Hello, I’m Carla Roma and my latest Bandit Creek interview is with Marlene Renee. I managed to slide bits of this interview into the scheduled walk breaks during our morning run. (Actually I gasped out the questions.) As we cooled down – and I thanked the Almighty the run was over – we completed the interview about Marlene’s Historical Western, MY HEART BURNS, available August 15, 2012.
Carla: <groaning> Firm as jelly. Bring on the comfy chairs and a stack of pancakes.
Marlene: <grins> Might be a good idea to stretch first.
Carla: Might be. <grins> You stretch. I’ll watch and ask questions. What possessed you to write an historical western?
Marlene: I’ve always been intrigued by that time. Devoured Zane Grey books as an adolescent and thoroughly enjoy movies like 3:10 TO YUMA.
Carla: But those are typical westerns. You’ve got the good guys, the bad guys and the protagonist is a male. In MY HEART BURNS you switch things up a bit.
Marlene: True. Mackenzie Delaney, my protagonist, is female. And she tends to follow her heart rather than listen to the dictates of society.
Carla: Like defying her father and striking out on her own. She’s a female doctor in 1887. What prompted you to incorporate that element into the story?
Marlene: I admire strong, independent women – trailblazers. I thought it would be fun to pick an unusual occupation for a woman during that era.
Carla: But in the untamed West? Mackenzie could have blazed her trail in her hometown Chicago instead.
Marlene: True. But leaving what she knows to head West is life-changing for her.
Carla: How life-changing?
Marlene: <cheeky grin> We could run again tomorrow. I’ll let you in on the ending after we’re done.
Carla: <Laughs> Thanks, I’ll pass on the run. But give me some hints about Mackenzie’s life-changing events.
Marlene: Well, everything she owns is stolen, a bandit wants to kill her, the Sheriff wants her to leave town . . .
Carla: <rubs her hands> Hmmm, a robbery, death threats – sounds intriguing. But the Sheriff wants her to leave? Isn’t he the love interest?
Marlene: He is. But they reconcile after she operates on his backside.
Carla: And? <pauses> You’re not going to give the full reveal are you?
Marlene: <looks up at the sky> I’d really enjoy another run tomorrow.
Carla: <laughs> Not going to happen. I’d really enjoy hearing about the Sheriff’s backside.
Marlene: You certainly can – just remember August 15.
Carla: I’m on it!