Tag: Troy Smith

COME WITH ME TO WOLF CREEK! by Cheryl Pierson

This past year, I was honored to be asked to participate in two more of the “Wolf Creek” collections that are the brainchild of Dr. Troy Smith, a wonderful author, outstanding history professor at Tennessee Tech,  and a very good friend. Troy’s vision, when he created the fictional post-Civil War Kansas town of Wolf Creek, was that it would be populated by a very diverse community. That, in itself, would cause its own brand of problems as the people of Kansas were sorely divided during the Civil War—and that conflict left its mark long after the War ended.

With over two dozen western authors making up the fabled “Ford Fargo”, author of the Wolf Creek anthologies and shared universe books, I have found myself in some very fine company to work alongside in these creations. The beauty of this project is that each author has the freedom to incorporate their character(s) into a loose framework that Troy lays out, and every shared story gets off to a great start, has no “sagging middle”, and comes to a very climactic ending—yet, it does so with the efforts of (usually) 6 authors per book.Imagine the thrill of being a part of such a collective effort—and seeing how flawlessly the eventual project comes out!

Available in print and e-book formats at Amazon.

In 2016, I participated in two anthologies. These are somewhat different from the “shared universe” books in which there is one story, divided into chapters. The anthologies are separate short stories, but they do propel the same story along to the completion, in many ways, a lot like the chapter books do.

I had a story in a book that was published in May, Wolf Creek: Book 14—WAR STORIES. This was a fun one, because there is a creepy barber, John Hix, who lives in Wolf Creek. He claims to have had nothing at all to do with the Civil War, yet he’s always wanting others to talk about what THEY did during the War…and he has his own reasons. And let’s just say, there have been some “unexplained disappearances”… This was a bittersweet book, as the incomparable western author, Frank Roderus, was a contributor—and this was one of his last publications before he passed away.

In my story, UNCLE JOHN, my character, Derrick McCain, discovers quite by accident that he has a daughter, six-year-old Viviana, that he didn’t know he had—and her mother is dying. But just as Vivi’s mother passes, Derrick is in for another surprise—one that troubles him to his soul: it becomes apparent that somehow, John Hix, the barber, is well-acquainted with little Vivi and her mother—and this is one man that Derrick doesn’t want anywhere near his family!

Available in print and e-book formats at Amazon.

The second book I contributed to this past year was called Wolf Creek: Book 18—HUNTER’S MOON. My story was THREE GOOD MEN, and this time, the town of Wolf Creek will soon be under siege by a band of raiding Kiowas who will show no mercy. They’ll reach the McCain family farm first, and though Derrick wants nothing more than to stay behind with the three men who’ve come to warn him and make their stand in his farmhouse, he knows he has to see his family to safety above all else. With the help of Sheriff Sam Gardner, a crusty lawman, Derrick and his wife, Leah, begin the trip to Wolf Creek in the dead of night under a hunter’s moon. But it isn’t long before Derrick realizes they are going to have to abandon the wagon and take their chances in the darkness of the forest to have any kind of hope of making it safely to Wolf Creek.

Some of the Kiowas follow, and while Sam and Leah make their way through the night with Vivi and her baby twin brothers, Derrick battles the Kiowas to save his family. When daylight comes, will the McCains and Sam be alive to continue the journey to warn the citizens of Wolf Creek of the impending attack? And what will become of the THREE GOOD MEN who have stayed behind to hold off the Kiowas and give Derrick, his family, and the town of Wolf Creek a fighting chance under a HUNTER’S MOON?

Available in print and e-book formats at Amazon.

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Here’s an excerpt from THREE GOOD MEN. Leah, the children, and Sam are making their way through the forest, and Leah is understandably worried about what’s going to happen. Here, she talks things over with Sam–and wonders where in the heck her husband is–or if he’s even still alive…

They walked in silence for a few more moments. Leah’s mind raced. Where is Derrick? He said he’d be right behind us. By her guess, it had been at least twenty minutes since they’d parted—maybe longer. Leah hurried to catch up with Sam, leaving Vivi out of earshot. “Sam, can you tell me—what was going on with you and John Hix? Were you–”

“Hix is a killer. I figured him out, followed him to your place. Charlie and Roman had ridden up just before I got there. You know the rest.” He shook his head and shifted Liam in his arm. “I hated having to go off and leave him there with Charley and Roman. But…there was no other choice.”

“Do you think—” Leah bit her lip. “I shouldn’t even mention my house at all, with the danger of the Kiowas killing three men. But…I love my home. I love what it means—a family…where my children lay their heads to sleep every night, in safety. Where my husband and I drink coffee in the mornings…and plan our dreams for the future. And where I finally have a place of my own, where I belong. To lose it—”

“Leah, they may not come—”

“Oh, they’ll come. Charley and Roman wouldn’t have stopped at our place if they’d thought there’d be any chance the Kiowas would’ve gone straight on to Wolf Creek. I have a feeling…I know my home will be destroyed.”

“If that happens,” Sam said carefully, “Wolf Creek will help you rebuild. I know that’s small consolation, but—”

She shook her head. “Forgive me. I shouldn’t even be thinking about my things when men’s lives are at stake.” She smiled at him as he glanced at her.

“It’s natural. Thinking about everything you stand to lose,” he replied.

“My family is all that matters. We will rebuild if we have to, of course. The most important thing is that we keep everyone…safe.” Her voice broke.

“You’re worried about Derrick,” Sam stated flatly. “He’s an excellent tracker, as you well know. Could be he decided to go after them; buy us some time. Don’t be thinking the worst, Leah.”

She nodded, and kept putting one foot in front of the other, trying to calm her thoughts. Don’t be thinking the worst. But how can I keep from it?

“Mama, Uncle John said he paid for some candy for me at the store,” Vivi reminded her.

Leah forced herself to smile back at the little girl. “I heard. That was nice of him.”

“He’s going away.”

“Yes.” If John Hix was killed by the Kiowas, or if he went away forever, it would be a relief. Leah had never liked Hix, and she knew Derrick felt the same. They tolerated Hix for Vivi’s sake. And to be fair, Hix doted on their daughter. It was strange to think that the odd little barber knew Vivi better than she or Derrick…or, at least, had known her longer.

“Will he ever come back, Mama?”

“I don’t know, Vivi. But at least he was able to say goodbye.”

Vivi nodded, but she looked downcast.

Leah’s heart clutched. Vivi had suffered so much loss—leaving her home, losing her mother, and now, John Hix. Leah refused to consider the further impending loss that weighed so heavy on her soul right now. Where is Derrick? The thought nagged. Thank goodness Vivi was too young to understand what was happening, truly, at the moment.

They could be in the process of losing everything. Everything, including their very lives.

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Both of my stories have been entered in the WESTERN FICTIONEERS PEACEMAKER COMPETITION. I’ve been a finalist in that contest three times before, so I’m sure hoping for a win this year in the short fiction category with one of these stories.

Y’all keep your fingers crossed for me!

My character, Derrick McCain, is an odd hero because he is “just a man”—not a lawman or an outlaw or anything glamorous. He is a farmer who did some things in the Civil War he isn’t proud of. He’s half Cherokee and half white, and though he didn’t set out to be a “family man”, throughout the Wolf Creek series, he’s found himself in that situation under very different circumstances.

I’m wondering what kind of heroes you all like to see? A lawman set on seeing right done? An outlaw who’s seen the error of his ways and turned his life around? A cowboy fighting for justice on the range? Or someone like Derrick, who just winds up through fate’s hand becoming a hero—though he never thinks of himself that way…

Leave me a comment! I always want to know what other people think, and I’m giving away a print copy of a past WOLF CREEK book that I’ve been a part of to TWO LUCKY COMMENTERS!

HAVE YOU VISITED WOLF CREEK? COME SET A SPELL! by Cheryl Pierson

Cheryl2041web

I’ve talked a bit about the Wolf Creek series before here. It’s one of my most favorite projects I’ve ever worked on, anywhere, anytime. It’s been “in hiatus” for a few months, but will  be back with some new adventures this month! A brand new Wolf Creek anthology, WAR STORIES, will have one of my stories in it, and there will also be a two-part anthology called LUCK OF THE DRAW all about gamblers, wild women and rowdy times in Wolf Creek! I don’t have a story in that one, but it’s bound to be excellent.

The series is the brainchild of Troy Smith, a good friend of mine, and an excellent writer and “idea man”. His thought was to create a bible to be used by the participants of the series to work from for the fictional post Civil War town of Wolf Creek, Kansas. Any member of the Western Fictioneer professional writing organization could contribute when their character was called for in the plot structure.

Wolf_Creek_COVER1Web_jpg_opt262x393o0,0s262x393

Now this is quite a daunting task when you think of having at least 23 (and climbing!) people who wanted to contribute, having to come up with plots that would involve at least 6 characters in each book–some of them the same as a common thread– and keep all the books fresh and interesting. But Troy managed to do it–though he likens it to ‘herding cats’. Wolf Creek: Book 1 Bloody Trail is available for only .99, and I’m proud to say there are many more that follow this one in the “shared universe” tradition!

But one book, Wolf Creek Book 6: Hell on the Prairie, differs. It’s an anthology of short stories by some of the contributors about their characters.

 

I loved this idea, because each participant was able to write a short story featuring their character(s) and show a depth to their character they might not be able to convey in a collaborative effort such as the other books before this have been. My story is called IT TAKES A MAN, and of course, Derrick McCain, my foremost character, is at the center of this one.

WC 6 HELL ON THE PRAIRIE

When Derrick and his mother are ominously summoned to the Cherokee settlement of Briartown, Derrick is determined to set things straight with the man he’s learned is his real father. But once he arrives, he’s distracted by the beautiful cousin, Leah Martin, of his best friend’s wife. Leah is hiding a secret—one that could be the death of her. Once Derrick discovers it, will he walk away? Or will he save her…and possibly himself? IT TAKES A MAN to do what his heart tells him.

I’m also pleased as punch to say that this story was a finalist in the 2014 Western Fictioneers Peacemaker Awards in the short fiction category! What a thrill!

 

Another thrill? This story has just been released as a single sell short through SUNDOWN PRESS! Yes, it’s still available in the Wolf Creek collection, but it’s also available now all on its own. I’m giving away a copy of it today to one lucky commenter!

SPIt Takes a Man Pierson 3 Web

Here’s a little about IT TAKES A MAN:

Can two strangers put their pasts aside and make a life together?

Ex-Confederate soldier Derrick McCain needs some answers from his father, Cherokee statesman Collin Ridge—and he’s waited long enough. But Ridge is on his death bed when he summons Derrick and Fiona McCain, Derrick’s mother, to return to Indian Territory. Will they make it in time? It’s the only chance Derrick will have to learn what he needs to know from the man who can tell him everything—if he only will.

As Fiona and Collin patch up their long-ago unrequited love, Derrick meets a young woman who is out of choices. Pregnant, disowned, and bearing the weight of guilt over the death of her sister, Leah Martin has nowhere to turn. But the dark-eyed beauty sparks something inside Derrick that he thought long dead, and when her father shows up with an abusive suitor, Derrick vows to keep her out of harm’s way.

Can he protect Leah from what her father has planned for her? Offering marriage would change his life forever—and he’s not in the market for a wife. To make matters worse, the child she carries is that of Derrick’s nemesis, Clark Davis. IT TAKES A MAN to do the right thing…can Derrick McCain deliver?

If you just can’t wait to see if you won IT TAKES A MAN, you can grab a copy of it here:
https://www.amazon.com/Takes-Man-Cheryl-Pierson-ebook/dp/B01FQ36K1I/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp%3Bamp%3Bamp%3Bamp%3Bqid=1464754112&amp%3Bamp%3Bamp%3Bamp%3Bsr=8-1&amp%3Bamp%3Bamp%3Bamp%3Bkeywords=It+takes+a+man+by+cheryl+pierson&amp%3Bamp%3Bamp%3Btag=pettpist-20

Here’s the link to my author page at Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/author/cherylpierson?tag=pettpist-20

 

THIS JUST IN! THE WOLF CREEK BOOKS ARE NOW AVAILABLE IN BOXED SETS!

Wolf Creek Chronicles 1-Amazon

If you’d like to read all the Wolf Creek stories, go here:

https://www.amazon.com/Wolf-Creek-Chronicles-Western-Novels-ebook/dp/B01GNDYLCA/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&amp%3Bie=UTF8&amp%3Bqid=1465842685&amp%3Bsr=1-1&amp%3Bkeywords=Wolf+Creek+Chronicles+book+1&tag=pettpist-20

 

 

 

Wolf Creek Chronicles 2-Amazon

 

https://www.amazon.com/Wolf-Creek-Chronicles-Vol-2-ebook/dp/B01GGJZADK/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&amp%3Bie=UTF8&amp%3Bqid=1465842962&amp%3Bsr=1-1&amp%3Bkeywords=Wolf+Creek+Chronicles+book+2&tag=pettpist-20

 

 

 

 

WOLF CREEK Chronicles 3-Amazon

 

 

https://www.amazon.com/Wolf-Creek-Chronicles-Vol-3-ebook/dp/B01GGKC71C/ref=pd_sim_sbs_351_2?ie=UTF8&amp%3BdpID=61LDt9Fqs-L&amp%3BdpSrc=sims&amp%3BpreST=_UX300_PJku-sticker-v3%2CTopRight%2C0%2C-44_OU01_AC_UL320_SR270%2C320_&amp%3BrefRID=Q80FJ1E53FE4VFBDG9R5&tag=pettpist-20

 

 

 

Thanks to everyone for stopping by today! I hope you’ll check out the Wolf Creek series and my short story single sell, IT TAKES A MAN. Also, be sure to pick up these awesome boxed sets–available in PRINT AND IN DIGITAL FORMATS!

WESTERN READING BARGAINS FOR LESS THAN $1.00! by Cheryl Pierson

Cheryln100000149781632_8303In this day and age, we’re all looking for a bargain to make our dollars stretch just a little bit farther, aren’t we? It seems that’s especially true in reading, for me, because I don’t have time to go to the library…and I must confess, I’m a pretty slow reader. So, having that ultimatum hanging over me to return-a-book-within-a-certain-time-period-or-else just makes me nervous. It did when I was a kid, too.

So, speaking of bargains, I’m very thankful for e-readers and computers! Because now, you can get a whole lotta great reading served up electronically for a mere .99 and it’s YOURS! No returning it to the library, or hurrying to have to finish it…it’s there forever, added to your cyber library.

WF Anthology WebCoverThe first of the .99 books I want to talk about today is the Western Fictioneers publication THE TRADITIONAL WEST. What a wonderful collection of western stories to entertain, make you think, and plain ol’ enjoy. This anthology is special to me because it was the first WF publication my stories were included in. My contribution, The Kindness of Strangers, was one I truly enjoyed writing—because it has a wonderful twist in it. I brought in a little paranormal help, but I think it’s a story you’ll enjoy reading—and I’m sure proud to be included in this treasure trove of western short stories!

http://www.amazon.com/Traditional-West-Western-Fictioneers-ebook/dp/B005E1JI8U/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1426215286&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Traditional+West

Wolf_Creek_COVER1Web_jpg_opt262x393o0,0s262x393Another great .99 bargain is the first book of the WOLF CREEK series, created by Troy Smith. What a wonderful, fun time we had putting that book together! Oh, it was a little harrowing at times, I’m sure, for Troy—but he pulled it off beautifully, and that was the book that launched the series.  Snap it up and get started on the Wolf Creek series for some great western reading if you haven’t already done so.  WOLF CREEK: BOOK 1 BLOODY TRAIL is one exciting lift-off to a great series!

 

http://www.amazon.com/Wolf-Creek-Bloody-Clay-More-ebook/dp/B00916VX5A/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1&qid=1426215430

For those of you who enjoy a little romance in your westerns, here’s a DOUBLE bargain! Prairie Rose Publications is offering two five-book collections of some of our great western novels—yes, that’s right—NOVELS—for only .99! That’s .99 PER COLLECTION—not per book.

PRPA COWBOY'S HEART boxed set

A COWBOY’S HEART includes novels by Tanya Hanson, Beverly Wells, Gil McDonald, Sara Barnard, and Cheryl Pierson.

 

 

 

http://www.amazon.com/Cowboys-Heart-Western-Romance-Novels-ebook/dp/B00QEE7JPA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1426219253&sr=8-1&keywords=a+cowboy%27s+heart

 

A COWBOY’S BRAND includes novels by Kristy McCaffrey, Gail L. Jenner, Sarah J. McNeal, Meg Mims and Livia J. Washburn

PRPA Cowboy's Brand

There are lots and lots of “single-sell” short stories out there to snap up, too, containing some darn fine western entertainment! So come on—jump on over to Amazon or B&N and just see want you can find for less than a dollar! These are some of the best bargains out there!

 

 

http://www.amazon.com/Cowboys-Brand-Western-Romance-Novels-ebook/dp/B00QE9YJYE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1426218992&sr=8-1&keywords=a+cowboy%27s+brand

Also, stop by the PRAIRIE ROSE PUBLICATIONS website to see what we’ve got to offer in the way of fantastic reads! You’ll find plenty more of these bargain reads here and at other places on the internet!
www.prairierosepublications.com 

WOLF CREEK SERIES AND CHRISTMAS IN JULY by CHERYL PIERSON

Cheryl7126I’ve talked a bit about the Wolf Creek series before here. It’s one of my most favorite projects I’ve ever worked on, anywhere, anytime.
The series is the brainchild of Troy Smith, a good friend of mine and an excellent writer and “idea man”. His thought was to create a bible to be used by the participants of the series to work from for the fictional post Civil War town of Wolf Creek, Kansas. Any member of the Western Fictioneer professional writing organization could contribute when their character was called for in the plot structure.
Now this is quite a daunting task when you think of having at least 23 (and climbing!) people who wanted to contribute, having to come up with plots that would involve at least 6 characters in each book–some of them the same as a common thread– and keep all the books fresh and interesting. But Troy managed to do it.
Hell on the PrairieThe latest book, Wolf Creek Book 6: Hell on the Prairie, differs. It’s an anthology of short stories by some of the contributors about their characters. Here’s the blurb for it:
Welcome to Wolf Creek.
Here you will find many of your favorite authors, working together as Ford Fargo to weave a complex and textured series of Old West adventures like no one has ever seen. Each author writes from the perspective of his or her own unique character, blended together into a single novel.
In this volume -an anthology of stand-alone short stories: … Marshal Sam Gardner confronts a notorious gunfighter who hates lawmen; Deputy Quint Croy learns the secrets of Asa Pepper’s place; Billy Below learns to be a cowboy; Doc Logan contends with a specter from his past; Derrick McCain faces family secrets; Ben Tolliver gets the shock of his life; and strangers get caught up in the Danby Raid…
Wolf_Creek_COVER1Web_jpg_opt262x393o0,0s262x393 I loved this idea because each participant is able to write a short story featuring their character(s) and show a depth to their character they might not be able to convey in a collaborative effort such as the other books before this have been. My story is called IT TAKES A MAN, and of course, Derrick McCain, my foremost character, is at the center of this one.   When Derrick and his mother are ominously summoned to the Cherokee settlement of Briartown, Derrick is determined to set things straight with the man he’s learned is his real father. But once he arrives, he’s distracted by the beautiful cousin, Leah Martin, of his best friend’s wife. Leah is hiding a secret—one that could be the death of her. Once Derrick discovers it, will he walk away? Or will he save her…and possibly himself? IT TAKES A MAN to do what his heart tells him.
Wolf Creek-Showdown at Demon's Drop COVERJust last week, all three of the Wolf Creek books I contributed to (Bloody Trail–Book 1, Showdown at Demon’s Drop–Book 5, and Hell on the Prairie–Book 6) were on the Kindle top 100 bestselling western list!  Wolf Creek Book 1–Bloody Trail, is on sale right now for only .99 to get you started on the Wolf Creek series. The others are available for only $2.99.
I will be gifting one lucky commenter with a Kindle version of Wolf Creek Book 6: Hell on the Prairie today! Just leave a comment and be sure to check back after 9:00 to see if you won! Meanwhile, if you just can’t wait, go to my author page at Amazon to see these and all my other works here:
Or go here for all the Wolf Creek books, 1-6, that have been published so far. Scroll down on this page to find all of the Wolf Creek books.  Look for book 7 sometime in September!
NEWSFLASH! I wanted to add that two of my publishers are having CHRISTMAS IN JULY events with lots of freebies and near-freebie reads. Click on the links below to go to the ONCE UPON A WORD blog where there is a list of free reads, and the 2nd link will take you to the WESTERN FICTIONEERS blog where there are a ton of .99 reads, both short stories AND full length books. Be sure to double check the price before you click to buy at Amazon, to be sure they have them all listed as they should be. You can’t go wrong with CHRISTMAS IN JULY!

WOLF CREEK: BOOK 1 BLOODY TRAIL–MEET THE AUTHORS!

Today, I’m proud to introduce five wonderful western writers who I was privileged to work with on a “new concept” western, the kick-off novel of the Western Fictioneers’ Wolf Creek series.

Western Fictioneers is producing a new series of western novels, under the umbrella title Wolf Creek. The series gets its name from its setting, the fictional 1870s town of Wolf Creek, Kansas. The first installment, Bloody Trail, was released on September 1, with a new volume to follow every three or four months. Under the house pen name Ford Fargo, the six authors who collaborated on the first book of the series, Bloody Trail, are Clay More, James Griffin, L.J. Martin, Troy Smith, James Reasoner, and me, Cheryl Pierson. I can truly say, this has been one of the best projects I’ve ever worked on. I couldn’t have asked for  more talented co-authors and genuinely nice people to have been a part of this group for book 1 of the Wolf Creek series. And a big thanks to Troy Smith for coming up with this idea and keeping a guiding hand on things to see it through to a fantastic finish!

Bill Torrance, Spike Sweeney, Derrick McCain, Charley Blackfeather, G.W. Satterlee, and Logan Munro are common citizens, until the day their small town of Wolf Creek, Kansas, comes under a methodically cruel siege. Led by one of the most brutal men of the post Civil War years, Jim Danby, the outlaw gang that invades Wolf Creek figures they got away clean with murder and bank robbery. But the dwellers of Wolf Creek have secrets of their own, and the posse that goes after Danby and his men are anything but the ordinary people they seemed to be before the attack. They’ll go to any lengths to keep their town safe, no matter how long they have to follow the BLOODY TRAIL.

I asked three questions of each of the authors about their character, collaboration, and what’s to come in future editions of the Wolf Creek series. For the sake of space, I’ll post the questions once here at the beginning and number the answers to correlate.

Questions:

1. Wolf Creek is a town filled with secrets, and people “with a past.” Tell us a little about
your character without giving away all his secrets. What kind of man is he and how does he change in this story?

2. The idea of a collaboration with other authors is sometimes daunting. What did you enjoy most about working with your co-authors under the pen name “FORD FARGO”?

3. Are there any plans for your character to reappear in a future edition of the Wolf Creek stories? If so, what edition will it be?

Let’s start with Clay More’s answers, since his character kicks the story off.

CLAY MORE—Dr. Logan Munro

1. Logan Munro is a Scottish doctor, as am I. Shortly after graduating from Edinburgh University he served with the British Army Hospital in Scutari in Constantinople during the Crimean War. In 1856, at the end of the war he had the opportunity to go to India. While there he married Helen, a young governess. A year later The Indian Mutiny took place and he was involved in the siege. Sadly, Helen died from malaria. Disillusioned with life, and bereft at losing Helen, Logan sailed for America. Along came the Civil War, during which he served as a surgeon in the Union Army. When the guns ceased and the smoke cleared he settled down in Wolf Creek. He has seen a lot of action in the three wars he served in and he has honed his surgical skills on the battlefields. He is tired of all the killing and he just wants to settle down as a family doctor in a sleepy town.

I don’t think that Logan has really changed in the course of the story. Like all of the decent citizens of Wolf Creek he is sickened by the attack by the Danby gang. When a posse is formed he insists on
going, since he feels that he may be needed. His training and his experience mean that he keeps a cool head when he is under pressure.

2. This was indeed a very daunting prospect, since I was working with top names in the western genre, five writers whose prose and imagination I greatly admired. When Troy gave me the task of opening the story I was naturally anxious in case I failed to engage the reader in those first two chapters, which would result in the whole project collapsing. Troy had worked out an outline for us all to work to and everyone had the opportunity to chip in until we had the plot mapped out. Then each writer told the story through the viewpoint of their character. I think Troy was inspired to come up with the whole concept. We wrote the book sequentially, so I had to write mine quickly and hand it on to Jim Griffin, who then wrote his story and handed it on to Troy. Then Larry took up the reins and handed it on to James. And of course, Cheryl had to finish it off, which she did beautifully.

It was a lot of fun, but each writer had his or her own pressure to keep the story moving. I really enjoyed working with all of the writers and seeing just how the story panned out. I feel privileged to have been involved in the first collaborative novel. Also, I have to say that Troy, who ramrodded the whole thing, did a fantastic job in taking the whole manuscript and blending it seamlessly together. I think the result is a book that has turned out to be greater than the sum of its parts.

3. Yes, I am happy to say that Logan returns in Book 4 – The Taylor County War. In fact, I am working on it right now.

LARRY MARTIN—Angus “Spike” Sweeney

Angus “Spike” Sweeney is the town blacksmith.

He wears a butternut wool  Confederate Kepi with a Davis Guard Medal pinned above the eye shade and invites comments, which might just be met with an iron bender’s grip on the throat and a pounding left to the proboscis. Considered a hero of  the Davis Guards and the defense of Sabine Pass. He is usually unarmed, but is deadly within twenty feet with his hammer, and can split hairs at  fifteen with his hatchet or Arkansas toothpick. A decent and deliberate  shot with both a sidearm and long gun.

Spike was born in New Orleans and was a sailor (both in trading vessels in the  Gulf of Mexico and on the Mississippi) and on-board smithy, where he  acquired some skill as a gunsmith as well. He keeps a garden in the rear of the shop with both vegetables and flowers, and is teased about the  flowers. He is bashful around women and wouldn’t swear in front of one if a  beer wagon ran over his moccasin clad foot, but is on the prod for a  woman who can put up with his (in his eyes) questionable looks, and long hours in front of a hot forge.

Spike’s silent partner at the  forge is Emory Charleston, an ex-slave -the two men make an incongruous, but mutually loyal, pair. Em’s biggest complaint about Spike is the  Confederate cap he insists on wearing.

JIM GRIFFIN—Bill Torrance

1.  My character is Bill Torrance, the owner of the Wolf Creek Livery stable. He’s a man who seems to care only for horses, and little else. He’s never even been known to carry a gun. In modern-day terms, he’d be considered a “wimp”. However, Bill Torrance is not his real name, and his background is far from the picture he presents to the citizens of Wolf Creek. This becomes clear when the town is attacked by the Danby gang.

2.  First, it was an honor to be asked to participate in this project, with authors far more well-known than I, all of whom I admire. What I found most amazing and enjoyable was the complete cooperation among all the authors, and the complete lack of egos. Everyone was willing to bend to let the storyline mesh together cleanly. All of the authors were allowed to use the other authors’ characters in their chapters, as long as they didn’t change the character “owner’s” concept of his or her character. By everyone working together and setting aside our natural instincts to not want anyone else using “our” characters, we were able to avoid transition and storyline problems.

3.  Yes, Bill Torrance, now using his real name, will be appearing in a future Wolf Creek book. I believe Volume 6. In that book, we’ll learn more about him, plus he’ll be interacting with Edith Pettigrew, widow of one of the founders of Wolf Creek. Bill had a confrontation with her in Bloody Trail, so when
they meet again the sparks will once more be flying.

TROY SMITH—Charley Blackfeather

1. Charley Blackfeather’s father was an escaped slave, and his mother was Seminole –he was raised as a member of that tribe, and as a very young man fought against the U.S. military in the Seminole Wars. Later, during the Civil War, he served in the same blue uniform he had once fought against… now (1871) he serves as a cavalry scout, making use of his vast knowledge of Kansas and Indian Territory.

Charley is an adept tracker and hunter. He bears a lot of pain from the losses he has suffered in the various wars, but carries it stoically. He can be pretty intimidating if you don’t know him well –but if he is comfortable with you he can display a wry sense of humor. In the course of our first episode, Charley is visited by ghosts from his past that re-awaken his grief and rage. He also begins to develop new friendships, with people he would not have expected he would ever trust.

 2. As editor of the series, I admit I did have some trepidation about trying to coordinate this kind of complex project, and about dealing with so many different authors. I feared it would end up being an exercise in herding cats, and that I would have a lot of stubborn, narcissistic, recalcitrant people to deal with (in other words, writers.) But I was pleasantly surprised. This book, and the ones that are set to come after, were joys to work on. Everyone cooperated wonderfully-it really did feel like a team from the outset. And the rich, vibrant characters everyone created came alive immediately.

3. Well, that’s kind of a trick question in my case. As editor, I will be writing a section in every book, to help pull the various other parts together. I have two characters –one for stories that take place mostly in town (Marshal Sam Gardner) and one for stories that take place largely outside of town
(Charley Blackfeather.)

 

JAMES REASONER—Sheriff G.W. Satterlee

1. My character, Sheriff G.W. Satterlee, is a former buffalo hunter and army scout who drifted into packing a badge, and in the process he discovered that he’s an instinctive politician who enjoys the power of his position. He’s not the morally upright lawman hero so often found in Western fiction, but  neither is he the corrupt official out to line his own pockets. Rather, he’s somewhere in between . . . which means that he’s capable of either inspiring us or disappointing us, depending on the situation in which he finds himself and his reaction to it. In BLOODY TRAIL, he discovers that maybe he has a little  more of a conscience than he thought he did. As with most things about G.W. Satterlee, whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing, we just don’t know yet .. . and probably neither does he.

2. I really got a kick out of the passion and enthusiasm the other authors brought to the project. Everyone tried to make this the very best novel it could be.

3. Since G.W. Satterlee is the county sheriff, headquartered in Wolf Creek, he’s bound to make plenty of return appearances, ranging from brief cameos to leading roles in some books. I believe he’s supposed to be featured again in the fourth book in the series.

My blog can be found at http://jamesreasoner.blogspot.com

CHERYL PIERSON—Derrick McCain

1. I have two characters in this story, Derrick McCain, who has come back to Wolf Creek after many years of “drifting” after the war. He’s uneasy with himself and his past–he did some things that he regrets both during and after the war. But he has a personal stake in joining the posse to go after the gang that attacked Wolf Creek…he’s seeking revenge of his own. My other character is Carson Ridge, a member of the Cherokee Lighthorse law enforcement. He makes a brief appearance but will be back in future editions of Wolf Creek.

2. I truly loved working on this project. Getting to read the other parts first really helped me in my decision as to how to end it properly, since I wrote the last two chapters. It was important to “get it right” because the ending has to leave the reader wanting more. But every chapter built on the one that came before it, and Clay, Jim, Troy, Larry and James really made my job a lot easier than it might have been otherwise. This was Troy’s idea, and he has been organized and kept the ball rolling all along. So for me, the entire experience was really a good one–and nothing like I’d ever done before.

3. Derrick McCain will appear in book 5, Showdown at Demon’s Drop. I also have a couple of short stories planned for his character in future anthologies. Carson Ridge may also appear in book 5–I’m not certain yet, but I know he will turn up again in the future somewhere!

Thanks to all my co-authors today for joining me here at Petticoats and Pistols. We’ve enjoyed being here today to talk about this very different western, and we welcome any questions and comments!  

We will be giving away a print copy of WOLF CREEK: BOOK 1 BLOODY TRAIL to one lucky commenter. If you just can’t wait to see if you won it, here’s the link to the page at Amazon!

http://www.amazon.com/WOLF-CREEK-Bloody-Trail-Volume/dp/1475243197/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1347404335&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=Wolf+Creek+%3ABook+1+Bloody+Trail

 

 

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