I recently decided to start writing a new Western series, “Stagecoach Willy.” The thing is, I didn’t know much about stagecoaches, stagecoach drivers or those who rode alongside them — the shotgun messengers.
I checked three or four sources to find the best book to get me started on my journey, and every time, the first book mentioned was John Boessenecker’s “Shotguns and Stagecoaches.” So I ordered it.
You do not have to be in the middle of writing a novel about a stagecoach driver to enjoy John’s book. You can also be a reader who enjoys learning more about what it was like to work on a stagecoach in the second half of the 19th century. Or, you can simply enjoy stories of amazing courage, made even more interesting because the book is nonfiction.
In a little over 300 pages, John tells the stories of 19 men who worked the stages, each of them fully deserving of their own book, but their stories condensed into this one, excellent book. John writes with the power of a good fiction writer and keeps you turning the pages as any good novel will do, but this book has the added benefit of being factually true.
I plan on releasing six books in the “Stagecoach Willy” series, and I should acknowledge (maybe admit is a better word) that many of the planned stories are drawn from, or at a minimum inspired by, “Shotguns and Stagecoaches.” In my defense, I did contact John and ask his permission, which he generously gave.
The following is the opening line of John’s introduction to his book, and I loved it!
In all of recorded history, mankind has needed to transfer money and goods from one place to another. The enduring difficulty has been finding a safe way to do it.