Martin, the little cowpoke who became an author
Kelcie Martin grew up most of her life 20 miles north of Haswell, Colo., on Rush Creek Ranch and attended Kit Carson School from fourth grade until she graduated. Daughter of Justin and Brenda Smith, Kelcie is the sister of Kylie Smith and Keenan Smith, who is set to graduate from Eads High School in just a few weeks.
Today, Kelcie lives on the Mesa of Pueblo County with her husband Josh Martin, who is a fire captain for the City of Pueblo, and their identical twin boys, 2-year-olds Hank and Butch. Kelcie teaches science for the Academy of Las Animas Online. Before teaching online she spent five years as a high school science teacher at Pueblo County High School.
Teaching through the pandemic as well as giving birth to her twin boys, 12-weeks early resulting in a lengthy NICU stay, Kelcie decided that it was time to get back to her roots, and to really appreciate the woman the ranch helped her to become.
In an interview with the Kiowa County Independent Kelcie reflected on what enticed her to step out on a tenuous limb to become an author.
“To be honest, I never knew I wanted to be an author until about a year ago. I have always been gifted in science and math, but I never really gave my creative side a chance. In high school I was focused on academics, scholarships, sports, and all of the other extra-curriculars you participate in when you live in a small town. I actually took a creative writing class in college, and my professor suggested that I write a book. Truthfully, I thought he was kind of crazy, but after the pandemic and having my twins pre-maturely, I decided life was too short not to do something crazy.”
USING HER CREATIVITY
After eight years of scientific and academic writing Kelcie spent her first year as a writer trying to gain her creativity back.
“I used my personal blog to exercise my writing muscles and remember that it was OK to add the “fluff.” In a science degree you aren’t even allowed to write with personal pronouns, and only the facts are presented. When I completed my double master’s in education, I was pumping out research papers at an alarming rate. It was really hard for me to break myself of being as concise and objective as possible.”
Currently, Kelcie is about to publish a children’s book about the little cowpoke she was back on the Rush Creek Ranch. “It is a fun story about having patience and practice when you start something new. It talks about her learning to swing a rope, but it is a nice comparison of my journey to becoming an author.”
The children’s book titled Little Cowpoke Swings a Rope launched on June 16, but within the next week, signed hardback copies will be available for pre-order, along with paperback copies on Amazon. If you subscribe to Kelcie’s newsletter on her website you can sign up for one of those signed copies.
Kelcie is also working on writing a memoir about her memories on the Rush Creek Ranch where she grew up, “It is full of flashbacks to my childhood and really shows my journey of becoming a mother.”
She tells us about the process of her memoir, “My memoir has, and still is ongoing — I’m still going through a lot of work. I have hired a professional freelance editor to do a developmental edit then a line/copy edit. After she is done with that part, I will have a proof reader do a final read. I also have trusted friend’s beta reading the book as I am in the process to give me an outside perspective. On top of that I will have to hire someone to design my book cover, format the pages, and then do the same process of uploading to my print companies.”
Kelcie went on to say, “Right now, I am self-publishing all of my books. I want full control over what happens with them, but along with this comes a lot of time, money and responsibility. My children’s book was easy to write, but I had to hire an illustrator that I found on Etsy.”
“This process has been a roller coaster and a huge learning curve. At the end of the day, becoming a self-published author is very challenging, but I can say all of the decisions were mine. I own the books and all of the rights and royalties.”
Kelcie told us that the hardest part about being an author is imposture syndrome. “Every day I struggle to continue because in my mind I feel like no one will want to read what I have to say.”
However, she reflects that the most rewarding part about becoming an author has been the connections she can make with her words. “People really just want to relate to you and feel heard. Words on paper can be powerful to the right person that reads them.”
Though she intends to focus mainly on these two books, she does have big plans once they are complete. She hopes to recover her publishing costs so she can begin a second children’s book, which she has already begun writing.
“Next year I would like to start dipping my toes in the water of public speaking and holding events for other women who want to go after goals they never thought were possible. Writing this book has really inspired me to show others that you don’t have to settle for the norm that society expects from you. I also have an idea for a western/cowboy romance novel. The ideas seem to keep rolling in as I get further into this journey, and I am intrigued to see where these books take me next.”
You can find Kelcie Martin’s blog posts on her website at http://www.cowpokeswhocry.com, but the best way to follow along with her story is on her various social media platforms, “You can find me @cowpokeswhocry on TikTok, Instagram and Facebook.”
This article first appeared in the Kiowa County Independent.