Interview with Kristy McCaffrey


How did you get started writing?

Since I was a little girl, I’ve been compelled to write. When I would walk home from the school bus, I would narrate my life to myself in third person.

What genre do you write and why?

I write historical western romances, set in the American southwest. I was born and raised in Arizona and have always been interested in history.

What is your favorite part of writing?

Taking a raw idea and refining it. And refining it. And refining it. 🙂

What is your least favorite part of writing?

Those moments—and there are many—when the story has many gaping holes and I wonder if I’ll be able to pull it all together.

What is your next project and when will it be released?

I’m working on Book Five of my Wings of the West series, titled THE BLUEBIRD. It’s set in Creede, Colorado in 1893 and throws my heroine, Molly Rose Simms, into a mining partnership with a man known as The Jackal. It’s set to be released in December 2015.

How has your experience with self-publishing been?

It’s been wonderful. While it’s an enormous amount of work, I like having control over every aspect of my work. However, I still like collaborating and continue to work with a fabulous small press, Prairie Rose Publications.

Do you have a view in your writing space? What does your space look like?

I have a small office, adjacent to my husband who also works from home, but I snagged the window. We live in the Arizona desert so I have a nice view of saguaro cactus, wide-open sky, and lots of birds (I have two feeders right outside my window). Many quail, sparrows, cactus wrens, mourning doves, finches, thrashers, and cardinals. More rarely I’ve also seen large hawks, sparrowhawks, and great-horned owls. I even saw two African lovebirds one afternoon. I thought they were parakeets, but apparently there is a small, wild population in the Phoenix area.

What genres are you drawn to as a reader?

I love Old West romances, naturally. I also enjoy adventure stories and read a lot of memoirs along those lines. Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of non-fiction books about whales. I’m very drawn to them.

CoverFinalMD-TheWrenWhen did you start writing toward publication?

I was in my 30’s and a stay-at-home mom to my four children. My mind was turning to mush, so I decided to try writing a novel. That book, THE WREN, was published by a small press. It was a wonderful opportunity, but in hindsight I think I was published too soon. I didn’t really have a good grasp of the craft. After 12 years, I think my work has greatly improved. When I took back the rights on my Wings series (the first 3 books) and self-published them last year, I cleaned them up quite a bit. They’re perhaps still not my most refined writing, but they were the start of my career and I have a soft spot for them. They really represent my writing apprenticeship.

Do you have any words of inspiration for aspiring authors?

Keep going. It sounds cliché, but you truly learn by doing. It doesn’t seem like writing should be that hard, but it takes skill to work with words and imagery. I’m constantly learning new things. I really love it. You’ll know if you’re not meant to be a writer because the tediousness of it will easily drive you away. But if it doesn’t, then you’ve found your passion and your tribe.



Kristy McCaffrey has been writing since she was very young, but it wasn’t until she was a stay-at-home mom that she considered becoming published. She’s the author of several historical western romances, all set in the American southwest. She lives in the Arizona desert with her husband, two chocolate labs, and whichever of their four teenaged children happen to be in residence. She loves to travel and frequently blogs about her adventures.


Connect with Kristy


Blog ~ Pathways




Buy Links for THE WREN (Wings of the West Series BOOK ONE)

Captured by Comanche as a child, Molly Hart was assumed dead. Ten years later, Texas Ranger Matt Ryan finds a woman with the same blue eyes.








Excerpt from THE WREN

“Mind explaining how the hell you could be Molly Hart?” he (Matt) asked in a voice brimming with contempt.

“I was taken that night by the men who attacked the ranch.”


She shook her head. “No. A group of Comanche attacked us much later, after we’d ridden a while. Most of the men were killed, and nearly all were scalped. The Indians took me then.”

A flash of lightning illuminated the room and lit the broken frame of a bed still lying in the corner. Her little sister’s bed. She and Emma had shared this room as children.

“And how do you explain the girl’s body we found? And the gold cross?”

“After I rode with the Comanche for a time, another band joined up with us. There were several white captives with them. One was a girl near my age.” Molly paused, then continued quietly, “She was quite hysterical, and the Comanche were impatient. One of them shot her with an arrow, nailing her to a tree. Some of the others seemed upset at the one who had done this, but by then it was too late. She was already dead. So they burned her. I threw my cross at her feet—it was all I could do for her. It was all I could manage because I was trying so hard not to scream myself.”

Molly swallowed past the lump in her throat, remembering the terror she had lived with in those early days. On the edge of her mind, the thought loomed time and again that her own gruesome end was imminent.

Matt appeared pushed to the edge, uncertainty clouding his features.

“If what you’re saying is true,” he ground out, “then where’ve you been for the last ten years? It wasn’t unheard of for Comanches to barter their prisoners to the army in exchange for goods. I handled such exchanges myself several times.”

“You did?” Had he been nearby during her captivity? Could he have somehow helped her?

“Were you in the army?”

“For a time.”

“I don’t remember much contact with other white men. I wasn’t really kept prisoner. I was adopted into the lodge of a Comanche called Bull Runner and raised with his two daughters.”

“How’d you get away?”

“I was with them for eight winters before they left me with a trader in New Mexico.”

“Which tribe were you with?”

“The Kwahadi,” she answered.

“They were always fairly remote,” he said. “I never dealt directly with them.”

So he wasn’t as close to her as she initially thought.

“Why did they trade you after eight years?” he asked.

“There was some confusion about an offer of marriage for me. Bull Runner’s eldest daughter was angry. He chose to return me to my people as a gesture of goodwill.”

“Goodwill, my ass,” Matt said scornfully. “He held you hostage for eight years.”

“Then, you believe me?”


8 thoughts on “Interview with Kristy McCaffrey

  1. Kristy, I love your writing, and of course, we are thrilled to have you with us at Prairie Rose Publications! I always love the mysticism you include in your writing. And I want to call readers’ attention to the fact that you have a wonderful short story available, CANYON CROSSING, for only .99, that’s part of our Christmas in July sale starting Friday. That’s a wonderful story! You and I had the narrating thing in common, walking home from school. I wonder what everyone else thought about “those crazy kids talking to themselves”?LOL

    • Cheryl,
      You’re a self talker too? Excellent!! I’m excited for the short story coming. It’s one of my favorites to have written. Includes everything I love–the Grand Canyon, a handsome U.S. Marshal and ghosts. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Great to meet you Kristy! Loved the interview. Your covers are gorgeous. Native Americans are a passion of mine. I used to teach about them to the local school children.

    • Hi Melissa,
      Thanks so much for your kind words. I, too, have great respect for the Native Americans and have always tried to present a balanced view in my novels. When I was a child, I lived for a time on the Navajo Reservation. It had a huge impact on me. I’m not sure you can write about the Old West without touching on the impact of contact with the multitude of tribes in the area. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Whoa! Very intense excerpt, Kristy. Best of luck with your self-publishing. I agree with you that it take a long time to fine tune the craft. After nearly 15 years, I’m still working on it myself.

  4. Hi Stanalei,
    It’s certainly taken longer getting my skills up to speed than I thought it would. In the beginning, a certain amount of ignorance keeps you from realizing how much your writing needs work LOL. Live and learn, and always keep going. Thanks for stopping by!!

  5. I’ve had the joy of discovering Kristy’s books when she first published and been reading her books since! I re-discovered more historical western romances with reading these books. I so would love to re-read and look forward them and the new book.

    So neat on the discovery of so many birds and the like! It sounds like that scenery is a fab for inspiring all your writing! Loved the interview.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *