It might sound overly dramatic to say Country Music defined my life, but in a sense it's true.
Growing up, my folks listened to country music. I hated it. Although, my first concert-going experience was to a Kenny Rogers concert. We all got dressed up and the whole family went.
Inevitably, almost as a sign of rebellion, I found a different outlet for my musical taste. In junior high it was Rick Springfield and then in high school the advent of the 80s hair bands had my sister and I going to a different 'metal' concert almost every month. We had a blast. I was definitely an 80s head-banger. It even continued into college where, much to my roommate's chagrin, I had a life-sized poster of Jon Bon Jovi on my closet door. (Jon Bon Jovi still does it for me!)
After I graduated from college, I happened to take a trip to Texas to visit a high school friend who was going to school down there. It was then that country music came back into my life. And there it stayed.
From then on I was hooked, and it led to so many other things, which really did lead me down a certain path in life:
I met my husband at a country bar. We learned to dance together. And fell in love. He's my best friend in the whole world and I owe it all to the music I listen to. (The bar eventually became the setting for my first novel: This Time for Always.) We made friends at the bar (which sadly is closed now) that we still keep in contact with today. Some were even in our wedding. Some of our most memorable moments while dating came while at "Country Thunder", a multi-day outdoor concert/camping experience.
I really do think John Deere tractors are sexy thanks to Kenny Chesney.
Most of my books have somewhat of a country feel. Their corresponding soundtracks are always country. If my hero isn't a cowboy, or something else close to it, he at the very least drives a pick-up truck or wears boots. Certain country songs have sparked ideas which have turned into complete stories.
I even work out to country music most of the time: Toby Keith and Eric Church can rock with the best of them.
And I've learned to love all of those old country classics my parents used to listen to.
There are many folks out there who don't care for country music, but as for me, without it, I wouldn't be who I am today.
Until next time,