Tuesday 18 March 2014

The Last Rider from Hell now available on Kindle

My latest Kindle title is now available. This book was my second Black Horse Western and like many of my early books I was nervous about reading it again. In this case the reason was that it’s done rather well for me through the UK’s public lending right. Even taking into account that’s it’s been around for longer than most, it’s been borrowed over 14,000 times from UK libraries, which makes it comfortably my most popular book. Even last year, over ten years after publication, it was borrowed over 500 times, although that probably has more to do with libraries being cash-strapped than from any merit in the book.


I’ve often pondered why this one has done better than others and the only conclusion I can come to is that it has a good title. The covers on both the hardback and large print are nothing special and the blurb is awful. One of the things I struggled with when I first started getting stuff published was writing a hundred words that made the plot sound exciting, and in this case I wonder what I was thinking of at the time. The story hinted at in the blurb is a distortion of what actually happens and worse, it’s a Cassidy Yates story and the blurb takes the unusual approach of not even mentioning that he’s in it!

I agonized over whether to write a new blurb, but I decided if I started doing that I wouldn’t be able to resist the temptation to rewrite all the others. Anyhow, as for the story, I enjoyed it for the most part. There were a few clunky bits where everyone stands around explaining the plot to each other. Then again it’s a story where everything is not as it seems so it was hard to avoid periodic recaps of everyone’s best guess as to what the hell is going on.

The thing I liked the best was that this was the first time I bookended a story and after doing that I realized that was one of things I like stories to do. I always struggle more with the last page than I do with the first page because when I get to the end of a story, I always wonder if I’ve done enough. The bad guy is full of holes, the sidekick has been freed from the railroad track, the horse has been kissed and the gal is ready to be ridden off into the sunset. But I always keep writing in the hope I’ll stumble across a good line or a profound insight into the human condition. Of course I never manage that, and so in desperation I usually take another look at the opening chapter. If I find something in the opening pages that feels as if it ought to be referred to in the final pages, then I feel content that I’ve found an appropriate note on which to end the story. Although admittedly I’ve never bookended a story to quite the extent I did with this one.

Anyhow, The Last Rider from Hell is available from all good Amazon stores right now.

Staked out under the baking heat of the desert sun by Frank Chapel’s riders from hell is no way for any man to die. Only someone as resilient as Matt Travis had the courage to endure the heat and the vultures and survive. When finally he manages to escape a gruesome death only one thing is on his mind – revenge.

But his memory has been blasted to oblivion and he is even unsure of his own name. All he knows is that everyone wants him dead!

Justice must be done and Matt will be judge, jury and hangman. First, though, he must face up to the truth of his past and, that accomplished, lead begins to fly.