A native Texan, I’ve always felt at home outdoors. I ran off to the woods every chance I got during my growing up years. I guess it’s something of a miracle that I made it to adulthood without losing eye, limb, or life during the unsupervised activities my friends and I always got into with youthful vigor.
My first experience sitting a saddle was unforgettable, not counting those carnival ponies that slowly plod ’round and ’round. I don’t recall my age, but I know I was so young the horse surely felt unburdened whether I was mounted or not. I was riding with some grownups across a coastal prairie when suddenly a deep gully opened up below us. I never saw it coming, my boyish attention being who knows where. It seemed I was a mile above the earth, and I squeezed the horn with both hands figuring the end had come. Thank goodness my mount took it all in stride, plunging downgrade and then lunging up the opposite bank without a hitch, allowing me to live another day.
I experienced the American West on a grand scale in the summer of 1978 when my wife and I meandered some twenty thousand miles in seventy-seven days while exploring fourteen western states. Camping trips to new and treasured “old spots” continue to this day.
What led me to writing, especially Western fiction novels? I guess a hodgepodge of things. It probably started with outdoor adventure, and an awareness of the magnificent lands that were the stage for the Old West. That led to a strong interest in the history of the area. Toss in my love of a good story—inspiration coming from novelists such as Robert Raymond Hogan, Louis L’Amour, Frederick D. Glidden (Luke Short), and Gordon D. Shirreffs—along with a realization there are still plenty of tales needing to be told, and I guess you have it.
I feel the demand for quality entertainment is constantly growing stronger. I strive to write stories in a way that makes the reading experience enjoyable, memorable, and informative.