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Monthly Archives: September 2018

Forum Featuring Russ Towne

When — and why — did you first fall in love with Westerns? When I was young, TV was full of Westerns. I loved “Cheyenne,” “Rin Tin Tin,” “The Rifleman” and others. I love the adventure and the way people thought and handled things back then. Good people helped and protected each other, and when

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America’s Greatest Lawmen

“America’s Greatest Lawmen” is a brand-new release, an anthology with 10 new Western shorts. The title is generic, but the truth is the stories are all tributes to John Wayne, which made them fun to write (yes, one of the stories is mine) and fun to read. I have had the privilege of doing other

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Mile 17: Character Names

By now, hopefully, you have written or at least started your first chapter. Congratulations! If you have, you have probably run into an interesting challenge: creating your characters’ names. Allow me to share with you that it’s not always as easy as it seems. For me, it has been quite a bit of work, but

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Book Review: The Shootist

Glendon Swarthout’s 1975 novel, “The Shootist,” is a terrific book that takes place in El Paso, Texas, at the turn of the 20th century. John Bernard (J.B.) Books is the last surviving of the best-known 19th century gunfighters. He travels to El Paso where his worst fears are confirmed by a town doctor. He has

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Forum Featuring Jim Burnett

When — and why — did you first fall in love with Westerns? I grew up riding and showing horses, so anything with a horse in it interested me as a kid then, and it still does today. I’m crazy about horses. I love the West, the beautiful landscapes steeped in rich history, the cowboy

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PORT HAZARD

The book I’m reviewing today, “Port Hazard,” was written in 2004 by Loren Estleman. It is Estleman’s seventh book in his “Page Murdock” series. If you’re a regular reader of Westerns, the name will be familiar, and if you’re a regular reader of my blog, it will also be familiar — since he was the

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Mile 16: Ernest Hemingway on Writing

There are a number of ways to improve your writing. The most important is to write. Write often. Write when it’s hard. Write more when it’s easy. But write. After that, we can look to experts who have been kind enough to share their wisdom and allow us to benefit from their mistakes and lessons

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Book Review: True Grit

Charles Portis’ 1968 novel, “True Grit,” is a story that many of us know, probably more as a result of two very popular movies than of the actual book itself. However, the book is well worth reading independently of the movies. It, along with “Lonesome Dove” and “The Cowboy and the Cossack” make up my

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Forum Featuring Terry Alexander

When — and why — did you first fall in love with Westerns? I fell in love with Westerns during the 1960s, with shows like “Cheyenne,” “Maverick,” “Sugarfoot,” “Lawman,” “Have Gun — Will Travel,” “Gunsmoke,” and my favorite at the time, “The Lone Ranger” reruns. Who are your three favorite Western writers? Elmer Kelton, Dusty

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The Wolfer

In Loren Estleman’s 1981 novel, “The Wolfer,” Asa North is known as the best wolfer in the Idaho Territory, if not in all of the West. He lives, travels and hunts alone, and understands wolves far better than he does people. He shows up in towns infrequently and only to restock his supplies and collect

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