Guest: Cindy Holby

Where have all the cowboys gone?

I was raised on Westerns. Bonanza, Rawhide, High Chaparral, The Virginian, The Big Valley and Lancer just to name a few. For me as a child, the Wild West was as close as my TV and my imagination. My favorite toys were my Johnny West, Jane West, Chief Cherokee and their horses, Thunderbolt, Thundercolt and Flame. I even had the cardboard bunkhouse and all the accessories. It’s really too bad a basement flood destroyed all that.

My fantasies were about Heath Barkley, Little Joe and oh my gosh, Johnny Lancer. Does anyone remember the scene were he jumped his palomino over the fence when the opening credits came on? My heart broke when the actor, whose name escapes me at the moment, lost his arm and leg in a motorcycle accident.

Then came a more modern western. Alias Smith and Jones. Both guys were hot and some fancy camera work made Kid Curry the fastest gun in the west. Yummy. And I was so in love with Pete Duel who tragically killed himself.

John Wayne movies could always be counted on for a great mud-slinging, name calling fight, usually with Maureen O’Hara winding up in the mud. And one movie was so good they made it twice, the Rio movies, one with a young hot James Caan and the other with a young hot Ricky Nelson.

Then suddenly westerns disappeared. Occasionally, you could catch one on a Saturday matinee on some random cable channel but they were hard to find until the Hallmark channel came along.

Thank goodness for Silverado. And while I’m not a big fan of Lawrence Kasdan’s screenwriting abilities, the cast was awesome. Brian Dennehy, who was so good, Scott Glenn, a young, hot Kevin Costner, Jeff Fahey as bad guy personified and James Gammon as the leader of the outlaws who had the best line in the movie. “I think there’s only a couple of guys up there and this asshole is one of them.” Loved it!

Young Riders. Young Riders fulfilled my Western needs. With a cast full of hunky guys who knew how to shoot and ride I was hooked. It also got me to thinking about my childhood western fantasies. The one about a girl named Jenny and her brother…

And Chase The Wind became a story. A six book series about cowboys and Indians and the joys and desperations of living and building a nation. I was inspired by Cowboys.

But inspiration is hard to find these days. Open Range was pretty good. I loved the scene were Kevin Costner didn’t waste any time and just killed the bad guy.

Outsider. Tim Daly. Enough said. Nope. Sigh…….Was he great in that movie or what? And somehow my copy is missing. I’ll just have to buy a new one.

And just recently, 3:10 to Yuma. If anything revived the Western, this movie was it. Everything you could want. Well it would have been nice if Christian Bale lived but still, a great, great film. I haven’t seen the new Brad Pitt movie with the impossibly long name but hey, it’s a western and Brad Pitt is in it so it’s got to be good.

In my books I have several cowboys. Jamie, Chase, Ty, Caleb, Jake and Zane. These guys are based on some real life heroes. My sons and their friends. If we lived a hundred and twenty years ago, I’m pretty sure this is how they’d act.

Cowboys. You just gotta love them. I’m pretty sure there’s still several of them around. I even know a few, which is kind of strange considering I live in North Carolina.

Now if I could just find my copy of Outsider….


Cindy Holby author of
Chase The Wind
Wind Of The Wolf
Forgive The Wind


And her newest release, Rising Wind, which is not about cowboys but frontiersmen who have their own stories to tell.

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25 thoughts on “Guest: Cindy Holby”

  1. Cindy, welcome, welcome!! We’re delighted to have you here on Petticoats and Pistols as our guest!

    I was a Leisure author, too, when you first sold to Dorchester, but I enjoyed learning more about you in today’s blog.

    Your titles all have ‘wind’ in them. I’d love to know why! Do tell!

  2. Loved reading your blog today and now I know I’ll have to add you to my TBB list! One of the more recent movies I liked was Broken Trail with Thomas Hayden Church and Robert Duvall.

    Here’s hoping all the new “westerns” create a whirlwind buzz to bring back wonderful tales of true cowboys and life in the west.

    I’m like Pam, I’d love to know about why “Wind” is a key in your titles.

  3. Hi Cindy,
    It’s nice to meet you here at Petticoats! I watched all those same TV shows, but I can’t really recall Lancer. Does anyone know the name of the actor in that?

    I love Tim Daly and thought he did a fabulous job in Penelope Williamson’s, Outsider. Talk about a hot and brooding hero. I saw him in person on the set of Wings — very nice.

    I love American history so your newest books about Frontiersmen sound very intriguing. Count me in on the “wind” question. Inquiring minds want to know. 🙂

  4. Hi Cindy!

    I have no idea where all the cowboys have gone. I think I’m still in shock because they disappeared. A couple of authors who keep their ears to the ground urged me to start writing a different genre years ago–they told me westerns were dead. I refused to believe it and kept writing them. Westerns are what got me into writing romance. They’re what I know best and love. I used to argue that they simply couldn’t die because there was an entire sub-culture in this country built on the myth of the western cowboy. That sub-culture is still out there (I think), it still exists, so why did westerns take such a sharp decline in popularity? Beats me.

    The only thing I can figure is that the target market (age group) shifted. They weren’t immersed in westerns the way we children of the 50’s and 60’s were. (Gasp!) Some of these people have never seen a John Wayne movie!!! I could so easily climb way up on the ol’ soapbox, but I won’t. I’ve lived and breathed westerns all my life. Lordy, what I wouldn’t give to turn on the tv and see Sam Elliott, Tom Selleck, and Jeff Osterhage (the 3 Sackett boys) walking down the dusty street together. Btw, I loved Alias Smith & Jones, too. Remember when Sally Field used to guest star as Calam (Calamity)?

    The Outsider–what can I say. Classic. Imo, Johnny Cain is THE definitive bad boy gunslinger, yet still manages to be so vulnerable.

    Sorry for the little rant. Happy to see you here! :o)

  5. The first book became Chase The Wind because I have a character with that name but also I wanted something to signify the sweeping feel of the book. Its more of a saga than a romance or so I’ve been told by all the romance reviewers out there. We used Wind in the rest of the titles since they were all connected.

    And for me its hard to write a story until I have a title and the perfect names for the characters. The titles have a significance in each story.

    Chase The Wind is about people following their dreams, and sometimes they are impossible to catch, kind of like the wind.

    Wind Of The Wolf. Well obviously there’s a wolf involved but its more of the trouble that comes, and trying to get through it.

    Crosswinds, The main character Ty is facing the results of a bad decision.

    Windfall, Jake doesn’t think he deserves the blessing thats pretty much been dumped upon him

    Forgive The Wind, sometimes fate is not kind and we have to figure out a way to get through it

    Whirlwind, Life will knock you off your feet sometimes.

    and Rising Wind…its a colonial and a country is about to be born. I think it truly is my favorite of all the Wind books, especially since I knew the history so well. I grew up on the battlefield mentioned in the story.

    And they guy in Lancer Was James Stacy.

    He was hit while riding his motocycle by a drunk driver in 1973 and lost his left leg and left arm. So sad.

    Tim Daly. He makes one sexy cowboy. Loved that movie.

  6. Oh my gosh, the Sacketts. Is there anyone who plays a better cowboy than Sam Elliott? And Tom Selleck. I loved the three of them together, along with Katherine Ross.

    I kept on writing Westerns even though I was told the market is dead. And my sales have been pretty darn good so I would say the market is alive and kicking.

    I guess my love of Westerns is one reason why I enjoyed Firefly so much. The Wild West goes into outer space. What’s not to love?

  7. LOL! Cindy, an author in my local chapter suggested to me a couple of years ago to take my cowboys into space. She said that was the future of the genre. Well… I actually mulled it around for a while. But no matter how I thought about it, it still came out to be Star Wars rather than High Noon. The technology is what threw me. I just couldn’t picture a cowboy or gunfighter hopping on his faithful land speeder with his trusty phaser strapped to his side.

    I’ve had the Firefly series highly recommended, but have yet to watch a single episode. Maybe I should have.

  8. Cindy, thank you so much for guesting on P&P! I second Charlene and Pam in that it’s really good to have you. You’re a lover after my own heart. Can’t think of anything more satisfying than a good western movie or book. Hey, I remember Lancer! I lusted after James Stacy. What a tough cowboy. He was the one who wore the black pants with the silver conchas running down the legs. I recently attributed those conchas to Robert Fuller who played Jess Harper on Laramie. I was wrong. 🙂 First time that’s ever happened. Ha! My memory isn’t as clear as I wish sometimes and things tend to run together. And I worship Sam Elliott and Tom Seleck on The Sacketts! Oh my gosh. Pure heaven.

    Hope you locate your DVD “The Outsider” because you’re sure not gonna pry it out of my hands. Tim Daly was the most sensuous, tough gunslinger I’ve seen in a long time. Excellent movie!

    I, too, was a Dorchester author. They’re such a great publishing house for new authors. I owe my start to them. I love your Wind books! They’ve been quite successful and I can see why. You have amazing talent for drawing pictures with words. And thanks for answering Pam and Charlene’s question about why you used the word wind in each of the titles. I wondered. That’s neat that you incorporated the themes into the titles.

    What do you have in the works? Some westerns by chance? I hope.

  9. Cindy, if you click on the blog archives’ Hunky Cowboys and scroll down, you’ll see a great picture of Tim Daly in his role of Johnny Gault in The Outsider. And if it’s all covered in kisses and drool, don’t pay it any attention. 🙂

  10. You named some of my favorite movies and tv shows!!! I LOVED The Young Riders…I recorded every episode onto VHS tapes and would watch them over and over and over. Now I own the first season on DVD…can’t wait for the other seasons to be released.

  11. How many times have you guys talked about Tim Daly. 🙂 He must have really been good to create all this buzz. I’ve never seen this. I need to hunt up the movie. My husband likes a good western, too so it oughta bee okay.

  12. Cindy: Fascinating post. I watched all those TV series. There were a few recent western series that started, but didn’t finish the season. Modern cowboys seem to do really well so you’d think that historical ones would as well.

    Enjoyed your explanation regarding the various winds in your titles. It’s always nice when you can envision the title and the publisher agrees.

    Thanks for joining us here today. It’s been a treat to have you.

  13. Thanks for having me. And Young Riders is on DVD? I must go shopping. I guess I’ll get that when I get my second copy of The Outsider

    I do have a western in the works. It’s about a bounty hunter named Abel Cain who’s after the man he thought has killed his sister. It turns out that he falls for the accuseds man’s own sister…and well you know the rest….

    off to look at hunky cowboys now

  14. Welcome Cindy! The Big Valley and Bonanza were two of my favorite series to watch growing up. I miss the old fashioned westerns.

  15. Hi Cindy,

    I’m actually in a part of the country where there is a cowboy around almost every corner! LOL But it is still hard to find a historical western romance book in the book stores around here. I’m trying my hardest to get them to come around to my, and the ladies of this blog’s, way of thinking!

    I grew up watching westerns- first because that was what my grandpa read and watched and he lived with us- and later because that seemed to be what I liked as well.

    Your next book sounds interesting.

  16. Another early television show I adored, while not exactly a western, sure did have West in the title and that was Wild, Wild West.
    And oh yeh… Time Daly as Johnny Gault, total and complete yummers.

  17. Once again thanks so much for having me! I’ve had a blast and also feel the need for a western marathon. I’ve got a couple on my TBR pile. You’ve also inspired me to work on my Western proposal so we’ll see what happens. First issue, come up with a title!

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