Mary Lynn Archibald, author of Accidental Cowgirl, launches her blog tour!

Monday, July 19, 2010
& Book Giveaway Comments Contest!

Mary Lynn Archibald grew up on an apple and chicken farm in Soquel, California and went on to be a chorus girl, an herb grower, a teacher, a ballerina, a switch board operator, an interior designer, and a model. She did not intend to add cattle farmer to that list. But there was a tiny town called Zenia, a husband longing for "vistas," and a dream of elegant country living. And without warning she was plucked from comfy city living and plunked back on the farm.

When she isn't mucking out stables, Mary Lynn is a copywriter, editor, and author. Her first book, Briarhopper, was written about a woman's journey from the coal region of Kentucky to California from the early 1900s to World War II. She has also written about interior design, gardening, real estate, business communications, and (surprise!) farming and ranching. With her partner-in-crime Carl and dog Fizzbo, Mary Lynn now spends her days in the country trying to get the dirt out from under her fingernails.

Find out more about Mary Lynn by visiting her websites:

Accidental Cowgirl: Six Cows, No Horse and No Clue
By Mary Lynn Archibald

Carl dreamed of wide open spaces...think Bonanza here...while Mary Lynn dreamed of gardens overflowing with flowers, elegance and thoroughbred horses...think Town & Country here. Accidental Cowgirl is the tale of their search for the perfect retirement spot and the unexpected place they ended up calling home. When they purchased Twin Creeks Ranch their dreams were quickly replaced by a reality of ornery irrigation systems, calluses, and wild turkeys. And that was just the first week!

If you've ever found yourself smack dab in the middle of a wacky adventure or even just wished for a wacky adventure, don't miss the tale of this couple who went from city dwellers to cowhands with the signing of a deed. Will they survive? Will the cows? Would you?

Accidental Cowgirl was declared a finalist for three awards: the Next Generation Indie Book Award for Humor, the Next Generation Indie Book Award for Memoir, and the National Best Book Award (NBBA) for Humor.

Genre: Memoir/Humor
Paperback: 228 pages
Publisher: Cloud Lake Publishing
ISBN: 0978705408
Read an excerpt on Amazon

Book Giveaway Comments Contest!
If you received our Events Newsletter, remember, we are holding a contest to win a copy of Mary Lynn Archibald's book Accidental Cowgirl: Six Cows, No Horse, and No Clue those that comment. So, grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair, and enjoy the chat, and share your thoughts, and comments, at the end. We will randomly choose a winner from those who comment.

Interview by Jodi Webb

WOW: Welcome, Mary Lynn! We're thrilled to be launching your blog tour today! Tell us how you began as a writer and the types of writing you've done over the years. Are you a believer in not putting all your writing eggs in one basket? Are there any projects or writing genres you'd still like to try?

Mary Lynn:
My "real" writing career began with an article I wrote for a magazine, about winemaking as seen from a beginner's viewpoint. I gave a copy to a friend who was an editor for a regional New York Times affiliate, and she called me a month or so later and asked if I'd write some articles for a decorating quarterly they published. As I'd been an interior designer in a former life it was a great fit, and later I ended up doing a quarterly column on small towns in a real estate magazine they also produced. Then I did advertorials for another publication; a supermarket throwaway called Today's Home.

All of that was great (and paid actual money) during the real estate boom, but that's over, and now I edit books for other writers. And work on my own book. So I guess I'm the poster girl for not putting all my eggs in one particular basket. Freelancers do a lot of different things, and I like that variety.

And yes, I've tried other genres. I thought since I read so many mystery and crime novels, maybe I should write one. I got as far as Chapter Ten without a body though, so I decided perhaps that genre was not for me.

WOW: As a mystery lover, I can tell you we love those bodies in the first chapter! Are mystery novels your favorite?

Mary Lynn:
I alternate between literary fiction and those quick-read crime novels in my reading; that and memoir. I read a lot of English novels (I've read everything John LeCarré ever wrote), but my current favorite U.S. author is Carl Hiaasen. Mostly, I prefer a little humor in anything I read, but I do admire Ian McEwan. That last book of his I read (Saturday) was not funny at all, and I still loved it.

WOW: How did Accidental Cowgirl begin?

Mary Lynn:
I've kept a journal most of my life, and the period of time between 1990 and 2002 was no exception. That turned out to be fortunate, as I had no idea I would write a book when we began our rural adventure.

WOW: The story of Accidental Cowgirl could easily have been a novel. What made you decide that memoir would be the best format for your story?

Mary Lynn:
They say truth is stranger than fiction, but in this case, I just felt it would be more interesting to the reader. Lots of folks have either dreamed, or actually lived, similar dreams.

WOW: Did you ever worry that your neighbors or your husband would say, "I'm not thrilled about being in your memoir--I look foolish, silly, etc.?" Did you show the book to the "stars" before publication? Did you have to soothe any ruffled feathers?

Mary Lynn:
I think if you portray others both truthfully and sympathetically you have less problems. I did change some names, but I haven't had any complaints so far (fingers crossed). As far as my husband goes, I didn't show it to him until I was through and he had the book in his hands. If he didn't like it, he had the option of writing his own book, but so far he hasn't complained either.

WOW: How did the Accidental Cowgirl get from your journal to an actual book?

Mary Lynn:
Actually, I decided to self-publish early on, and Peter Bowerman's books, The Well-Fed Writer and The Well-Fed Self-Publisher have been my guides. Since I began my writing career at the age of 50, I decided I'd like to see my book in print before I died, and the agenting process can take forever.

I had previously ghost-written and published my mother's memoir, but that was a POD (print-on-demand) publication, which comes with a lot of hand-holding. With Accidental Cowgirl, I wanted more control.

WOW: As you said earlier, this is your second memoir. Can you tell us what you like about the memoir genre? Do you have any favorite memoir writers or specific titles you'd like to recommend?

Mary Lynn:
Memoir strikes at the heart. My favorite memoirist is Mary Karr, expecially her book, The Liar's Club. She is amazing, and can look at an awfully difficult life and find the humor there. You really get to know her family, warts and all. Jeannette Walls' memoir, The Glass Castle, is pretty amazing too.

WOW: Tell us about your writing habits. Mornings? Evening? At your local Starbucks? Daily?

Mary Lynn:
Habits? I have habits? I write in the mornings, and sometimes sitting in the car, waiting for my husband at Home Depot. I try to keep a yellow pad with me just in case inspiration strikes. By evening though, I'm only semiconscious. I haven't written at Starbucks. Too many annoying political discussions going on. Besides, who can afford their coffee on a regular basis? Not me.

My journaling habits have taken a nosedive. When I'm writing regularly, I don't have the inclination to dribble on about my day. Besides, we have Facebook for that (just kidding). And no, I don't always write daily, including Christmas, as so many writers claim they do. I don't have a lot of self-discipline these days, especially when my garden calls, and some days I just don't have anything worthwhile to say; I do try, though.

WOW: So, what's up next for you? Any new writing projects? Buying a goat?

Mary Lynn:
I'm now struggling with a memoir about my early life, from an Ozzie and Harriet childhood in Soquel, California, to my late teens as a model, switchboard operator, sales clerk, college student, chorus girl and Miss San Francisco finalist, during the late '50s and early '60s--that interesting time when the intelligentsia morphed from Bohemians to the Beat Generation. There should be a few laughs involved, as I knocked around on the periphery of city sleaze while remaining--wait for it--(relatively) clueless.

Are we sensing a pattern here?

WOW: Your next book sounds like something everyone will identify with--haven't we all been clueless at one time or the other? I can't wait to read it, Mary Lynn. Thank you so much for chatting with us today!

Want to join Mary Lynn on her blog tour? Check out these dates and mark your calendar! You can also snag a copy of WOW's Events Calendar HERE.

Blog Tour Dates: Come and join the fun!

July 19, 2010 Monday
Mary Lynn will be chatting with WOW! Women On Writing at The Muffin. One lucky commenter will win a signed copy of Mary Lynn's book!

July 20, 2010 Tuesday
Stop by 5 Minutes for Books to read the review of Mary Lynn Archibald's memoir Accidental Cowgirl.

July 22, 2010 Thursday
It's time for a roundup at the OK Corral with Mary Lynn Archibald who just wrote a memoir about retiring to a cattle ranch after a lifetime of city living. Talk about culture shock! Don't miss it and a chance to win her hysterical memoir Accidental Cowgirl: Six Cows, No Horse, and No Clue.

July 27, 2010 Tuesday
Writer Mary Lynn Archibald shares the key to the fountain of youth with readers today.'s a secret. But this isn't a can win her latest book Accidental Cowgirl!

July 29, 2010 Thursday
Learn how to spread the word about you and your book with tips from Mary Lynn Archibald in "I Have to Talk? How to Have a Successful Author Appearance." You can also enter to win a copy of her latest book, Accidental Cowgirl.

July 30, 2010 Friday
Don't miss another fabulous WordHustler interview with author Mary Lynn Archibald about her latest memoir, Accidental Cowgirl: Six Cows, No Horse, and No Clue.

August 2, 2010 Monday
Mary Lynn has lots to say about country living in her interview about writing and her latest book, Accidental Cowgirl: Six Cows, No Horse, and No Clue.

August 4, 2010 Wednesday
Elisa will be sharing her laughs and review of Mary Lynn Archibald's memoir Accidental Cowgirl: Six Cows, No Horse, and No Clue.

August 9, 2010 Monday
Mary Lynn Archibald, known as the Wine Country Writer, stops by with some writing advice on finding humor in your life and using it in your writing. You can also enter to win her latest book, the hysterical memoir Accidental Cowgirl: Six Cows, No Horse, and No Clue.

August 10, 2010 Tuesday
The guest today at "Because of a Book" will be writer Mary Lynn Archibald. Mary Lynn will also be giving away a copy of the funny tale of her country adventures, Accidental Cowgirl: Six Cows, No Horse, and No Clue.

August 12, 2010 Thursday
Three times the fun at Kate the Book Buff today! She's running an interview with Mary Lynn Archibald, a review of her latest memoir, Accidental Cowgirl: Six Cows, No Horse, and No Clue, and holding a giveaway of the book!

August 17, 2010 Tuesday
Mary Lynn is back at Silver & Grace for an author interview conducted by the fabulous Elisa!

August 18, 2010 Wednesday
Don't miss your last chance to win a copy of Mary Lynn Archibald's hilarious memoir Accidental Cowgirl!

To view all of our touring authors, check out our Events Calendar HERE.

Get involved!

If you have a blog or website and would like to host Mary Lynn Archibald or schedule a tour of your own, please email Angela and Jodi at:

And be sure to comment on this post to enter in a drawing for a copy of Mary Lynn Archibald's hilarious memoir Accidental Cowgirl: Six Cows, No Horse, and No Clue! And check back in a couple of days in the comments section to see if you won!


Gayle said...

Wow, Mary Lynn, you've been a Jill of all trades! It'll be interesting to read about what all you've done and what you're planning to do next. :)

Julie Anne Lindsey said...

I LOVE that Mary Lynn has done so many things before settling in to write novels. I have doubted my ability to break into this crazy market because I have no credentials - aside from my LOVE of writing and reading. Mary Lynn is inspiring for that reason and also, I LOVE humor. I write humor, and finding an agent for easy task! So, for today, I'm ready to write again. Thank you Mary Lynn!

Jodi Webb said...

Mary Lynn,

Where did head next after selling the farm? Are you still rural or back to the city...or somewhere in between?

Vicki said...

So many of us dream of turning our journal pages into a published book. You have accomplished that. Thanks for the inspiration, Mary Lynn.

Anonymous said...

Mary Lynn -
What a great story... I'm a cowgirl-turned-writer and hope to someday put my adventures down in memoir form... thanks for the inspiration!

Barbara Barth said...

Hi Mary Lynn - am ordering your book today.If I win a copy, a perfect gift. I self-published and an anxious to read your comments and experiences too. Barbara

Tarnished Rose said...

Wow, sounds you have done what a lot of us want to. Live our life on our terms, as we want to, not as others expect us. That's wonderful!

I went from a rural beginning in North Louisiana to the city and now back to the country where we fight the ever encroaching algae on our acre pond (let's not even talk duckweed). I guess I'm a city-fied country girl. Your book sounds just awesome and perfect for me!


Jamie Gregory said...

This sounds like a very entertaining book! I grew up on a small sheep farm in Ohio and have a fondness for country living. I'm currently a high school agriculture teacher. There's a chance that I might be able to incorporate this memoir into my classes in the future.

ML said...

Thanks, Gayle! Just figured out how to do this posting stuff!

ML said...

You're welcome, Julie. Glad I can help!

ML said...

Hi Jodi,

Well, we now farm 5 acres instead of 120, and no cows. Just one sweet doggie, a big orchard and a vegetable garden. My husband likes to be prepared though, so we have enough blueberry bushes to keep me picking most mornings for six weeks!

Blueberry pie, anyone?

ML said...

Thanks, Vicki. Keep on writing, and keeping that journal. You never know...

ML said...

Thanks, Vicki. Keep on writing, and keeping that journal. You never know...

ML said...

Hey Dani,

Bless your heart. I know how hard you work!

Linda Joy said...

Dear Mary Lynn,

Enjoy the tour! We're hoping you can make a stop over at the blog for the National Association of Memoir Writers.!

We're thrilled to have you as a member!

ML said...

Hi Barbara,

We'll have to compare notes on self-publishing later.

Please e-mail me and let me know how you liked the book.


ML said...

Thanks, Marilyn. Yep. We have a pond on our current place too, and it's covered with greenish-brown slime.

A tip: what worked for us on the pond at Twin Creeks was to throw in a couple of bales of spoiled hay (spoiled straw works best—I read it in Organic Gardening). Pond gets clearer in about 3 weeks to a month!

ML said...

Thanks, Linda Joy. When I get time, I'll be there. I love NAMW too. So helpful!

cindyja said...

I've just added "Accidental Cowgirl" and the other memoirs mentioned to my reading list. Thanks for the great reading!

One Woman, Ink. said...

WOW! So glad that you're here on the WOW site, and even more happy to have a chance to win your book. I am also a big city transplant to a small Colorado town, and though I don't live on a farm--or have even one co, in fact, I am disabled with several painful conditionsw--I am working hard to produce a book of memoir, a book of poetry, and a children's book dealing with kids orphaned because their parent (s) died from HIV/AIDS. You are a total inspiration for me, and maybe, just maybe, I might get past my pain and disability, to write something that others want to read.

Thanks for sharing,

ML said...

Hi Cindy,

I think you'll enjoy them. These women put the "d' in dysfunctional, and managed to find the humor in life nonetheless.

ML said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ML said...

Oops, I see above, HeI forgot a "close parenthesis" again! Bane of my life.

One Woman, Ink. said...

Thanks for responding to me so quickly! Why I commented as I did, which was so pitiful sounding, is beyond me and probably a result of me having a bad body day. I guess I have yet to find "what works" for me, though just very being reminded of that is certainly helpful. Thanks again, Ar

ML said...

Hey Barbara,

Thanks for buying my book! I'll get it out to you this week. Please let me know if you enjoy it.

Dot Hearn said...

Mary Lynn - I admire everything you've done. And I love the title - I come from a line of cowgirls, in a way and the title caught my eye.

I like to read authors who've done different things - and those who admit to not having a rigid writing schedule. I've tried. I've admired those who can do it and read how-to books and enjoyed many of them. And I - like you - have so many interests that sometimes other things take precidence (like the garden!).

Thanks to WOW for the interview and thanks to you for sharing your stories.

ML said...

Hi Dot,

Thanks for stopping by. Y'now, if I'd thought of writing books before, I maybe could have accomplished more—but then, I didn't have time for creative stuff while I was raising two kids by myself, etc., etc. Life does get in the way.

Mostly though, I think I'm basically lazy.

ML said...

Please excuse the typos above. I had little time for review, but that's not an excuse. What a dunce.

The bad part about putting things in print is that it's very hard to take them back. I hate typos!

WOW! said...

Hi Ladies,

Thank you for your comments! We held a random drawing for Mary Lynn's fabulous memoir, and the winner is...

One Woman, Ink.!

Congratulations! Please email with your mailing address and we will forward the info to Mary Lynn.

Readers, be sure to check out the rest of the stops on Mary Lynn's blog tour for more book giveaways and inspirational interviews and posts. :)

Happy writing and reading!

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