Have you ever imagined another way of life? Have you ever dreamed of living in another time? Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have an adventure that may seem completely out of reach?
Chances are these questions inspire many writers and many books, but each of these is at the core of why I write and how the Gallagher series came to be. The stories didn’t just come to me out of nowhere—they were nurtured by years of dreaming. Ever since I saw my first western movie, I thought how exciting and wonderful it would be to live that life. I had already begun reading historical romances long before this, but it was watching that first western that planted the seed in my mind about historical western romances.
I allowed the seed to grow and the ideas to form until I no longer had thoughts churning around in my head. Instead I met the Gallagher family. I began to see their struggles and hard work. I felt their pain and joy, their sorrows and accomplishments. They became as real as the mountains and streams of Montana—they became family.
Ethan Gallagher is at the head and the core of the Gallagher family. He came to me in my thoughts, planted a seed, and fast became my most adored hero. It was Ethan who inspired the woman who would be Brenna. His personality, his devotion, his unwavering loyalty to family, needed a woman who was as committed to truth, right, and family as Ethan. They inspired each other.
When I first met Gabriel in Gallagher’s Pride, I knew we would see so much more of him. In Gallagher’s Hope, he became more than I ever imagined. He charmed me with his smiles and devotion to those he loves. I met his darker side and fell even more in love. Isabelle had her own sorrows, but she didn’t allow the weight of the worries to stop her from doing whatever she must for her brother. Like Brenna in Gallagher’s Pride, Isabelle had her own journey and struggles and her eventual faith in Gabriel touched me dearly.
Eliza Gallagher certainly had her place among the family, an important and strong place, but she really came into her own in Gallagher's Choice. She and I were still getting to know each other during the first two books, but it was the events from those first stories that made her who she was in the third book and beyond. And, it was in part, the influence of Ramsey Hunter who would inspire many of her choices.
The adventures and stories continued in An Angel Called Gallagher and Journey to Hawk's Peak, each inspired by the people who came before them. Now that another book in this series is in the works, I find myself often remembering what brought about this series in the first place.
As I walked along the Swan River or stood on top of Mt. Aeneas and looked out over the valley I've called home for many years, I knew the Gallaghers would find happiness and adventure in this remarkable place. I saw them build their ranch from nothing and bring a family into the world so that they may carry on the legacy. I knew their lives wouldn’t be easy, but I also knew they would find love and a reason to survive on this wild land.
As sure as I’m breathing, there was no way to stop the series from taking on a life of its own. The true inspiration behind the books is the Gallagher family. Without them there would be no stories. They inspire me, not the other way around.