Wearing Three Hats ~ LIVIA J. WASHBURN

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!

Guest Blogger
Updated: November 9, 2012 — 2:53 pm

23 Comments

  1. I should have mentioned that both my husband, James Reasoner and fellow Western Fictioneer Matthew P. Mayo gave me a hand with copy editing Six-guns and Slay Bells. They both caught errors that I missed and their help was greatly appreciated.

  2. Gotta get that creepy Christmas anthology, Livia. It sounds like a hoot!
    FWIW, there’s a Washburn line in my family, lots of cool Washburn relatives. Could you be one of them?

  3. Hi Livia! Welcome to Petticoats and Pistols–it’s always great to have you here. I am so proud to be a part of this anthology. There are some wonderful stories in there. I admire you so much for all you do–your writing, editing all of our WF books, and learning the publishing business. That’s not easy, and you’ve got it mastered. All of our publications are gorgeous, the finished product so well done. Aren’t you and James working on a continuing series together? Can you tell us some about that, too?
    Hugs, Livia!
    Cheryl

  4. Livia, a big welcome to P&P. What a grand idea to mix the generas like you all did. I’ll have to read this one for sure, since it has some of my favorite authors in it. Big hugs, Phyliss

  5. Hi Livia! We’re so happy to have you back. This anthology looks great. You have some wonderful authors there. And I love the fact that the stories deal with so many different elements and sub-genres. It really intrigues me that you would include a western vampire Christmas story. Definitely not the norm but I like it.

    Wishing you lots of success!

  6. Great selection of authors that should ensure this is a much praised collection.

  7. Oh my, what a combination! I’ll have to read this. I am a new fan of paranormal and it has taken a long time for me to get there but Christmas stories I have always loved as wewll as westerns so why not all three?

  8. Livia, great to learn more about you and about the books you publish. I am avery impressed with all you do–your mysteries, your westerns, and now I learn you also are an editor and publsher. Wow! And what do you do in your spare time? ?

  9. Livia, as an author, editor and copywriter, I know the value of having a really good proofreader on hand. Some day I want to marry one too. 😉

    As a bit of a genre bender, I also love mixing up the paranormal, western and Christmas genres. (I’m a mystery+ writer – mystery+western romance, mystery+sf…) Good luck with SIX GUNS AND SLAY BELLS. It’s on my TBR list after BLOODY TRAIL.

  10. Hi Livia, I had the great pleasure of loading your blog today so I feel I know you already! I can’t wait to cuddle up with some Christmas stories, that’s for sure. God bless…and good luck with many sales.

  11. SIX-GUNS AND SLAY BELLS: A CREEPY COWBOY CHRISTMAS Wow this sounds like a great book. What a great combination. I look forward to getting a copy of this book to read.

  12. Wow! What a warm welcome. Elizabeth, it’s entirely possible we could be related. It would be pretty distant because Pawpaw Lawrence Washburn brothers didn’t have any children.

    Cheryl, thank you. It’s easy to put out a great anthology when dealing with professional writers like yourself. Loved your story “The Keepers of Camelot”. James and I do have a western series that we just added a novel to. Wind River was published by Harper a few years back and when I republished the six book series as ebooks we decided to add a new book, Ransom Valley. The 7th book came out this week.

    Thank you Phyliss. I’ll have to admit I had a lot of fun working on this anthology.

    Linda, I appreciate being welcomed back. You’re right this anthology isn’t the norm, but at the same time it has enough of the traditional western feel to make it seem like the stories could have happened in the old west.

    Steve, it’s the best group of writers. Pros every one.

    Connie, I’m a big fan of paranormal mixed with traditional stories. I’ve written a few paranormal romance novels, but I have to admit this was even more fun.

    Caroline, Spare time? Honestly I don’t have a lot of that, but I love staying busy. I spent the morning getting groceries and fixing breakfast for my parents, then mowed. They have 4 acres covered with oak trees so that takes a while. Now I’m formatting manuscripts to bring out the Wind River books in trade paperback, and creating full covers for them. All 7 books are available as ebooks, but I want them available for people who do not like ereaders.

    Alison, you really should marry a proof reader. They’re great and you always have something new to talk about.

    Thank you Tanya. I appreciate the warm wishes.

  13. Thank you Reba. It is one of my favorite Christmas anthologies.

  14. Oh, I love the idea. I’ve always liked a little dark in my reading and I must admit so many Christmas books get a bit overly sweet for my liking. This sounds like a really fun read!

  15. I like anthologies and this one would definitely be different!

  16. I don’t think you’re going to have to worry about this anthology being over sweet, but there are a few sweet moments. Lori, you are right Six-guns and Slay Bells is different.

  17. Always interested in something new a different. I have read a few of the uathros in the anthology and would love to read more. I would like to win the copy. Just in time for the Holidays!!

  18. Livia,,great post,enjoyed reading it,sounds like some good reading ,cant wait to read it,thanks Vickie

  19. Livia,,great post,enjoyed reading it,sounds like some good reading ,cant wait to read it,thanks keep up the good work

  20. I believe that is mixing it up a bit. I do enjoy books that are different and this one sound really different. I think its something I would really enjoy just because it is different.

  21. I thought it was pretty odd but with that author lineup? WOW. I can imagine the writing is FABULOUS, three ways — Halloween, Christmas and Paranormal. 😀

  22. Lucky me, I already have this book so I don’t need to be included in the contest. I did want to come by and read your article though because I think this book has such an interesting concept. I know it’s going to be a sensational read. I look forward to it.
    I wish each of you the very best and greeat success.

  23. So many nice comments. Thank you all.

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