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Podcast Interview

My Co-Author Denise and I were invited to talk about our new small-town, Western romance Series, THE WILD COW RANCH. The first three books in the series are available now on Amazon. We’re writing three more titles set to be released this coming Fall. To learn more about the series, click on the book tab above.

In an interview with SixGun Justice Podcast, Richard Prosch asked about the books that influenced me and my writing. I blanked. Stammering and stuttering followed by dead air during a podcast interview is not a good thing. Mr. Prosch assured me that his wife is very proficient at editing.

Give a listen to Denise and my interview. Click HERE.

During the interview I managed a brief reply, but I spent the rest of that day thinking about his question. Since I flubbed the interview, I’m writing this blog instead about the books that have influenced me and my writing. Perhaps some of these are your favorites too.

As with so many others of my generation the strong female characters in LITTLE WOMEN were memorable, as was the overwhelming sense of place in the words of James Michener or the hope of true love in romance novels. I prefer happy endings.

Who can talk books from their childhood without mentioning Natalie Babbitt’s TUCK EVERLASTING or Tolkien or Marguerite Henry? So many others, too numerous to mention.

Old West Time-Life books published between 1973 to 1980.

The more I thought about the question, the biggest influence remains books about the American West most particularly the Old West Time-Life series. I’m certain we had every series Time-Life Books produced, but I remember my father reading the Old West series over and over. They really are full of great information and stunning historical photographs. I did remember to mention my uncle’s first edition book collection relating to Texas is impressive, and something I admire greatly, inspiring my own searches for discarded treasures. He gave us a copy of THE LONGHORNS by J. Frank Dobie. Wow.

It was at a Williams family reunion when I was about ten, when we toured Fort Parker and I became obsessed with Cynthia Ann Parker’s story and the Comanche people. RIDE THE WIND by Lucia St. Clair Robson is one of the few books I’ve read more than once. It’s a powerful story that still resonates every time I read it. I also remember reading every book I could find about the Santa Fe Trail.

And of course my generation grew up watching western movies, too many favorites to name here. Let’s just say the characters and plots continue to have an impact on my writing. Later in life I discovered the works of so many historians; J. Frank Dobie, Laura K. Hamner, Bill O’Neal, Ramon F. Adams, David Dary, to name a few. The Texas author Elmer Kelton was such a talented, kind soul and his wife a delight. I was lucky to have met them at an event in Canyon, Texas. He has since become my absolute favorite Western author.

The epic novel of the cowboy hero set in the American West, published 1902.

Although my Kindle is overflowing and very diverse, westerns are still my favorite. The intense sense of big land stretching under an endless sky and terribly flawed characters who persevere against all odds are still the stuff of great stories.

Westerns are at the heart of the American story. Brave men and women from all walks of life challenging the wild frontier for a chance to find and be more then they were. What could possibly be more inspiring and relevant to us in today’s world?”

DUSTY RICHARDS, Saddlebag Dispatches Magazine
A novel about the loneliness of life and prairie madness in Texas during the 1880s, originally published anonymously in 1925.

These Aren’t Your Grandpa’s Westerns…

Today the genre “western” is not defined by men on horseback shooting up the range. Since joining Western Writers of America, I’ve discovered many awe-inspiring works by writers of story, poems and song. The WWA members are mostly historians, dedicated to keeping the American West alive.

Louis L’amour continues to resonate across many generations, but the typical western has evolved into so much more. The story dynamics are wide and deep, the commonality being closer to that of where the story is set rather than shoot ’em up action. Step into the new West. A good place to start is with Wolfpack Publishing. They offer FREE books just for joining their email list.

And if you like stories with a faith element and Christian values, check out an imprint of Wolfpack and the publisher of our new Wild Cow Ranch series, CKN Christian Publisher. Find out more about my new Wild Cow Ranch Series, and click below to discover more authors.

The Sixgun Justice podcast is now live! Click here to listen.

My coauthor Denise and I had such fun talking with Richard Prosch over at the Six Gun Justice Podcast, where they celebrate the blazing six-gun action of the Western genre in books, TV, movies, and other media. Check out more fascinating interviews with some of today’s most thrilling western authors.

Follow me on GoodReads for newly discovered authors and book reviews. Let me know what you’re reading. What are some of your all-time favorite books or authors? What’s keeping you awake at night?

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Happy Reading, y’all!