A warm Wildflower welcome to Livia J. Washburn today! She’s giving away a trade-size copy of Six Guns and Slay Bells today so don’t forget to leave a comment before riding off today!
Recently I was privileged to be part of a very unusual anthology. SIX-GUNS AND SLAY BELLS: A CREEPY COWBOY CHRISTMAS is the
latest project from Western Fictioneers, the only professional writers’ organization devoted exclusively to authors of Western fiction. As you might expect, it’s a Western anthology . . . but it’s also a paranormal anthology . . . and it’s a Christmas anthology!
I don’t remember exactly who came up with the idea of combining those three concepts, but I do know the idea originated during a round table e-mail discussion among the membership, the sort of brainstorming session that resulted in the award-winning anthology THE TRADITIONAL WEST and the on-going series of collaborative Western novels WOLF CREEK.
A number of WF members were eager to contribute stories, and I was one of them. I saw this as a perfect opportunity to bring back my character Buffalo Newcomb, a big, somewhat shady adventurer who starred in a couple of my Western novels. Since he bears a certain resemblance to a big, hairy creature known to roam the wild places, I asked myself what would happen if he was mistaken for a skookum (better known as Bigfoot or Sasquatch) as a dangerous Christmas is fast approaching.
The story was great fun to write, but that wasn’t the end of my involvement with SIX-GUNS AND SLAY BELLS. I’m also one of the editors and the publisher of the books produced by Western Fictioneers. As an editor, it was my job to assemble this fine collection of stories, all Westerns, all with paranormal elements, and all centered around a Christmas theme. Vampires, ghosts, aliens, angels, time travelers, even Santa Claus (of course) . . . you name it and this book has it, in tales provided by a mixture of veteran, award-winning Western authors and some of the top new names in the business. The line-up of authors includes Robert J. Randisi, Chuck Tyrell, Troy D. Smith, C. Courtney Joyner, Matthew P. Mayo, Douglas Hirt, James Reasoner, Jerry Guin, Charlie Steel, Clay More, Cheryl Pierson, Larry D. Sweazy, James J. Griffin, and Christine Matthews.
With the help of C. Courtney Joyner, WF was able to secure some fine artwork by Ron Gravelle to grace the cover. As a publisher, I really enjoy putting together covers and seeing the contents come together to produce a fine book that will give readers hours of pleasure. I’ve been an avid reader all my life, but until I started working on these books for Western Fictioneers as author, editor, and publisher I wasn’t really aware of everything that goes into the process. It’s been an education, but a lot of fun, too!
So if you’re a fan of Westerns . . . or paranormal stories . . . or Christmas tales that are a little creepy and/or a little heart-warming, be sure to check out SIX-GUNS AND SLAY BELLS: A CREEPY COWBOY CHRISTMAS for some fine holiday reading. And of course, copies of the book make excellent Christmas presents, too!
I would love to hear thoughts about this holiday anthology and one reader who comments will be randomly selected to win a trade paperback of SIX-GUNS AND SLAY BELLS: A CREEPY COWBOY CHRISTMAS. Good luck!