching socks? Definitely matched.

Writing rituals? Every morning I go for a walk and then do a crossword puzzle to get my brain

Favorite veggie? At the moment, lettuce.

Fav writing snack? Fresh fruit.

Rain or shine? I like both. I’ve lived in both arid and wet areas and like both. I enjoy a cool drenching
rain after a dry spell as much as a bright sunny day after a month of rain.

Thank you for joining me Susan! Make sure you all go check out her fabulous book on Goodreads!


  1. Great post! I enjoyed reading the interview. I'll definitely be putting the book on my TBR list. =)

    BTW: I tagged you for the Liebster Blog Award ( Congrats!!! =D

  2. Great interview - both questions and answers! This cover has beautiful scenery! :D


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