Give it a check mark. Put it in the DONE basket. Celebrate for 24 hours. Woo-hoo! I've finished the first draft of my next novel! Next item on the list? Polish it for my readers.
The New Novel
I'm thrilled to share with you that, just last Friday, I finished the first draft of a brand new Western
action/suspense/romance novel I've titled The Bronc Buster. A spin-off of Cimarron Jack's Real Wild West, The Bronc Buster is the story of injured bronc rider Quintin Woodall, on his way home to Colorado for recuperation, and a young lady he meets while traveling there by train. The young woman, Cora Blake, may step down from the railcar without a single piece of luggage, but she enters Quint's life carrying a proverbial load of baggage. Injured back notwithstanding, Quint finds himself compelled to help Cora out of her perilous circumstances. He soon finds out just how powerful and persistent Cora's pursuers are.
Yes, Cimarron Jack Wheatley and the lovely Miss Adelia Flynn do appear in the new novel, but this time in supporting roles.
The Historical Backdrop
For me as a writer and for readers I've spoken with, the Wild West show has provided a tremendously colorful and interesting backdrop for these two most recent novels (Cimarron Jack's Real Wild West and The Bronc Buster). Rooted in the real experiences of Native Americans and Anglo, Hispanic, and African-American trailblazers, scouts, cowhands, and lawmen, the Wild West show both informed and embellished. Influenced by true exploits, tall tales, and dime novels, the Wild West show turned around and exerted huge influence on 20th-century movies and on modern-day rodeo. On a grand scale, these shows were both fun and informative. Folks back East and around the world met numerous real-West heroes through Wild West shows.
The New Experience
I've tried something new (for me) in The Bronc Buster. All of my prior published works (with the exception of one short story) have been written in third-person, past tense. (He did this. She said that.) Experimenting with ways to draw the reader even closer to the experiences of the characters in the story, I've written The Bronc Buster in first-person, present tense. (I bristle at the insult. She says to me...) This is a style I'm seeing more and more of in my own leisure reading, and I actually quite like it when it's done well.
If you haven't yet read Cimarron Jack's Real Wild West, I invite you to pick up a copy. While thoroughly Western, I believe you'll find that it offers a refreshing new take on the genre, as will the upcoming spin-off, The Bronc Buster. Look for The Bronc Buster around the beginning of December.