Texas: The Longhorn, Part 1


I laughed when asked if I would ever set a book in Texas. “Why?” I thought. Then quickly I reconsidered. Why not? But it wasn’t until thirteen years later that CLON-X came to life in my mind.

I also had no intention of expanding on my Texas series of blog posts, limiting my articles to the history of the DFW Metroplex where CLON-X is set. But the enthusiastic responses I’ve received from readers have prompted me to dig deeper into Texas history.

In my youth, my father – who was raised on a farm in south Alabama – instilled in me a love for the land. I didn’t always feel that way when I had to help tend our vegetable garden or collect chicken eggs, but as I grew older I did come to appreciate the green thumb inherited from my father and my paternal grandfather. Dad once told me there are two things you can never own enough of: land and trees. These words stuck with me into adulthood, and I’ve often daydreamed about owning ranchland. Never have, but maybe in another life.

This post is the first of several on the Texas Longhorn. Why the longhorn? Shortly after my introduction to these magnificent beasts, I discovered that, not only are they majestic, but they each have their own personality. While I expected them to be formidable in appearance and demeanor, the former is true but not the latter. Even the bulls I’ve come in contact with have been calm and tame. Cows with calves, while protective, haven’t shown any aggression toward my presence. Of course, I always respect their space and, in my best interest, have been cautious about getting too close to those horns. Although it would be totally unintentional, one flick of the head in the wrong direction and injury can occur to the bystander. So be alert and beware!

Horns can measure up to seven feet from tip to tip and can vary in style from rising close to the head or at the tip of the horn. Many horns vary in color and can have a slight upward turn at their tips or even a triple twist. 

Cowboy writer Chuck Walters described the longhorn by saying, “Their long, polished horns sometimes ran six feet from tip to tip … they were lean and lithe, alert as a deer, half-wild, half-savage, half-human.”

In 1995, the Texas Longhorn was enshrined in law as Texas’s large state mammal by then-Governor George W. Bush, joining the seven other animals recognized as official by the state. 

Thank you Sharon Markwardt for giving me permission to use your stunning artwork:  https://www.sharonmarkwardt.com/works

Next week— Texas: The History of the Longhorn

Sharing is caring!

The Book That Almost Wasn’t

Well, sort of. Quitting is not in my genetic makeup, but shepherding CLON-X through to this stage has been challenging. What stage is that? The book is currently undergoing what I hope is a final edit. From there, I’ll review the edits, make changes if necessary, and then send it to my proofreader. After the proofreader and my final polishing, it’s off to my book designer. As with most things, I’ll have to “get in line.”  I’m sure my book designer hasn’t been hanging out waiting for me to contact him. Once he’s done with the print version, then it’s back to the proofreader to check for any errors that may have popped up during the final formatting. Thankfully, the cover design was finalized earlier this year.

Done correctly, a lot of work goes into producing a quality book – one an author can be proud of. And it often takes years from concept to the finished product.  At least, it has for me. Once a book is released, I want to close that chapter and continue on with the next one in the series. In fact, as soon as any book reaches the edit stage, I begin to work diligently on the next novel while my editor tackles the previous manuscript. 

So why has it taken so long to get CLON-X released? Simple. “Real life,” as Linda McKinley, a dear friend and fellow writer once said when I asked her how her historical fiction was coming along. Since the fall of 2019, CLON-X’s target release date, the book has weathered a slew of freelancers who, through no fault of their own, have fallen victim to their own “real life” events that relegated fiction to the back burner. What do you do when you can’t control the situation? You persevere. 

The theme of CLON-X is human cloning, and I wish I’d had the ability to do just that – clone myself. But cloning doesn’t guarantee talent, and it takes the talents of others to get the job done, and done right. In reality, the hurdles my freelancers have faced while dealing with real life situations, have far outweighed the importance of sticking to a book deadline. 

As Albert Einstein said, “In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity.” In my case, the long middle of working to release CLON-X gave me the opportunity of extra time to proceed with Blue Angel, book five in the Darcy McClain and Bullet Thriller Series.


Sharing is caring!

New Website, New Blog Posts

Dear Readers:

We hope you’ve had time to explore our new website: patkrapf.com. 

Thanks to our web designers, Maddee and Riley at https://xuni.com, we were happy to announce its early release.

Tell us what you think. Oh, and don’t miss clicking on those floating red dots on the Home page. We call them bots, short for nanobots. Or are they blood spatter?

Join us September 22, 2022 for the first in the series of our new blog posts. Until then, happy reading.

Darcy, Bullet, and Pat

Read more about nanobots in Brainwash, the first novel in the Darcy McClain and Bullet Thriller Series.

Sharing is caring!

Follow by Email


Sign up for Pat's Newsletter: