Forum Featuring Dorothy Wiley

When — and why — did you first fall in love with Westerns?

I’ve loved Westerns for so long it’s hard to remember exactly when I fell in love with the genre. It may have started in junior high when I read all the Little House on the Prairie books, or in high school when I watched a young Clint Eastwood on “Rawhide.” I loved all those old Western shows, like “Death Valley Days,” “Gunsmoke,” “The Rifleman,” “The Big Valley” and “Bonanza.” I still love them. Even as a freshman in a high school in Southern California during the big days of surfing, I remember telling my friends that I wanted to live on a ranch someday. The good Lord made that dream possible. I went to the University of Texas and earned a journalism degree, met and married a sixth generation Texan, and we now live on a cattle ranch in central Texas. When I “retired” from my marketing and PR career, I turned to writing novels to express my abiding love of Western values and wide-open spaces.

Who are your three favorite Western writers?

Elmer Kelton, Louis L’Amour and Larry McMurtry

Which Western do you wish you’d written?

“Lonesome Dove”

What is the most recent Western you’ve read?

“Yellowstone Heart Song” by Peggy L. Henderson

The “Desert Island” question. What are your three favorite Western books?

“Lonesome Dove” (X3)

What are your three favorite Western movies?

“Lonesome Dove”

“The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” (any Western Jimmy Stewart starred in)

“The Man from Snowy River”

Of the books you’ve written, which is your favorite — and why?

That’s like asking to choose a favorite child. But if I had to select just one of the 11 I’ve published, it would be “Red River Rifles” because it is set in Texas, and I love early Texas history. Also, it was inspired by actual settlers who came to the Province of Texas in 1818! I guess my readers love this book too, because it has received 31 reviews on Amazon in less than three weeks, and they are all five star! This novel is a gritty Western, a love story, and a gripping tale of the first daring settlers of Texas. This extensively researched story of the frontier and the pursuit of the American dream is a romantic historical tale set against the stunning backdrop of the Province of Texas.

What is the most recent Western you’ve written?

“Red River Rifles” was just released April 6. Here’s the book’s description on Amazon:

“Red River Rifles,” from Amazon bestselling author Dorothy Wiley, continues the highly acclaimed Wyllie family saga. Kicking off her new Wilderness Dawning — the Texas Wyllie Brothers Series, this remarkable novel is set in a time and place when life was tough. And love had to be even tougher.

In 1818, the bravest of the brave settled a narrow strip of land along the Red River in Texas. A place where death and life held equal strongholds — the new leading edge of the West was an exceedingly dangerous place. For Samuel Wyllie, his family’s land south of the Red River at Pecan Point was a nearly sacred place, as beautiful as heaven must be. He has big plans for the future and will do what it takes to carve a new life out of the wilderness.

Louisa Pate and her young brother Adam, new arrivals in the settlement, are subjected to the tyranny of a cruel father. He intends to marry her off for profit and power to a brash filibuster who plans to challenge the Spanish for control of Texas. She also faces a frontier teeming with Indians, raw wilderness, deadly quicksand and men who would use her for their own gain. Denied any chance for happiness, she is determined to survive and protect her little brother. And she will do what she must for Adam’s sake, even enter into a loveless marriage.

But even on this lonely frontier, Louisa is not truly alone. Time and again, Samuel boldly stands between her and disaster. The vastness of Texas is not big enough to hold his courage or his love. Yet love is not easily won and life in the West challenges them both. Help comes in the form of a unique trapper named Old Bill; a solitary, spirit-like Caddo brave named Kuukuh; and Samuel’s father and three brothers.

Can you tell us anything about your next book?

It’s still percolating in my head, but it will be the second book in my new Wilderness Dawning Series. “Red River Rifles” was the first book in the series.

If you could go back in time, what would be the time and place in the Old West you’d like to have lived in for a year?

Texas would be the place, and the year would be 1836, the year of the Battle of San Jacinto that won Texas and the year of the signing of the Texas Declaration of Independence. How thrilling both of those events must have been for early Texans.

Is there a question you wish I’d asked?

Yes, how would you describe your books?

My books are hard to classify into any one category because they contain elements of many genres — historical, romance, western, frontier, colonial, adventure and even suspense. I think that’s one reason they appeal to so many readers. While unraveling compelling tales that teem with action and cliff-edge tension, my novels are moving love stories set on the romantic and dangerous American frontier at a time when Kentucky and Texas were considered the West. My books are both realistic and idealistic. They acknowledge the harsh realities of the frontier wilderness while including the Western ideals of heroic courage, boundless hope, strong family and forever love. My goal is to touch the hearts of booklovers, and I hope that each of my books will do that for my readers.

One Comment on “Forum Featuring Dorothy Wiley

May 7, 2019 at 6:43 am

Thanks, Scott, Thanks Dorothy. I always enjoy these short conversations. Always interesting. They tell me that I’m not crazy reading, researching, writing and enjoying Westerns. JP Blickenstaff/Jay Peters.


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