Tag: western noir

Crossing Over

One of the best pieces of advice I received when I was trying to find a home for my first novel came from an agent. She suggested that I not be afraid to try writing a genre western. As I had been writing short stories, articles, reviews, and poems for several years and was taking a big step toward book-length fiction, I was hesitant to try a second novel if my first one wasn’t going anywhere. But with her encouragement, I went to work on an idea for a traditional western. It took me a couple of years, in and around the shorter things I was writing, in addition to my full-time teaching position, but I ended up with a western novel.

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At the End of the Orchard Commentary

“At the End of the Orchard” is a story of mine that originally appeared in a magazine called Hardboiled in May 2009. This story is a little under 10,000 words—not quite in the novella range but longer than most short stories. It is representative of one kind of fiction I have worked on in recent years. After its publication in Hardboiled, it went on to win the Western Writers of America Spur Award for best western short story in 2010.

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Blue Horse Mesa Commentary

My collection of Western short stories entitled Blue Horse Mesa came out during the same period of time as my collection of retro/noir stories entitled Field Work, in 2012 when I was in between novel publishers. Blue Horse Mesa consists of twelve short stories, of which all but one had been previously published, and I took the initiative to bring them out in book form.  

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