Turns out she's not only an author, but she used to teach special needs kids...and when I asked her what was at the heart of this story--it's a deaf rodeo rider!--this is what she said:
This short story is a work of fiction based loosely on a young man that rode bulls with my husband years ago. I worked with his sister at one time. He actually talked rather well, like I described in the story. In a nasally, not quite clear monotone. He read lips very, very well. He knew very little sign language, just because he didn't want to learn it and have to use it. He was fiercely independent and worked very hard at being just like all the other cowboys. He saw himself as no different from them. He was successful riding bulls and also in his work as a welder.
He did also find the girl of his dreams and had a family. This one particular young man was one of three deaf cowboys that my husband rode with and was friends with, back in the day. I have been in the public school system for 28 years and 14 of those years I worked with Special Needs children. I did not work with the deaf program in our District, but did have two students over the years that wore hearing aides. I am by no means an authority on deafness, but when I heard about this young man years ago, I couldn't help but write a story about him.
Thanks for agreeing to be on Book Babe, Dianne, and good luck with your writing career. Thanks also for your 14 years of service to those with special needs. The world needs more people like you.
Want to know more about Dianne? She's got a website.
Luke McKenzie faces the challenge of riding 1200 pound bulls to hold onto his Texas ranch.
After watching him ride in the Dodge City, Kansas rodeo, Amanda O’Conner has been challenged by “so-called” friends to get the attention of this special bull rider. Upon taking this challenge, she makes a self-discovery of the person she really is and what she really wants out of life.
Luke discovers that his dreams can come true in and out of the rodeo arena. All he has to do is take a chance.
Could this be only the beginning?