Category About Writing

WHERE AUTHORS AND READERS COLLIDE

My favorite weekend of the year is the second weekend in March. I look forward to it the way kids look forward to Christmas morning. Over 100,000 people who love books descend upon Tucson, Arizona to meet authors, attend presentations and panels, browse book-related gifts, and enjoy what is usually perfect weather.

INSPIRATION AND VALIDATION

INSPIRATION AND VALIDATION Years ago, I began doing research for my novel CHASM CREEK. I’m not sure I even knew I would someday write a novel, but I was intrigued by the history of the town I found myself living in: Cave Creek, Arizona, in the foothills about 30 miles north of Phoenix. It’s main […]

When the Past Seeps into the Present . . .

Those of you who frequent Facebook know about Throw Back Thursday, when people post photographs from their pasts. I like to torture my son by posting pictures of him when he was a baby. But recently I had reason to contemplate my own childhood, when Julia Robb, an author and a friend of mine, read […]

I HAD IT ALL WRONG!

Sheer cliffs. Indians lined up at the ridgeline. Horses kicking up dust as they switchbacked down the steep sandstone slope. It was all wrong. I’m working on a new novel. I had written a scene that takes place in the winter of 1879 at the real-life site of the Ashurst family cabin. The Ashursts, an […]

A TIME MACHINE

Many of the reenactors I’ve talked to credit the 1950s and 60s television shows and movies with igniting their passion for the Old West and its characters. In the case of El Paso native Jerry Eastman, he had the added incentive of family lore which claimed they were related to Bat Masterson (William Bartholomew (Barclay) […]

The British are Coming!

This month I’m celebrating the 4th of July by introducing you to an Old West reenactment group located in England. That’s right! While 238 years ago, the colonies and the British Empire went at it with muzzle-loaded muskets and flintlock pistols and quite a bit of animosity, nowadays the historical American West is popular in […]

Making Research Fun

I strive to make my settings real, to pull a reader into a time long gone. Research is necessary to achieve historical authenticity, but that doesn’t have to mean hours in a dusty reference room, digging white-gloved hands into accession folders. Research can be fun! Yes, I did my time in libraries and university collections, […]

LIVING HISTORY – FOR THE LOVE OF IT

LIVING HISTORY – FOR THE LOVE OF IT Years ago, in the late 1990s, I volunteered at the Pioneer Living History Museum, just north of Phoenix, Arizona. I was usually assigned to what was known as The Ranch Complex – a small cabin with a root cellar and spring house and chicken coop. A good-sized […]