Mamiverse: What would you like readers to take away from The Feminist And The Cowboy: An Unlikely Love Story? Valdes: All I hope is that people read it with an open mind and heart. I hope that they appreciate it for what it is, one woman’s personal story and nothing more. It isn’t polemic. It isn’t a guidebook. It isn’t a handbook. It’s a diary. That’s it. It is a snapshot in time, of my own little life, and the way I thought during that time. I have evolved since then, my views have changed in light of new experiences. In retrospect I can see that the relationship I thought I was describing as wonderful was actually quite toxic, so I think the book might be most useful now as a portrait of the honeymoon phase of an abusive relationship. I was brainwashed by the cowboy, my self-esteem was dismantled, I was for all intents and purposes a cult member, with him as the charismatic leader. Some say that to admit this is to sabotage the book. I don’t think so. I think it helps to make sense of the book. I feel embarrassed, to some degree, on the other side of the whole thing, to have been as blind and hopeful as I was. But I also know from talking to lots of other people who’ve been in similar situations, that this is how it happens, abuse.