Wednesday, July 17, 2024

On the Outlaw Trail.

You could stick a pin just about anywhere in a map of Utah and there would be some interesting aspect of Old West history that happened there. The northeastern part of Utah below Wyoming and next to Colorado is no exception. Brown’s Hole (Brown’s Park, if you prefer) and Diamond Mountain are there. And the Outlaw Trail, leading from Hole in the Wall in Wyoming to Robbers Roost in Utah, runs through the Uinta Basin and most every outlaw in the history of the Intermountain West frequented the area.

 Among them was Matt Warner, the bandit who introduced Butch Cassidy to the outlaw life, and subject of my historical novel, OUTLAWMAN: The Life and Times of Matt Warner.

On July 22, I will be in Vernal, the heart of the Uinta Basin, where Matt Warner was arrested for murder following a gunfight where he killed two men and wounded another, speaking at the Uintah County Library. (Uintah and Uinta are both correct spellings, depending on circumstances, but that’s a story for another day.) I’ll be speaking about Warner’s life and times, reading a few selections from the book, and visiting with people about one of the Old West’s most notorious outlaws, who later became a respected lawman.

If you’re anywhere near the area we’d love to see you there. There’s a lot to do and see in the Uinta Basin, including a bank on Vernal’s main street built back around 1916 from 37 tons of bricks—every one of which arrived in town with a postage stamp, via parcel post. That, too, is a story for another day.

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

It’s a Kick (starter).

A while back, publisher Silverado Press invited me to be part of an anthology of Western stories by some of today’s top authors (and me). It sounded like an interesting project, so I signed on. That’s the cover of the book above.

But there’s something unusual about this book—not so unusual these days, I suppose, but certainly new to me. Readers—potential readers—will fund the publication through something called Kickstarter. I guess how it works is that interested readers buy the book in advance, contributing at various levels of support for added perks and benefits.

As I said, I don’t know the ins-and-outs of how it all works, but here’s a link that should answer all your questions and tell you how to get involved.

Silverado Press Presents Western Stories by Today’s Top Writers.

You’ll see that the editor, Jeff Mariotte, has assembled a stellar cast of Western Writers. And me. Take a look. You might like the idea of helping publish a book.

Wednesday, July 3, 2024


Not long ago, yours truly appeared on LA Talk Radio in a wide-ranging, penetrating, perceptive, enlightened, astute, scintillating, incisive, informative, in-depth (or so I’m told) interview with Tom Swearingen, guest host for the “Rendezvous with a Writer” program.

Life being what it is, it’s altogether likely that not all of you were able to tune in to the live broadcast.

Not to worry. LA Talk Radio has made the program available all over the place so you can tune in. Being something of a Luddite, I don’t pretend to know what all this stuff is or how it all works, but you (or your grandkids) probably do.

Here are several links you can click on to take you to either an audio only or a video and audio recording of the interview. Thanks for listening. Or watching.

LA Talk Radio Facebook Page

LA Talk Radio Audio
Amazon Music

Monday, June 24, 2024

Stamey under the sky.

Blue sky and Dave Stamey. What better way to spend a summer evening?

On July 19 at around 6:00 pm, legendary Western singer, songwriter, and entertainer Dave Stamey will step up onto a hay trailer parked in Cameron Wilkinson’s horse pasture in Mapleton, Utah, and cut loose with a rollicking evening of good music and good times.

Stamey’s pasture performances have become a summer tradition as Cameron invites Dave and all comers to congregate for a festive, informal celebration of cowboy tunes. The modest $22 charge ($11 for the little ones) to get through the gate all goes to the artist as he wends his way across the West filling auditoriums and performing at more formal venues. But, lucky for us, he always finds a way to detour to the foot of Maple Mountain for these galas among the graze.

If you’re within driving distance of Cameron’s place on July 19, or find yourself in the neighborhood for any reason, this will be the place to spend the evening. Contact Cameron at to let him know you’re on the way and to get more detailed information. It’s an evening that shouldn’t be missed. I know—I’ve been there before, and I’ll be there again. Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Tune in.

June 20 will be upon us before you know it. Please mark the evening of that day on your calendar, in your date book, on your phone, or wherever else you keep your life from descending into chaos.

At 7:00 PM that day (that’s MST, my time; it’s 6:00 PST, 8:00 CST, 9:00 EST, and however Arizona sets their clocks these days) I have been invited to appear on LA Talk Radio’s “Rendezvous with a Writer” series. Tom Swearingen, a cowboy poet of renown, will be hosting the show. We’ll be talking about reading, writing, some of my books, perhaps some poetry, and who knows what all. I suspect that by the end of our hour, we’ll have covered all 26 letters of the alphabet.

Follow these links to tune in to watch or listen live on June 20:
* Listen to the audio on LA Talk Radio’s website. (Click “Listen Live” on right side.)
* Watch on Rendezvous with a Writer Facebook.
* Watch on LA Talk Radio Facebook.

If you miss the live broadcast, there is still hope. Follow these links:
LA Talk Radio Facebook. (Video.)
Rendezvous with a Writer Facebook. (Video or audio.)
Podbean. (Audio only. From Podbean you can choose Spotify, IHeart Radio, and so on.)

Whatever all that means. Tune in. Watch. Listen. Don’t miss a chance to see me open my mouth and let random syllables spill out and dribble down the front of my shirt. See you June 20. 

Saturday, May 18, 2024

What’s in there?

There’s a man named Justice who made himself a judge.

There’s a madam named Mercy who makes him nervous.

There’s a three-legged dog named Twah.

There’s a barroom bouncer named Al, short for Alice.

There’s a dim-witted town marshal named Luther.

There’s a phrenologist, a milliner, and a medicine show.

There’s a riverboat gambler and a Philadelphia lawyer.

There are rents to pay, taxes to collect, and percentage payoffs.

There are disagreements, disturbances, tribulations, and trials.

There’s a courtroom in the saloon and card games at the brothel.

There’s never been a town like this one.

And there’s never been a novel like this one.

Justice and Mercy is now available in paperback and coming soon in eBook.

There’s a lot to smile at in its pages.

Sunday, April 28, 2024

My Favorite Book, Part 30.

Certain things from the Old West are so firmly embedded in history—both scholarly and popular—that they are ever-present. You don’t have to look far to find a book, magazine article, movie, documentary, or debate about the gunfight at the OK Corral, Wild Bill Hickok, the battle at the Little Big Horn, Buffalo Bill Cody, the siege at the Alamo, Crazy Horse, the Mountain Meadows Massacre, George Armstrong Custer, Sitting Bull . . .

And, as popular a subject as any of the above, Billy the Kid.

I recently re-read a book on that subject I had enjoyed before: To Hell on a Fast Horse – Billy the Kid, Pat Garrett and the Epic Chase to Justice in the Old West by Mark Lee Gardner. The book traces the histories of William Bonney and Pat Garrett, both as individuals and their shared history. While widely researched and carefully documented, the book—unlike so many nonfiction books—is not a dense parade of names and dates and facts.

Gardner does not paint Billy the Kid as a tortured, misunderstood, widely loved victim of circumstance. Neither does he portray him as totally uncaring, cold-blooded, ruthless, and imbued with evil. Garrett gets the same multi-faceted treatment, covering his heroics and relentless pursuit of justice, as well as his gambling, drinking, and economic shenanigans. We come to know both men as fully formed, complex human beings, driven by and responding to (as we all are) complicated and sometimes conflicting forces.

The violence of their lives is chronicled in vivid detail, as are the friendships and romantic relationships of the Kid and the sheriff. Throughout the pages of this engaging account, readers are left to form their own conclusions concerning the mysteries surrounding the lives and deaths of two of the Old West’s most compelling men, forever entwined in our history and imaginations.