When — and why — did you first fall in love with Westerns?
I grew up in a close-knit family. My grandmother used to babysit me, and she would watch “Gunsmoke” and “Maverick” (or any other James Garner production). My uncle Carter was the one who introduced me to Clint Eastwood movies, and my favorite has always been “Hang ’Em High.” Then when my dad let me watch “Tombstone” for the first time, I was sold for life! To me there is a romanticism in Westerns that you don’t see in other genres. It really is the American genre.
Who are your three favorite Western writers?
Louis L’Amour, Craig Johnson and it’s hard to say a third; it all depends on my mood. I read a lot of William W. Johnstone, Ralph Compton and Matt Braun.
Which Western do you wish you’d written?
“The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.”
What is the most recent Western you’ve read?
I just finished “Coyote Courage.” I’m currently reading “Doc Holliday” by Matt Braun, and next on my list is “Spirit of the White Eagle” by Jim Taylor.
The “Desert Island” question. What are your three favorite Western books?
“Hondo,” “The Iron Marshal” and “The Frontiersman.”
What are your three favorite Western movies?
“Hondo,” “Tombstone” and “Hang ’Em High.”
Of the books you’ve written, which is your favorite — and why?
I really enjoyed writing “To Hell on a Fast Horse.” I based the beginning in my home state of Kentucky, and in writing it took me back home. I’m currently in the military and stationed away from Kentucky, so any chance I have to go back in my mind is welcome. It was also my first NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), and it was an awesome experience I’m excited to do again.
What is the most recent Western you’ve written?
“To Hell on a Fast Horse”
Can you tell us anything about your next book?
I’m currently working on a couple different Westerns. One is a sequel to my last book where we learn a little more about Briar Thorne and his time robbing the coal mine companies of Eastern Kentucky.
The other is something I’m really excited for as we follow a showman at the dawn of rodeo in Santa Fe in 1865. Still deciding the end goal with that one — I just sat at my keyboard one day and couldn’t stop writing the first chapter.
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?
I know it’s the cliché answer, but Tombstone in 1881. I have a small obsession with Doc Holliday and would’ve loved to have met him. Either then or even earlier in 1775 when Daniel Boone trailed the Cumberland Gap.
Is there a question you wish I’d asked? The answer?
Not really, I’m honored to be interviewed by you! I’m so happy to be a part of the Western writing community. I know I’m not as talented as other writers, but I’ve never had such supportive peers! It seems like every new Western writer I befriend just wants to see the community grow and thrive. We all help promote each other’s books and events, and it really is cool to see!