Great Lonesome is my twenty-ninth western/frontier novel and my tenth book with Five Star. I wrote it in 2018, and it came out in November of 2020, delayed by a few months as many books were during the pandemic.
Prior to writing this novel, I gathered notes over a period of a few years. I wanted to write a story about a person who rejected materialistic and conformist values, and I thought it would be a good story if this person met another person with similar interests. And so I came up with my protagonist, Reese Hartley, and my unconventional heroine, Muriel Dulse. Both characters have come west in order to have their own land and to forge a new life. Hartley also wants to get away from systems and machines, which become sort of a correlative for a way of life in which people pursue wealth and material possessions and oblige others to cooperate with them.
A Good Man to Have in Camp was published by Endeavor Books of Casper, Wyoming, in May 1999. It was the second of two contemporary western novels of mine that Endeavor Books published, and I was glad to see it make its modest way into the world.
During the summer between my fifth- and sixth-grade years, I had to go to the hospital to have my appendix taken out. While I was there, I read my first traditional western. I was ten going on eleven, and as I recall, the pediatric ward was full, so I was put in another ward to share a room with an old man (old to me, probably no older than I am now) who had stomach ulcers. Not having much in common with my roommate, and being a proficient reader, I turned my attention to the reading fare on hand. It was a novel called West of Abilene. For years after that, I had lingering memories of a few of its salient features.
Castle Butte is my twenty-seventh
western/frontier novel, my eighth book with Five Star, and my second young
adult novel. I wrote it in 2016, and it came out in May of 2018. During the
time I was working on this novel, I did the proofreading on Good Water, my previous YA novel, which
went on to win a couple of small awards, and I felt encouraged to write another
story in this line.
Destiny at Dry Camp is my
twenty-sixth western/frontier novel, my seventh book with Five Star, and my
third Dunbar story. I wrote it in 2015, and it came out in April of 2017. By
the time I wrote this novel, I had a decent track record with Five Star. Both Dark
Prairie and Death in Cantera had done well with reviews, sales, and
a small award each, and the editors at Five Star were happy with the prospect
of another Dunbar novel. So was I.
Justice at Redwillow is my
twenty-third western/frontier novel and my fourth with Five Star in its
hardcover frontier line. It was published in August of 2015.
I began working on ideas for this
story line in 2011, but I struggled quite a bit with some of the elements. I
think some of my uncertainties may have come from my status, as this was the
period between the time when Dorchester ended its western line and the time
when Five Star began its frontier line. As mentioned in other commentaries, I
had begun working with an agent, but the various commercial publishing
companies were wary of taking on new writers, and some of them had a rather
narrow idea of what kinds of stories they wanted. I came to appreciate
Dorchester, who, in spite of wanting things to be recognizable traditional
westerns, was willing to accept stories that were a bit atypical and varied.
Don’t Be a Stranger
is my twenty-second western/frontier novel, published by Five Star Publishing
in February of 2015. It was published before Justice at Redwillow, although I wrote them in the opposite order.
I wrote them both while things were getting under way with Five Star and its
frontier line. During that time, Dark
Prairie was going through the acceptance, editing, and production process,
and Across the Cheyenne River was
making its way onto the list.
Across the Cheyenne River
was my second novel with Five Star Publishing and my twenty-first traditional
western. Although that sequence may sound routine, this novel did not make its
way into the world without obstacles.
Antelope Sky is a collection of short stories set in the contemporary West, for the most part Wyoming. It consists of twelve short stories, nine of which were previously published. I brought out these stories as a collection in the spring of 1997 so that I could promote it along with Wild Rose of Ruby Canyon, a hardcover western that came out in June of the same year.
Not a Rustler is my eighteenth traditional western novel. It was published in February 2010 by Leisure Books (Dorchester Publishing). In this book I tried to maintain continuity with my previous two westerns, in which I worked at straightforward action with strong elements of character and landscape.