‘Cowboy Tails’ by Terri Powers Explores Why Some Women Love Cowboys
Terri Powers thinks there are more pertinent story lines about the Western lifestyle than most books written on the subject portray.
“When I decided to write books for the rodeo crowd, I saw that most cowboy books out there are either old-timey stuff or Western romance novels,” said Powers, an author from Albuquerque, N.M. “Instead, I want to do entertaining stories that are more relevant to today’s cowboy.”
She’s done it so far. Powers wrote Gold Buckles Don’t Lie, The Untold Tale of Fred Whitfield, which was released in 2013. It’s been quite a success, especially among rodeo fans who have followed the career of Whitfield, an eight-time world champion calf roper and pro rodeo’s most decorated African-American cowboy.
In December 2014, at the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, Powers released “Cowboy Tails, Good Ol’ Gals Tell All,” a collection of short stories from women who have loved cowboys “…to varying degrees of success.”
“The book is based on my decision at eight years old to never marry a cowboy,” Terri said. “I remember being quite certain, even as a little kid, that I didn’t want to end up with a cowboy. And I didn’t.”
She said she never reconsidered her decision again until writing the Fred story.
“It was then I realized there are some really awesome women out there who wouldn’t have anything but a cowboy. I wondered what they knew that I didn’t, and Cowboy Tails was born.”
Though she again targeted cowboys and rodeo fans, Powers wanted her second book to be as far removed from her first as she could get. “Gold Buckles was about somebody; Cowboy Tails is about everybody.”
Most of the women Powers interviewed for the book remain anonymous, but a few brave souls used their real names.
“I started with my friends, women I knew with cowboy creds,” she said. “Very early, I knew I was on to something, so I took it to the cyber crowd and talked to woman all over the country. After I had heard all of the perks and perils of life with a cowboy, I analyzed my decision based on their stories.”
The back cover of Cowboy Tails defines the storytellers as “…young and old, stable and crazy, smart and whatever words means the most opposite of smart; some are cowgirls themselves, some are the farthest thing from it.”
“The only common thread among the woman was that they had loved a cowboy, so their stories are all over the map,” she said. “I heard stories about stereotypical, ornery rodeo cowboys, stories about salt-of-the-earth types, and everything in between. They’re all funny, and many are very heart-warming.”
“Bull riders took a hit in this book – there aren’t a lot of happily-ever-after stories that involve bull riders,” Powers reports. While she says she wasn’t too surprised about the bull riders, Powers says that she was surprised to hear about another side of often chauvinist cowboys.
“Many women talked about how their cowboys pushed them to do more than they ever thought they could,” she said. “I found that paradox interesting. These supposed chauvinists often had more faith in their women’s abilities than the women themselves did, and pushed them far beyond their comfort zone.”
She has found a perfect niche with rodeo fans and plans to stay there for years to come. Asked about a possible next book, Powers said, “The women have had their say, so I think my next book will be the cowboys tell about them.”
(Cowboy Tails is available at Amazon and at www.cowboytails.com )