THIS JUST IN . . .
Two fine writers, Richard Prosch and Paul Bishop, also happen to be podcast pards who run the excellent Six-Gun Justice Podcast. Imagine my surprise when, a couple of weeks ago, Rich asked if I would like to be on the show.
You bet, I said, and we proceeded to have a fine conversation about books, my writing, how I came to know and love Westerns, and so much more. It was an honor and a treat—I love talking shop and all things Old West. Here’s a link to the rootin’-tootin’ episode….
Yesterday I found out that of my short story, “Peaches,” which appeared in the 2019 anthology, The Spoilt Quilt and Other Frontier Stories, has earned finalist status in the 2020 Will Rogers Medallion Awards. I believe “Peaches” is one of the strongest stories I’ve written, so it pleases me to receive this affirmation. While final results will be announced at a banquet in Texas in October, I already feel like a winner.
If you’re curious and would like to read “Peaches” to see if it measures up, here’s a link to the book in which it is but one of sixteen compelling stories about pioneering women of the West.
My new novel, DILLY, tells the story of abused, ravenous, and all-but-feral orphan boy, Orville Dillard, Jr., aka Dilly, who travels west in 1893 from Ohio to Wyoming and ends up at the Hatterson Cattle Ranch. He also finds himself smack in the middle of the infamous Sheep Wars that plagued the region, in which dozens of sheepherders were murdered and few of the attacking cattlemen were ever held accountable for their brutal crimes.
DILLY was to be released in hardcover this month, but due to the pandemic, its public debut has been postponed until December. Not to worry, it can be pre-ordered online right now. Here’s a link.
I’m pleased to announce that my story, “Peaches” (called a “grim tale of survival” in a starred review by Library Journal) is included in a bold new collection of sixteen previously unpublished stories by a number of award-winning authors. The Spoilt Quilt and Other Frontier Stories (Pioneering Women of the West),brought out by Five Star Publishing, clocks in at a hefty 360 pages and is available in hardcover on November 20, 2019, though it’s up for pre-orders right now at all the usual online booksellers.
The collection shines its lantern light on pioneering women of the West in the 19th century who face challenges in often brutal, oppressive settings contrasting starkly at times with civilized society. In these pages you’ll find high-action traditional Westerns, day-to-day struggles, and introspective dramas of the strong, often overlooked, women who shaped the iconic American West.
Early reviews are unanimous in their acclaim for the collection:
“Sixteen stories illustrating the United States’ past through women’s experiences comprise this impressive new collection. Western literature has passed in and out of fashion; at present there’s a movement toward openness and candor regarding the U.S. march to the west. This compilation provides an excellent starting point for book club discussions of Americans in these times.”
—Starred, Library Journal
“Each piece in this 16-story, female-focused anthology packs a punch. The heroines confront death, disease, rape, domestic violence, and poverty, all while living in an era that denies them equal legal status . . . it’s about personal strength in a time and place when that was often the only resource an individual had in excess. To that end, The Spoilt Quilt provides brief glimpses of optimism in an otherwise overcast world.”
“Each story’s protagonist is a woman in the American West, and what an unforgettable group of women they are. This collection will surely please fans of frontier fiction as well as those who are new to the genre.”
—Historical Novel Society
I recently had the pleasure of talking, via Skype, with Bellows Falls, Vermont’s own Rockingham Free Public Library’s monthly book group. This month they all read STRANDED! And they hit me with a pile of great questions, including: Since you’re a guy, how were you able to write so convincingly from a 14-year-old girl’s perspective? First of all, I’m flattered they felt I channeled Janette well. As to the question, the short answer is … very carefully. The long answer? Well, come on down to one of my presentations or signings some time and we’ll chat.
I love it when book clubs read my books and then want to talk about them with me. It’s a genuine, win-win situation. Writing is, as so many before me have said, a solitary pursuit. So having the opportunity to talk with folks who love reading and who have spent their valuable time with a book I’ve written is doubly gratifying.
If you’d like me to speak to your group, or at your store, your school, or your library, feel free to contact me. I look forward to hearing from you.
I am pleased and honored to announce that my latest Roamer novel, TIMBERLINE, has been named as a finalist in Western Fictioneers’ Peacemaker Awards in the Best Western Novel category. I offer a hearty congratulations to all other finalists and to the judges for giving their time.
If you haven’t yet ridden the trail with Roamer and his mentor, the crusty mountain man Maple Jack, TIMBERLINE is a great place to join the pair:
A high-country train trek turns into a blizzard-bound trainwreck-from-hell for Roamer as a gang of gunmen run roughshod on the rails. With righteous rage and hard justice their only allies, Roamer and Maple Jack track the killers deep into the winter mountains for a final showdown at . . . Timberline.
Just released:MOVING FOREWORD: REAL INTRODUCTIONS TO TOTALLY MADE-UP BOOKS, is a collection of dozens of real introductions to imaginary books, written by celebrities, comedians, musicians, and other writers (that’s where I come in)….
My contribution, “Lucky Tam’s A Tramp’s Tales, or Episodes from the Life of a Rover, annotated ed.”, tells the story of a lost journal happened upon by a rambling scientist, and the ensuing hooplah…. I share the covers with the likes of Adam West, John Oates, Shirley Manson, Bill “Spaceman” Lee, Moby, Jerry Springer, and more!
(I can hear you saying, “Wait a minute, wise guy…. Who wants to get stranded in a school?”)
What I mean to say is … my multi-award-winning YA novel (ahem, crow crow), STRANDED: A STORY OF FRONTIER SURVIVAL, is now available in a large-print edition specifically for schools! (Available to fine schools everywhere, as well as at all the usual online retailers!)
This makes it easier than ever for people large, small, young, old, or otherwise to jump feet first into the frigid, action-packed adventures of Janette Riker as she battles the elements and surly critters of the frozen Northern Rockies.
What do David Baldacci and I have in common?