Saturday, January 24, 2015
Writing the Western Novel by Dac Crossley
Western novels are historical fiction. If you’re gonna write one you better have your facts straight. Put the wrong six-gun in the wrong era and somebody will jump on you in a review. I write about south Texas, the Wild Horse Desert south of the Nueces river, where culture clash yields a rich vein of story lines. I’ve found some old family narratives that set the scenes for me.
I think readers can relate to western stories because, in truth, they are the story of America. That’s what we Americans do -- Make a new start. Move on. Turn the page. Begin again. America’s first western frontier was in East Tennessee, when pioneers defied English law and crossed the Appalachians. We’ve always gone west, even today when ‘‘west’’ is a state of mind.
And America is ‘‘the west’’ to many now living in foreign lands. Immigrants want the chance to start over, turn the page, begin a new life. For them, we are the frontier. They bring a new dimension to the western story.
Dac Crossley (author of Revenge of the Texas Ranger)
January 19, 2015
‘‘Happiness, it turns out, is a destination we reach only when we are trying to get somewhere else.’’ -- Matthew Syed.