To Hell or the Pecos, by Patrick Dearen, is a fast-paced western that had me flipping the virtual pages on my iPad as fast as my finger could swipe. (Oh, I was riding a bucking bronco at the time, and shooting at bandits to save a rancher’s daughter. Just so you know I’m not a total . . . → Read More: Galloping To Hell or the Pecos; or, One Bucko’s Review of a Novel of Pursuit, Redemption, and River Crossings
Writing a novel is hard work. Writing a good western can be even more daunting: westerns, which tend to have plotlines so well traveled you can drive a wagon train through them, nonetheless require historical specificity and a protagonist who typifies rugged individuality—laconic and gimlet-eyed from the start or in a dude-to-hero arc.
So whenever I read . . . → Read More: Writing the High Country; or, Author Larry Bjornson on His Western, Wide Open
What to do when your long-awaited field trip to the West didn’t produce lanky cowboys dropping into your lap?
Take this tall glass of cool water I found at a Long Beach bookstore.
A twofer special from Monarch, from the collection of es
Monarch Books doesn’t reveal the illustrator of this western by King of Cowboy Lit . . . → Read More: Brand Fires on the Fridge; or An Out-West Pin-Up Souvenir
A mighty happy (um, late) birthday to Max Brand! He never thought much of his westerns between May 29, 1892 and May 12, 1944, but I can’t hold that against him for too long. If you had been named Frederick Schiller Faust, you might have wanted to be a high-falutin’ poet too.
Unlike many pulp western writers, . . . → Read More: Sagas of Fighting Men and Flaming Guns; Max Brand’s Words Move Me
Writers are badasses. They have to be. The stereotype of a writer is a coffee-shop-writing fop in a cravat not needing to cling to a 9-to-5 job, but honestly, to get images to incarnate as black-and-white correctly spelled prose between a front and back cover with ISBN number, and read and critiqued and/or praised by more . . . → Read More: Of Western Writing and Dreaming; or, William Post’s The Mystery of Table Mountain
There is a strong possibility that during 2 a.m. sleepless dreads or after one too many shots of rye alone, your Silver-Screen Hero can turn into a shaking mass of insecurities.
As for my 2 a.m. dreads, they too easily take the scenario of
I am spending forever writing a novel;
A fatal flaw in me will always keeps . . . → Read More: The Buckaroo’s Guide to Writing Novel Happiness; or What Better to Give the Silver-Screen Western Hero of Your Life
Ah, the beauty of pulpish western cover art, filled to the brim with all the perfect 1950s western cover clichés, combined and intertwined in a perfect union of cinematic, pulp western majesty.
Can life get any better?
You might recognize the title, perhaps? Anthony Mann’s films with James Stewart, such as The Man from Laramie (1955) are . . . → Read More: The Man from Laramie; or, The One-Two Punch of 1950s America
Beside my desk is a tall rack of westerns, part of my 350+ collection (a sign of an obsessed mind, yes). It’s perfect for procrastination purposes…
Trail of the Macaw, by Eugene Cunningham Popular Library, 1950 from the collection of es
…such as when I admired this beaut, from 1950. It has the . . . → Read More: On the Procrastination Trail; or, From the Wild Western Collection
What better way to be miserable over the slow pace of revisions than celebrating a prolific author?
THE MAN I LOVE TO HATE
Frederick Faust, aka Max Brand
Max Brand (Frederick Schiller Faust) wrote close to 30,000,000 words in his lifetime, and was clocked at 12,000 . . . → Read More: Thirty Million Words Can’t Be Wrong; or, Max Brand and His Pulps
Cecil B. DeMille once said that the Virginian was the ideal American–”short on speech and long on action.”
Owen Wister’s 1902 fictional cowboy hero and DeMille’s 1929 Coop-starring western was a classic early twentieth-century success story. He got the girl, killed the bad man, made the West safe for suburban houses, and became master of his own . . . → Read More: Trying Hard to Look like Gary Cooper; or, The Virginian and the Average Joe