While The Lone Ranger (starring Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer) rode into the sunset after only one week at Landmark Theater in Los Angeles — the movie theater that I work at — proving that the Western could die a fast, painless death, the Western is not dead yet! In fact, it is my intention to bring the Western back — saddles and guns blazing!
One night in 2006, I saw the film High Noon on the big screen. I had been having serious writer’s block, and couldn’t write a word or a sentence to save my life. Seeing High Noon that night deleted my writer’s block, and opened the doors of my mind to ten exciting Wild West adventures. While I had always been a Western fanatic — in films and books — I don’t really understand why it took High Noon to make me want to write a Western. But I don’t have to question why — it just happened. Since then, I am now the creator/author/self-publisher of a 10-book western romance series entitled Thunder Mountain Brides.
Every time someone says, “The Western is dead,” I want to correct them. It’s not dead! — these tales just don’t know how to be told.
While I loved, loved, loved The Lone Ranger and Cowboys & Aliens, I will admit that movies rely too much on action and special effects to tell a story and not on characterization, plot, and setting, which are three things that make a Western truly special.
We all love a good Shoot’em Up! Bang! Bang! story. But after tragedies like those that happened in Aurora, Colorado, and Newtown, Connecticut, when will the focus be on what’s really important: stories about love, family, and community. Did all that die with two of my favorite television series — Little House On The Prairie and Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.
In 2011, actor Luke Perry became my Western hero when he created his Goodnight For Justice series because of his love for Westerns, and aired it on The Hallmark Channel. He believed wholeheartedly in the Western, and brought it back to life with old-fashioned plots, great characters, and rich settings.
Because of him, I suddenly want more than anything to turn my Thunder Mountain Brides book series into a series for television. I vow to give my Western audience the three things that they desire most: old-fashioned plots, great characters (especially for women — no more hiding behind a man, or given little to do! — my heroines rule and rock!), and rich settings.
Since today’s children will never know the excitement of going to a Western double feature like my dad did in 1940’s Buckhannon, West Virginia, I vow to make sure that the Western continues to live in your memories and hearts — where the likes of John Wayne and the cast of Bonanza still live.
I vow to bring the likes of Louis L’Amour to those that are not just grandpas.
I vow to bring stories that the entire family can read or watch together. Stories that will want to make people get off their iPhone and computer and be with their family.
The Western is anything but dead! It is riding out of the sunset, and back into the hearts of everyone.
Happy trails, dudes and dudettes!