Saturday, 25 September 2010

Sheriff Without a Star

I was pleased to receive a contract today for my Cassidy Yates western Sheriff without a Star. This'll be the 8th novel in which Cassidy has featured and my 23rd Black Horse Western. My suggested draft blurb is below:

After four years of distinguished service an error of judgement that led to the death of Leland Matlock's son shattered the confidence of Monotony's townsfolk in Sheriff Cassidy Yates. But when the star Cassidy had worn with pride was removed from his chest Leland claimed he knew something that would shed new light on his downfall.

Before Leland could reveal what he knew he was shot, but Cassidy still had the instincts of a lawman. He believed Leland's shooting was connected to the death of his son and that if he could uncover the link it would restore the townsfolk's confidence in him. So Cassidy embarked on his greatest ever challenge: to get the star pinned back on his chest where it belonged.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

E. C. Tubb - RIP

I learnt today that the veteran British writer EC Tubb died last week.

He was born in 1919 and he had a writing career that spanned some 60 years and which produced well over a 100 novels. He was best known for his science fiction in which he wrote short, action-packed novels that were always entertaining no matter how quickly he must have written them. He penned my favourite science fiction series The Dumarest Saga, an adventure yarn concerning all-action hero Dumarest's quest to find the forgotten world of Earth. The series packed a lot of quick-paced set pieces and story into the short novels, which ultimately ran to 31 books with another 2 later limited edition self-published works.

On a personal note I admire his writing style. Although I wouldn’t go so far as to say he influences my own style as I'm nowhere near as good a writer, when writing I do often think of his no-nonsense, get on with the story and stop fannying about approach.

In addition to his sf Tubb also wrote 11 western novels and many of them were reprinted by Robert Hale, who have published my own westerns, with large print versions also being published as Linford Westerns. With his books still being reprinted quite frequently even in the last year, it was a proud moment for me when I went into a library a few months ago and saw one of my own books sitting right next to an E.C. Tubb novel.

Tubb was 90 and apparently he passed away on the day that he received an acceptance for his latest novel. Other than to be remembered fondly, is there a better way for a writer to go?

Thursday, 2 September 2010

The Last Cover from Hell

One of my favourite covers is for my second Black Horse Western The Last Rider from Hell. So I was highly amused when a Dutch Western fan kindly got in touch to point out that my cover has some similarities to a reprinted 2008 western novel by the best-selling German author G.F. Unger, who apparently wrote 742 westerns. See what you think, hombres!