Tuesday, September 25, 2018

“Father” goes to college.

The latest issue of Utah State magazine, the alumni publication from Utah State University, features my new novel, Father unto Many Sons. Included is a brief excerpt from the book—the Preface—and a brief bio about yours truly.
Although it has been a long, long, long time since I graduated from USU, I still have a lot of fond memories of my years going to school and working in Cache Valley, and am always on the lookout for an excuse to visit. (One such excuse takes me there October 10 to address the Cache Valley Historical Society; more on that later.)
Take advantage of this opportunity to increase your education. Take a look at Father unto Many Sons in Utah State magazine.   

Monday, September 17, 2018

I’ll be Write Here.

Writers conferences are fun. You get to meet people who love words and stories. You get to share thoughts, exchange ideas, and discuss experiences.
Most of all, you get to learn.
When I go to a writers conference, it’s usually to teach. But even then, I always learn something—perhaps more than I teach.
Come September 21 and 22, I will be at Snow College in Ephraim, Utah, for Write Here in Ephraim. I’ll be hosting a “bootcamp” session and giving presentations on improving prose and writing effective opening lines.
And, lo and behold, I will be giving the keynote address.
I have taught at conferences large and small, and I think Write Here in Ephraim is about the right size—enough participants to provide a broad spectrum of experience and approaches, but not so many that participants get lost in the shuffle.
If you’re a writer—or want to be a writer—you would do well to join us at Write Here in Ephraim.
I’m looking forward to being Write Here (or right there).

Sunday, September 9, 2018

My Favorite Book, Part 16

It would be difficult, I believe, for any list of outstanding Western novels to exclude Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove. I have read several McMurtry novels, and the truth is I run hot and cold on his writing—some of the books I like, some do nothing for me, some I would not recommend.
But when it comes to Lonesome Dove, I am hard pressed to do anything but stand in awe.
The main tale, a trail drive from Texas to Montana, is simple enough. But the many intertwining subplots give the book depth and richness, with stories both intricate and complex.
But it is the characters that set the book apart from all others. Woodrow Call and Augustus McCrae are an unlikely pair, with well-developed personalities that are at the same time contradictory and complementary. And the supporting characters, the whole long list of them, are likewise realistic and representative of the depth and breadth of humanity.
To win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction—which Lonesome Dove did in 1986—is an accomplishment unrivaled for a novel. For a Western novel, it is almost unprecedented and, for a “cowboy” novel, I believe it is unique.
The film adaptation is well done, but it’s about time for me to dive back into the book for, I think, the third time.