Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Why Westerns? Bonnie Kelly

                 Westerns are not as popular as they once were. I don’t understand is why. Picture the world as it is today. The world of boom boxes, back up beepers (those really drive me insane), noise, noise, noise. Everywhere you turn, everything you do is contributing to making you deaf. Even in your home you can’t get away from it, your vacuum cleaner to your blender makes you crazy. Then you just sit down to watch your favorite television show and your next door neighbor has decided to have a party. You might be able to deal with the music if it wasn’t for the bass invading your house from the ground up through your cement floors right into your body and your brain which considers a violence you could not imagine yourself capable of. 
                 Life changed for me when moved from a big city to 16 acres of lakefront property and spent summers swimming, boating and fishing, chasing fireflies, and watching Great Blue Herons silently hunt from turtle mounds and lily pads.
                  In spring lilacs bloomed, then dogwood, and after that autumn’s brilliant colors painted the trees surrounding the lake before the snow of winter brought its quiet stillness to the world.
                We used kerosene lamps for light, drank fresh spring water from a pump outside the house and trudged out back to the outhouse. I walked 3 miles to a one room school house past apple orchards with no fences where we could pick the fruit. One bite into of those crisp apples and juice would run down your chin. Today they tell you to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, but who can stomach the dry mealy apples and unripe tomatoes passed off as healthy eating.
               A move to the desert found us riding horses on Squaw Peak Mountain. A family of Navajo, wearing their native dress, rode into downtown Phoenix one Saturday afternoon in a horse drawn wagon. The desert sunsets were spectacular. In summer we’d camp at the lakes in the mountains to escape the heat.
                  I still have the urge to see things as they might have been and have camped in Sequoia National Park, as far south as Tampico, Mexico and as far north as Alaska. In 2004, I put my dog in a van and we traveled almost 10,000 miles across this awe-inspiring country. And this I know, these experiences have taught me that I’d rather hear a bird sing than a jack hammer pound cement. I’d rather here a chorus of frogs calling for mates than listen to some boom box pound in my head, and I’d rather listen to the wind in the trees and see the stars fill the night sky.
                 And this is why I write westerns. They can be many things, stories of adventure, romance, mystery and more. But whatever tale they choose to tell, of this we can be sure—it happens in a time and place of grand and glorious wonder. 
                I want to thank Billie for publishing my western novel, Blessings, Bullets and Bad Bad Men, first as an ebook and now being printed, and available at Amazon. And thanks to Sunny for always being available when needed.
               As Billie would say. "YAAAY!"


research paper said...

Written simply and tastefully. It’s pleasant to read. Thank u.

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Good post. People definitely love Westerns--Cowboys and Aliens #1 at the box office. That should tell people something. Fun movie by the way, the cowboys were great.


Pat said...

I grew up watching The Lone Ranger, Wagon Train and The Rifleman to name a few so I can appreciate your love of westerns. Reading your blog made me long for the simple life too!

wayne d. dundee said...

I had the pleasure of reading BULLETS, BLESSINGS, AND BAD BAD MEN early on, and it is a doozy!Bonnie's love of the Western traditions and the wild, wide open land is as clearly evident in the novel as it is in this article. Why Westerns? Because they capture many of the finest parts of our Amnerican spirit ... and therefore they matter. Yippi-ki-yay!

Bonnie A Kelly said...

Thanks so much Wayne. Very happy to hear you enjoyed Blessings, Bullets and Bad Bad Men, and also that you and Pat appreciate and share in a love of the values and traditions we hold near and dear in that time and place.

Sunny Frazier said...

When I suggested a Western line for OTP, Billie allowed me to run with it. I sensed something in the air, what with True Grit, 3:10 to Yuma and Justified. I believe Wendy came up with the imprint title: Wild Oaks.

Bonnie already had an e-book in the house and it was selling well. It was Billie's decision to move it into trade paperback. So, welcome Bonnie (and Carole Critter, Wayne Dundee, John Lindermuth and future OTP author Jason Hunt) for letting the Western ride again!

Now I'm looking for strong Hispanic characters. I predict that will be the next big trend.