Tag: author commentary

In the Breaks Commentary

“In the Breaks” is a short story that is included in The Spoilt Quilt and Other Frontier Stories, published by Five Star Publishing in November 2019. This is a collection of stories featuring strong female main characters in frontier settings.

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My Literary Influences – Part 1

My sense of literary influence is rather broad. In the course of my undergraduate and graduate education I read all of the major novelists of Britain and America, plus many of the minor novelists. I wrote my doctoral dissertation on the western novel, and in my teaching and writing career I have studied numerous short story writers plus many novelists I did not read the first time around. And in the midst of all of this, I have maintained a fondness for the two great epics of Homer. In order to discuss the most significant influences, I would have to cite three, as I could not pick two of the following to the exclusion of a third. As it turns out, one of my writers is British, one is American, and one is Canadian.

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Dorchester and the Doldrums

For thirteen years, from 1997 to 2010, the main outlet for my published work was Leisure Books, which was part of Dorchester Publishing. I began with the company when Don D’Auria was bringing the westerns line back to life. Our excellent relationship began when he acquired One-Eyed Cowboy Wild as a mass-market paperback reprint and Black Diamond Rendezvous as a paperback original. From that point on, we would do fifteen more paperback originals and one other reprint. I thought we were on the crest of the wave at the Western Writers of America convention in June 2010, when Don and Leah (Hultenschmidt) received the Lariat Award for their contributions to the western genre and when I received my second Spur award in paperback original. At that time I had a book that had gone through editing with Don (Gather My Horses), plus two more under contract. One (Dark Prairie) was written and in the pipe, and I was beginning to write the other when Dorchester dropped the bomb.

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