A Lesson from the Classic Western

All America lies at the end of the wilderness road, and our past is not a dead past, but still lives in us. Our forefathers had civilization inside themselves, the wild outside. We live in the civilization they created, but within us the wilderness still lingers. What they dreamed, we live, and what they lived, we dream. 
— T.K. Whipple, Study out the Land

I found this quote in the introduction to Larry McMurtry's Lonesome Dove.

Funny enough, it never occurred to me to look to the classic western for inspiration, but there it is. The Stone Eagle Series is frontier fiction--traditional values/lifestyles clashing with modernization in a lawless land.

It shouldn't have been a surprise. 

There are horses and "shoot-outs" (albeit with swords and bows and arrows); weak struggling against strong; make-shift systems of trade; and, above all, a question. What does it mean to live with honor?

T.K. Whipple's quote refers to the American West, but could apply to any time or place in history where men, women and children existed on the edge of the civilized world. All of the past, from all corners of the world, live within us. Our dream of the wilderness began in the first seconds of time, and continues on...  

 

My Brother's Book Just Went Live on Amazon!!

Way to go, Jase!

As of today, The Dublin Hit (Book 1 of the Sauwa Catcher Series) is for sale on Amazon. Isn't the cover stunning? A big thanks to the talented Louis Rakovich at Indigo Forest Designs. 

The notorious Angel of Death is now a gun for hire...

It’s 1994. The Apartheid in South Africa has abruptly collapsed. Covert operations specialist, Sauwa Catcher — once a reluctant but lethal soldier in the fallen regime — finds herself without a country. Branded an international criminal and targeted by multiple intelligence services, Sauwa is a fugitive, alone and on the run. 

An Irish paramilitary organization offers her a deal: carry out a dangerous, hands-on assignment in exchange for money and the means to disappear. 

On the gray streets of Dublin, she plots what she hopes will be her last mission while evading ruthless IRA hitmen, who will stop at nothing to see her dead, and intelligence agencies intent on publicly trying her for the crimes of a corrupt regime. 

Sauwa must use her combat-hardened operational skills and razor-sharp instincts if she is to fight and survive in her shadow world.

Teen Goth Barbarians vs the Late Roman Empire

After three years of writing and talking and sharing stories around a kitchen table, The Stone Eagle: Episode I -- my YA Historical Action Adventure Series -- is days away from publication. Look for the ebook to go on sale on Amazon, iBooks, B&N's Nook, Kobo and others on 10/5/17. A print edition will be available within the next two weeks.

For those of you who have read early drafts, critiqued and given encouragement, thank you. 

Oh, and for a certain nameless reader, this is what a spatha looks like:

Spatha.jpg

Spatha

A long sword from the Late Roman Empire. The blade measured around 30", allowing greater reach than the traditional gladius, as the legions began to rely more heavily on cavalry.

(Art by PK)