CowboyI’m sharing my interview with Brad Johnson from Full Circle, Book Two of the Belanger Creek Ranch Series. 

Shhhhhh (I’ll let you in on a little secret! I have a huge crush on Brad. He is such a gentleman, and so caring and…just plain sexy in a way that has nothing to do with sex!! )

Gloria:  Good morning Brad.  I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to interview you. I’ve had a glimpse of your character in Full Circle, but there is nothing that equals meeting the real person.

Brad: (his gray eyes crease at the corners as he gives me a warm smile) I’m just an ordinary guy.

Gloria: You definitely have the look of a cowboy.

Brad: I love horses…always have. Give me a horse to ride, and I will be gone all day.  Some of my favorite memories are of when my dad and I would pack up and go hunting!  I love the majesty of the mountains and nature. We’d sit around the camp fire at night and talk like friends. Those were special times spent with my dad.  I go out to Belanger Creek Ranch and ride when they move cattle, but I have my own horses in the small acreage behind my house.  I’m a country boy at heart. 
 
Gloria: Tell me about you as a person, your family, and your business.

Brad: (he stretches out those long legs and leans back in his chair.) Okay…where do I start?  I was born in Dawson Creek, British Columbia. My dad owns a Bulk Fuel Station there—he delivers diesel and gas to the local farmers and other industries in the area. He has a Cardlock on the site. That’s where people come in and fuel up…farmers, highway truckers, oil field, construction, mining and logging companies use them.  They have to set up an account to get a card, and then they can fuel up 24/7. If they are eligible for the bulk discount, they save a few cents a gallon, too, and every little bit counts.  He sells grease and oil and other related things to the industry.

Gloria: Did you work there when you were a kid?

Brad: Yeah. My brother and I were around the place on Saturdays and school holidays.  It was good for us…we learned a good work ethic and how to deal with the public.

Gloria: So you have a brother; do you have any sisters.

Brad: grins. Yeah—we were the “perfect” family—well, not literally perfect—but there were four of us…two girls and two boys.

Gloria: What is your mother like?

Brad: My mom is a sweetheart.  She was a school teacher, but she is retired now.

Gloria: You are a long way from home.

Brad: It’s about a 16 hour drive…roughly 1300 km from here to Dawson Creek.  But home is in Swift Current, now.

Gloria: How did you decide to become a wind turbine specialist?

Brad: I’m conscious of the environment and wind energy fascinated me.  I love to see those big generators with their forty-nine meter blades moving steadily in the air, knowing that we are using a natural energy to make them work.  The Bear Mountain Wind Park was the first one in British Columbia. You watch them working from town, and the sight still mesmerizes me. Capital Power has set up a different project near Tumbler Ridge.  Quality Wind is just 45 minutes away from Dawson Creek.  If you are interested in learning more about it, you can check those projects out online at Green Energy Futures
 
Gloria: I’ll do that. I can see how passionate you are about this!

Brad:  I digress.  You asked how I got into the business I have now.  I took the Wind Turbine Maintenance Program at Northern Lights College, in Dawson Creek.  Then I started looking for a position that I’d be comfortable in.  You can make good money working for a large company, but I’m an entrepreneur—I like being my own boss.  I love to see those big turbines, but I also learned that there was room for small wind turbine generators in outlying communities. I was always fascinated by the derelict old-fashioned windmills that exist on abandoned prairie farm site sites. When I discovered the product I handle I knew I’d found my niche. It was perfect…they are relatively inexpensive compared to the big ones, and something that a farmer or a business could use. Now even a few small towns are using multiples of them to supplement power. They are simple to install and require little maintenance.  I knew that was my future.  The manufacturer was looking for a distributor in Swift Current, and I grabbed the opportunity.

I moved to Swift Current and bought a house.  I want to settle down, get married and have a family now. The house is what my dad refers to as a bird house: I just need to find a bird to live in it with me now.

Gloria: I’ve heard about the “Tweety Bird” thing—that’s what you call Shauna Lee isn’t it?

Brad: (his eyes light up) Shauna Lee…yes! That girl has captured my heart, but she is a tough woman to convince.

Gloria: I interviewed her yesterday.  She said you are very patient and persistent. She says you should have run the other way when you first met her.

Brad: I’ll admit, what happened that night wasn’t pretty.  Colt and I were at The Steakhouse eating supper before we went to an agriculture seminar at the Best Western.  She stopped by our table to say hello. I was struck by her beauty, and she hit on me right away. Colt just watched with amusement. Then her date, Josh Kendall walked in. He immediately got territorial and told me that I was out of luck because she was his for the night. He made her sound like a hooker with those last three words and it embarrassed her. She got really red in the face.

Later they got into a fight in the parking lot and Colt intervened, but the whole situation got a lot worse.  Colt called the police, and then Kendall’s mouth ran wild…he made her sound like the town whore. I was relieved when Colt suggested I go to the Best Western and set up for my presentation. Then he unexpectedly ended up bringing her to the meeting, because the police didn’t want her to go home before they talked to Kendall.  He put her in the chair I’d saved for him, and sitting next to her made me very uncomfortable.  I was embarrassingly aware of everything about her and it was killing me: but I knew the woman was TROUBLE.  

When I got up to give my presentation, I saw another side of her.  She was interested and paid attention.  During the break, I realized that the people in the community, as well as the business people in town, treated her with respect. It was like seeing two different people in one body—mind blowing.

I ran into her at the Eliminators Car Club’s show at Riverside Park. She was wandering around looking at the old cars, and we spent an hour walking and talking while we looked.  She was real eye candy, but she was intelligent and easy to be with as well. I was drawn to her in spite of myself…and then her date showed up.  I should have known that wherever she was, another man wouldn’t be far away. I could see that she knew what I must be thinking, and she was embarrassed. Almost immediately, the poor guy got called home for a family emergency. He apologized and asked me to look after her. I suggested we have supper together before I took her home; eating alone is the pits when you do it all the time. She said she’d find her own ride, but I persuaded her to come with me.

That girl oozed sex appeal, and it was like she couldn’t help herself; she stalked me all night.  I knew what she was doing, but I was drawn to her anyway. I swore to myself that I would never play her game…but I wanted to get to know her better.

After we ate she suggested we go to her place for coffee…damn, I could see where she was headed with that.  It was like the spider and the fly.  We went to her place, but even though I desperately wanted to go to bed with her, I made it clear that it wasn’t going to happen.  I bet no man had ever done that before: she looked stunned. As I was leaving, I told her I had enjoyed her company and I’d enjoyed having supper with her, and I was interested in getting to know her, but I was looking for a serious relationship.  I also told her that I thought she needed to figure out who she was and that her bed hopping with a ‘nothing serious, no strings attached, no risk,’ attitude was never going get her there. (he chuckles)  I heard something smash against the door just after I closed it behind me.

Gloria: But you must have worked things out.  You are seeing each other now aren’t you?

Brad: We are…and I love that woman.  But nothing is easy with her. We sleep in the same bed, we cuddle, we kiss and hug, we do things together…heck she stays at my place most of the time.  We are like a couple, but so far, I’ve managed to hold out on the sex part of our relationship.  I’ve taken a lot of cold showers and it makes her furious.  Just this morning she lashed out and told me that I must be gay…it pissed me off. I want to know that she loves me, but more and more, I realize how much the past has damaged her emotionally. And I know that she may never be able to say…or acknowledge, that she loves me.

Gloria: Then what will you do?

Brad: (looking very sober) I love her unconditionally…I’m not giving up on her.

Gloria:You are an amazing man.

Brad: (looking serious) For me, there’s nothing amazing about loving Shauna Lee. It’s like I’ve been waiting for her all my life.  If there is such a thing as soul mates, then I’m convinced we are.  There’s no other explanation for how I’m drawn to her.
She is a paradox. The professional woman in her has fought hard to get her independence and she isn’t going to allow anything to jeopardize it, but beneath the facade of confidence and self-assurance, I’d swear a troubled teenager still lingers in her subconscious, scared to death to let anyone get close, afraid she’ll get hurt again.  It’s damn tough to watch.

Gloria: Thanks for your time Brad. You are an amazing man, and I believe your unconditional love will prevail. I can’t imagine some of the twists and turns that it may take to make Shauna Lee realize that she loves you. I’m anxiously waiting to read Full Circle, to discover what does happen.