Q&A

How did you find yourself writing a book? What’s the story behind your career? I have been a historian of the old west since I was an early teen. I have always loved gritty, authentic portrayals of the genre on screen, and I actively shoot the weapons of the period as well. Decked out in period costume, of course! It has been my dream to have one of my books, made into a movie.

What makes your subject interesting? It explores the true nature of the times back then. There was never one side or the other. The era was dangerous, difficult, and people did what they had to do to survive. It was a fine line, indeed!

What makes you an interesting author? I believe that we all are experiencing multiple lives at this moment. My studies of quantum physics tells me, that if you are aware of these other aspects of “you” that your higher self is experiencing, then we can bring those experiences to the surface in this reality. I think this is what “imagination” actually is. Writers especially, are simply tapping into their other lives that they are having now.

How many times have you wished you’d started writing earlier? The number is too high to count!

Who are your favourite authors? John Grisham. Elmore Leonard.

How much time do you spend writing? It varies. I try to write 2 to 5 pages per day.

What are you reading right now? “A Painted House” by John Grisham.

What’s the biggest hurdle to getting words on the page and how do you overcome it? I have never had a problem in this regard. I always know what happens at the start of the book, and an idea where it is going to go in the middle, and most importantly, exactly how it is going to end. Most times, I even have the last sentence in my head before I begin to write the first one! This technique avoids writers block for me. I have since discovered that this is exactly what Grisham says to do as well.

How do you feel about ebooks vs. print? I am a firm believer that tangible products will always prevail over electronics. I understand however, that the market is huge right now for ebooks.

If you could work with any author who would it be? John Grisham, of course! His simplistic idea of just telling a story is unbeatable.

Night owl or early bird? Both works for me.

Other creative outlets? I have been a professional finger style guitar player for almost 40 years now. An instrumentalist in all styles of music.

Favourite books from childhood? History books on the old west. Lawmen and gunfighters, as well as books on the guns of the times.

Three favourite movies? Appaloosa with Ed Harris. Lonesome Dove with Robert Duvall. Under the Tuscan Sun with Diane Lane.

Favourite type of hero? The flawed Antihero.

Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from? I have always loved acting too, and it probably comes from there.

What cultural value do you see in writing/reading/storytelling/etc.? It is fast becoming a lost art. Storytelling stirs up each individual’s own imagination. They see it as their own reality or separate universe, which I believe it truly is, in each case!

What are some of the references that you used while researching this book? My endless research over the years of the period stemming from gun books and magazines, to western articles about countless individuals, and events of the time. And online research for the terrain of the country where the characters travelled and historical pictures of specific towns.

What do you think most characterizes your writing? My dedication to realism.

What was the hardest part of writing this book? Letting some of the characters pass on.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book? Getting “lost” in the era, and feeling as though I’m actually there.

What inspires you? The countryside that I live in is pretty rugged. The Rocky mountains of Southern Alberta, are magnificent, and they “exude” the west!

What makes your book stand out from the crowd? I would have to say the gritty realism. My studies of language of the era in which I write about as well, makes the book have the “feel” of the time, and not so much like every other western out there. Plus the fact that I use the guns and gear of those times. I understand the limitations of the equipment, which again, helps to keep it real.

What are your plans for future projects? I have finished my second novel, which is a historical fiction set in 1976. It is somewhat of a “contemporary western” I guess you could say. I am currently working on my third book now, which is set in Utah in 1866, and it is certainly going to be another gritty western, with a somewhat controversial topic. I do love to be edgy!