Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Crossing the Animas

The trade paperback edition of Crossing the Animas is now available. You can buy it at Amazon here.

You might be surprised by the plot. Steve gets into trouble once again. McAllen builds a horse ranch, Sharp finds a long-lost love, and Steve and Virginia plan a wedding. Bad guys aplenty want to disrupt all of their plans. Wonder how it will work out.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Crossing the Animas, A Steve Dancy Tale

Crossing the Animas is available for the Kindle. The print format will along shortly. Center Point plans to publish the large print library edition early in 2018. No contract has been established for an audio version, but I'm sure that will come along later this year.

“Ben Law is tough… and mean. He enjoys taking care of problems for his boss. He won’t just verbally assault you. He and his men will hurt you. Bad.”
Steve Dancy is about to find this out. With his new home in Durango, Colorado, the kind with a nice white picket fence, and marriage on the horizon, the last thing Dancy wants is trouble.  Especially with a mining tycoon and his henchmen. But this is the frontier … and sometimes a feud finds you. Sometimes, it even chases you. When the quarrel endangers Dancy’s fiancée and friends, he has no choice but to fight.
And this is a fight Dancy must win.

P.S. Evidently Crossing the Animas is so new that searches may not turn it up. You can go directly to the product page here.

Wanted II, a collection of seven western short stories, is now available for Kindles. The paperback version will be along shortly. Try six western authors for only $2.99. You'll discover I have good company on these pages.

Don't forget about the recent release of the audio version of Jenny's Revenge. Even if you already read it, listening can double the pleasure.

I'm also writing three essays this year for Constituting America. This is a great site about the founding of our country. My first essay on Home Building & Loan v. Blaisdell (1934) has been published here. I'll let you know when the other two become available. Both are due by May 1, which looks pretty close. As the famed author, Douglas Adams said, "I love deadlines. I love the whoosing sound they make as they go by."

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

A New Steve Dancy Short Story

Wanted II is now available for pre-order at Amazon. Again, the book includes a Steve Dancy short story. This was a fun one for me. Steve is traveling by horseback from San Diego to Los Angeles when he's attacked by highwaymen. Grab a copy. At $2.99, the ebook is a great bargain with short stories by some of the best western writers of our day. Present company included, of course.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Jenny's Revenge in Audio

Jenny's Revenge is now available in print, ebook, large print, and audio formats.

Joe Formichella reads Jenny's Revenge. Joe is a seasoned author, editor, and audio performance professional. Check out the audio sample below. He's a Hackney Literary Award Winner and Pushcart Prize nominee.

Honest Westerns filled with dishonest characters.

Jenny Bolton has plans, and they don't bode well for Steve Dancy.

Married at 15 to a Nevada politician, Jenny suffered repeated assaults, witnessed her husband's ghastly murder, buried her mother-in-law, and killed a man. Dancy, who had once served as her paladin, rejected her without as much as a goodbye. Abandoned on a raw frontier, she's single-handedly building an empire that spans the state. Despite her triumphs, she feels she never should have been left alone.

Soon to marry, Steve is eager to begin a new life, unaware that Jenny is mad for revenge.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Returning to the Heartland

Winter in Pacific Beach
Winter in Nebraska

We spend the winters in San Diego. When we called Arizona home, San Diego served as our summer retreat. (There are only two seasons in Arizona, winter and hell.) Now our legal residence is Omaha, Nebraska. To escape snow, we switched to using our condo mostly in the winter, except part of our itinerary is traveling to Nevada in search of snow at Heavenly. Life’s confusing.

We discovered we prefer San Diego in the winter. No summer crowds at the beach, breakfast seating at cafés is less than forty-five minutes, and you can go to a movie without standing in line. In truth, the weather’s better as well. In the winter, you don’t need air conditioning, which is convenient because we don’t have air conditioning. We just open a slider and let the sea breeze in.

Since Christmas, I surfed regularly, got a little snow skiing in, saw a lot of my family, and took many looong walks around my neighborhood. I had to take these walks because Pacific Beach has too many great places to eat, and I don’t want to look like the Michelin Man.

It’s time to go home. We miss the grandkids and we want to enjoy spring in Nebraska. We had some fun, but this has not been one of our better sojourns to San Diego due to some tough personal issues. Despite difficulties and distractions, I still got some writing done.

A lot of stuff is coming. Soon. I promise.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

WSJ Editorializes on Hollywood Malaise

Rod Pennington writes that "Sunday's Oscars ceremony takes place during one of the gloomiest times for the film industry in recent memory." With ticket sales trending down, Pennington has some specific advice.
The solution to today's film malaise is simple: better storytelling. Studio executives seem to have forgotten the basic rules preached by the late mythology scholar Joseph Campbell, and his model of "Reluctant Hero." Over four decades this formula has dominated blockbusters: Luke Skywalker, Harry Potter and Katniss Everdeen, among many others, are ordinary people reluctantly thrust into extraordinary situations. Elaborate car chases and stunning special effects are fine, but audiences still want someone they can root for.
Since this advice echoes my previous posts, I have no choice but to declare Pennington a genius.

With home theaters a norm, Hollywood believes that to get people off their couches and into movie theater seats, they must blow things up, speed around corners, kill multitudes in gruesome detail, overly edit action scenes, and lay down an ear-splitting sound track. Nowadays, the story is so secondary that the sound track routinely overpowers characters speaking to each other. Screenwriters who understand dialogue write for cable, where they're allowed to strut their stuff. Today's movies are empty calories loaded to the gills with noise and eye candy. Can Hollywood once again learn to walk and chew gum at the same time? I believe so, but only when the story becomes paramount and all the rest is viewed as the delivery system.

And by the way, you know, when you're telling these little stories? Here's a good idea - have a POINT. It makes it SO much more interesting for the listener!" Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Crossing the Animas back from Editor

A few days ago, my editor sent me the edited version of Crossing the Animas and related files. I'm anxious to reviewed her revisions, but I have some personal issues which require me to be in northern California.

Here is the remaining process to publication. Next, I go through every revision, one at a time. I do this to approve the change and improve my writing skill. After I have a clean edited manuscript, the book goes to my ebook formatter. He makes sure the book looks good on various ereaders. My proofreader gets at crack at the book next.

In the past, I published the print and ebook versions simultaneously. The world has changed. Now, more than 90% of my sales are electronic versions of the book. (Excluding library large print sales) So the ebook versions will be published without waiting for the longer print book process.

All of this means that the ebook version of Crossing the Animas should be available before the end of March. The print version will follow about sixty days later.

I hope you enjoy it.

Rough Cover Option

Monday, January 9, 2017

Happy New Year!

The first eight days of 2017 have already slipped away. I've been distracted by family and fun. It seems the only way to slow down time is to stayed bored. That's not going to happen.

After Christmas, we have made our winter trek to San Diego to avoid the worst of an Omaha winter. Ran right into Southern California cold, rain, and tiny surf. (Yesterday was perfect weather, but it lasted exactly 24-hours.) The small waves didn't bother me because as I grow older, waist-high surf has become my friend.

Today, Crossing The Animas achieved another milestone. My editor broke free of her backlog and starts work this week on my already perfect manuscript. (I always believe that until my book comes back bleeding red ink from every pore.) Prior to sending a manuscript to my editor, I have the book read by a few trusted readers. Thank you all for your sound advise and for saving me untold embarrassment.

Last year I agreed to participate in a short story anthology. I had never written a Steve Dancy short story and I didn't know how I would like the abbreviated format. I loved it. I deviated from my standard form and wrote "Snake in the Grass" from Joseph McAllen's point of view. It put my characters in a different light and gave me a fresh perspective on their motivations. Fun project. Wanted: A Western Story Selection has also been successful, so we have agreed to put together another set of short stories with the creative title of Wanted II. Look for it later this year.

I have again agreed to write essays for Constituting America's annual 90-Day Studies. This year's project will be about important Supreme Court cases. Nothing controversial there, I'm sure. I'll let you know when each of mine is published, but don't wait for me. Cathy Gillespie and Janine Turner do an exceptional job of pulling together bright minds to illuminate the Constitution, especially for the young people in our country.

Anyway, going to be a busy year. Guess I'll have to wait to slow down time.