I’ve been asked that a few times now. The western is not really my style, and they are not so popular anymore (read: you’re not gonna sell it). So why am I writing it?
Well, for starters, it’s only half mine. The basic layout of the first half of the story, and the idea to do the story, come from my Grandfather.
My love of reading also comes from my Grandfather.
So when my Grandfather told me he had been thinking about this Western he had wanted to write for years, I decided that it was time to do it. He didn’t really want to get his hands too dirty with it (read: wants his grandson to get all the credit) so I got him to sit down and give me what he has and I took it from there.
I have spiced the story with stories I have heard about my family history, and this makes it feel more real to me, hopefully it will do the same for my readers. Examples? Uh…Sure.
For example, the main Character, Az, gets his name from my Great-Great-Grandfather, James Asbury Knight, whom everyone called Az.
Also there is mention of an incident that resulted in some jail-time for Az that is also based upon a story from my families history. The real Az, my Great-Great-Grandfather, was in Hoisington Kansas, where he had a livery stable. He rented out horses and buggies, took ‘big shots’ from back East out hunting birds in the marshlands, things like that. Well it’s not clear what in particular he was doing this specific day, collecting buffalo bones to sell in town to be ground up for fertilizer or shooting birds to sell in town for food, but he picked up a hitchhiker. A short time later, a man came riding over the hill shooting at the wagon with a pistol. Not one to sit still while being shot at, Az pulled his pistol and dropped the shooter. Who turned out to be a marshal (local or federal is lost to history).
The marshal was actually after the hitchhiker.
After throwing the marshal in the back of the wagon and taking him to town, Az was thrown in jail to wait and see if the marshal lived. Fortunately, he did. Years later, as the story goes, Az and the marshal became friends and played checkers together in Alva, Oklahoma. The marshal had the bullet on his watch fob.
So anyway, family history also holds that James Asbury Knight was a marshal in Cripple Creek, Colorado. I have never been able to confirm this, but some records from Cripple Creeks history have been lost. I have been able to confirm his brother George was in the area and was an electrician on the Royal Gorge Bridge.
Anyway, check out this link if you are interested in the first chapter of the Western Story (title to be determined).
Please remember this is the rough draft and absolutely everything is subject to change. And please forgive the formatting, everything changes when paste to the web. I don’t know why. I am still learning.