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Westerns are Thriving!

“Indeed, when you say “western,” you may not be referencing a movie at all. Rather, you might be talking about weekly or limited-run TV series on broadcast, cable, or streaming outlets. But the unmistakable and indomitable spirit of the classic western can still be savored on screens of all sizes, in narratives of various lengths.”

JOE LEYDON, Cowboys & Indians Magazine (May/June 2020)

I couldn’t have said it better. The western genre is thriving and don’t you believe otherwise. Western fans today have a wide variety of options on multiple platforms to soothe a restless spirit, and as evidenced with our own boys, a whole new generation is discovering the western genre. I’ve compiled a list of some of our family favorites.

Sanford Ranch, Texas Panhandle. Pic by N. Bright.

You might want to start with LONGMIRE (2012-2017), an A&E Network show based on the books by Craig Johnson. Walt Longmire is a sheriff in Wyoming, dealing with crime in his own county and crossing over to the nearby Indian Reservation. It’s streaming now on Netflix, and is the perfect show for a snowy day binge. Confession time; I binged it on Netflix and also bought the DVDs. It’s very addictive.

TRUE GRIT first came out in 1969 staring John Wayne. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t seen this as a kid. For the next generation, the Coen brothers brought in Jeff Bridges for Wayne’s part and Hailee Steinfeld as the sassy Mattie Ross. Both boys and my husband say they like Bridges better (blaspheme!), but I have to admit it’s a decent remake of a classic and follows Charles Portis’ 1968 novel, which is a great read.

I never got into the 1953 version of 3:10 TO YUMA, but the 2007 movie with Christian Bale and Russell Crowe is fantastic! A farmer reluctantly joins deputies to escort an outlaw to a prison bound train. Very entertaining and well worth the time.

Not sure if you could classify this one as very modern, but the 1982 THE MAN FROM SNOWY RIVER is just so darn good, it deserves multiple viewings. This Australian western stars Tom Burlinson and Kirk Douglas. The hero wins the heart of the rancher’s daughter, and that’s the most important thing going on in this movie but with enough adventure to hold the attention of my guys. Order the DVD when you get a chance or you can watch it now on Amazon Prime.

Yes, I’m a YELLOWSTONE fan, because who isn’t? The intense drama sometimes overshadows the accurate depiction of what we actually do on a cattle ranch, but the characters make for great entertainment. This Paramount Network hit series is also available on DVD.

Take a look at the Bookshelf page over at Western Writers of America. This organization is 700 member strong and promotes the literature of the American West. Its members are cranking out some great stories, poetry, screenplays, and music. They award the best of the best a prestigious SPUR every year at their annual conference.

Coming January 2021!

I’m thrilled to announce my collaboration with co-author Denise F. McAllister on a new series for western romance fans. The Wild Cow Ranch Series will be launched in January 2021 by CKN Christian Publishing. CKN is an imprint of of Wolfpack Publishing, where you can find many other great western bestselling titles for your Kindle. More proof that the western is alive and well. Go on over to Wolfpack now and sign up for a starter library to get 5 full length westerns FREE while you’re waiting for our book to release.

Launching February 2021 on Amazon.