The night that I saw High Noon on the big screen was the night that changed my life forever – for the better.  I was mesmerized the moment the late, great Tex Ritter (father of the late, great John Ritter) started singing the opening notes to the movie’s theme song Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darlin’, a song that became a running, haunting score throughout the film.  I fell in love with the story and the setting of High Noon.  I booed the bad guys, and I cursed the townspeople.  My heart ached when no one would help Gary Cooper defeat the bad guys, and raced when the only person who helped him was Grace Kelly – who was against violence because of her religion.  I loved watching a young Lloyd Bridges deal with his confliction – whether or not to help Gary Cooper.  Aside from Gary Cooper, my favorite character was that of saloon owner, and Cooper’s ex-lover, played by the beautiful Mexican actress Katy Jurado.  It was Katy’s meaty role that helped me to create the role of my own saloon owner heroine Julia.

Because of High Noon, I decided to create a ten-book western romance series set in 1880’s Colorado.  It was not my intention to self-publish my series.  Blogging was good enough for me.  Until I woke up one morning, and thought, I want to self-publish – thanks to my dear, dear friend, Peggy Miller, who passed away in 2008.  Peggy and I shared a love for romance novels, and she told me about her self-publishing stint – which had cost her an arm and a leg.  Thanks to her, I knew it was the only way to go – as long as it was cheap (er).

Thanks to my love for westerns in both books and movies, I feel like I have the experience to tell stories that are just as good – maybe even better.  When I write, I write as if the reader will be reading a film.  My stories are filled with rich settings, dialogue, and conflict, and rich characters – good and bad – whose stories are begging to be told.  But more importantly, my stories are not just about romance and sex.  My stories are about love, family, and community.

I chose to self-publish because it was the only way I could be in control.  I didn’t want my voice to be lost.  I didn’t want my vision for my cover art to be lost.  Good stories come from editing, but great stories come from the author’s heart and soul.

Thunder Mountain Brides has been a long, exciting challenge, and it’ll continue to be a long, exciting challenge.  I hope it will continue to live in your memories and hearts as a great western series long after the sun has set.

I would love to hear your thoughts on my books – my Series.

Happy Trails, Dudes and Dudettes!

-Amanda A. Brooks
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