Celia Yeary is with us today with a great post on dime novels. Celia is a dear friend of mine and an excellent writer, with a slew of wonderful books and short stories to her credit. A fifth-generation Texan, she’s understandably proud of her heritage and most of her stories take place in her home state of Texas. Now here’s Celia to give us a bit of insight into where western writing all began–the DIME NOVEL. (And y’all be sure and leave a comment with contact info, cause Celia plans to give away two of her “dime novels”!)
A “dime novel” was an inexpensive and generally sensational tale of adventure sold as popular entertainment in the 1800s. Dime novels can be considered the paperback books of their day, and they often featured tales of mountain men, explorers, soldiers, detectives, or Indian fighters. Despite their name, the dime novels generally cost less than ten cents, with many actually selling for a nickel. The most popular publisher was the firm of Beadle and Adams of New York City.
The heyday of the dime novel was from the 1860s to the 1890s, when their popularity was eclipsed by pulp magazines featuring similar tales of adventure. Later, comic books had a part in the trend.
Critics of dime novels often denounced them as immoral, perhaps because of violent content. But the books themselves actually tended to reinforce conventional values of the time, such as patriotism, bravery, self-reliance, and American nationalism.
Today, Western Historical novels and Western Historical Romance novels hold to the same standards: Truth, Justice, and The American Way.ie, treat women and children with respect, as well as your neighbor, protect the downtrodden, and carry out justice within the law…if at all possible.
Today, Western Historical Romance novels and true Westerns are published as Dime Novels at “Publishing by Rebecca J. Vickery” through the imprint Western Trail Blazers. The Dime Novels are shorter stories, perhaps novellas, priced at 99Cents.
The idea intrigued me. Since I had nine full-length novels published traditionally, along with two novellas and three anthologies, I found myself writing 22,000 word stories with catchy titles. As of this moment, I have two as WTB Dime Novels:
He needs a wife…
Because the sheriff summons him, U.S. Marshal Max Garrison rides to town. He resents learning he must supervise a young man just out of prison who will work at his ranch for a time. But when he meets the beautiful young woman who owns the teashop, he knows his trip is not wasted. Max decides she’s the one for him.
She faces more loneliness …
Daniella Sommers lives alone above the book and teashop her English parents left her. When U.S. Marshal Max Garrison walks in and asks for tea, she almost laughs. Soon, her merriment turns to hope. Then Daniella learns a shocking truth about herself. If she reveals her past, will Max still love her?
Is it time for miracles and hope?
He’s not looking for anything except freedom.
Ex-gunslinger Jude Morgan lands in jail in a far-flung West Texas town. On the fourth day in his cell, the sheriff arrives with a beautiful woman dressed in men’s pants and toting her own six-shooter. Adriana Jones claims he is her worthless husband who married her but never came home.
She need a stand-in for a husband.
The young woman makes a bargain with Jude in front of the sheriff. Jude is to come home where he belongs, and she will have him released. When they’re alone, she explains his job is to pose as her husband to thwart the marriage advances of her neighbor, wealthy rancher Horace Caruthers. The older man wants her ranch to join his, because the Pecos River runs through her property.
To seal the bargain, Jude wants a kiss. During the next few weeks, however, Jude and Addie learn that the kiss meant more than they meant it to be. Then, Addie’s life is in danger.
Will Jude rescue his Addie? Or will Addie save herself and her gunslinger?
Future Dime Novel releases are:
Charlotte and the Tenderfoot
Kat and the US Marshal
Thank you Petticoats! This site has been one of my Favorites since I found it two years ago. I appreciate the opportunity to post among so many successful authors.
Celia Yeary-Romance…and a little bit ‘o Texas