…I’m leavin’ Cheyenne.”
Truth be told, unlike that classic cowboy song lyric, I’ve already left Cheyenne. We were there last week for the annual Western Writers of America convention.
As usual, the WWA convention was a good time. I saw lots of fellow writers who’ve become friends over the years, and I met some who likely will become friends. I sat in some interesting panel discussions and presentations and visited some interesting historic sites in the area. And, to repeat myself, my novel Rawhide Robinson Rides the Tabby Trail: TheTrue Tale of a Wild West CATastrophe received a handsome certificate as a Finalist for the Spur Award for Best Western Juvenile Fiction, a book suitable for readers from junior high age to geriatric.
Without a doubt, the highlight of the convention was the acceptance of a Spur Award for Best Western Storyteller by young author JoJo Thoreau, author of the illustrated children’s book Buckaroo Bobbie Sue. Calling her young is not an exaggeration—JoJo is nine years old.
Which is certainly a novelty.
But her book and her Spur Award are no novelty. She’s an honest-to-goodness writer and Buckaroo Bobbie Sue is an honest–to-goodness book. It‘s the colorfully illustrated rhyming story of a young girl’s wish to, as we say in the cowboy trade, “make a hand,” and her rise to heroics at the right minute.
I played a small role in the making of the book and am pleased as punch that JoJo (who’s too young to know better) trusted me help out.
Leaving Cheyenne wasn’t easy, but at least as we rode out of town “leading Old Dan” we left with saddlebags full of fine memories—including meeting in person the budding—but already accomplished—author JoJo Thoreau.