Linda Rae Blair: Posted on Monday, August 01, 2011 7:02 PM
I recently read a book by a very popular e-book author. He recounted how he had been urged by his friends that it would be literary disaster to write a western!
This advice made me ponder the reasoning, so I read further. It seems, so he was told, that there are so few lovers of westerns out there in the reading world that he would never make any money off of his book “Don’t do it…” they pleaded.
Now, in case you haven’t noticed, I have a so-called western of my own out there! “100 Years of Brotherly Love”. No, there are no shoot’m ups! In fact, very few guns are even mentioned. There’s a bright red sports car; a black Jag; a rancher who loves his blood brothers more than money–of which he has a great deal, by the way.
There is romance, sometimes hot, steamy romance. There is arson, blackmail, murder, all sorts of bad goings-on. Not one cowboy shooting another one! But…it is a western. What else would you call a book written about New Mexico, ranches, veterinarians (large animal type), denutting calves, poisoned salt licks, colorful sunsets, mustangs, buffalo, wolves. Okay! I get it…I wrote a western!
And, guess what? Nobody cared! Well, that’s their loss, I told myself. I even changed its name, to see if that helped. Gulp, gasp!
If “100 Years” takes 100 years to find its audience, so be it! It’s one of the best books I’ve ever written. The characters are so rich and real, I miss them. The scenery was written right out of my memories of New Mexico. It’s filled with history, beauty, romance, and mystery. It’s full of family!
One person, who had to be bribed to read it, said it was tremendous and she wished there were more stories about these characters! That’s well and good, but dear reader, if I had to bribe you to read it…well, you get my point.
So–if you are a lover of beautiful places (including deserts, mountain lakes, mesas, sunsets that make you weep) and rich characters (a maternal tribe of Pueblo Indians and their hereditary chief and vet, a rancher who is descended from a chief’s daughter and the Pony Express rider who saved her brother’s life; and a half-breed Apache lawyer with contacts in high places)–well, maybe you’d enjoy a western that’s not a typical western.
What was that old saying? You can lead’m to water, but you can’t make’m drink. I guess it could be true. But, personally, I’m hoping that out there somewhere in the big world of readers, there are enough people who enjoy good reading without thinking that westerns aren’t worth reading–well, maybe you’re one of them–that “100 Years” deserves a chance.
What do you think? I double dog dare you!