(NOTE: the book is already available at amazon and barnesandnoble )
First, though, this excerpt from the review of our book at Singular Points, the blogsite of Charles Rutledge, sets the stage for what the series is all about:
"Wolf Creek: Bloody Trail is the first in a series of 'collaborative novels' by a host of Western writers, all members of the group Western Fictioneers. Sort of a cross between the old Thieves' World books and an ensemble TV show, the book features a host of protagonists, each written by a different writer. It's a nifty idea and if upcoming books are as high quality as Bloody Trail, then sign me up for the long haul...
"... The whole crew work under the collective house name of Ford Fargo. These aren't all the writers (or characters) though who will appear in upcoming books. The whole list reads like a who's who of current Western fiction..."
I'd also like to present an excerpt from an amazon review by best-selling western author Peter Brandvold:
"This is a collaborative western novel, so I was a little worried going in that it might read unevenly. After all, one of the best in the business, James Reasoner, heads up a cast of mostly newcomers and lesser knowns from a western-writing group called the Western Fictioneers. But after I got into the book, Ford Fargo became his own man--the book read as though written by one crafty writer. There is a lot of background, not a whole lot of action, in the beginning, but it's worth the wading, because each of the characters in this tale--as well as the town of Wolf Creek itself--leaps off the page with depth and dimension, giving the reader an action-packed story with characters you really do care about and pull for--as well as against. The gritty, authentic details suck the reader right into the scene... Give Wolf Creek and newcomer Ford Fargo a shot. You'll be glad you did. Top shelf Western adventure!"
Today I will introduce you to two more of Wolf Creek's citizens- one that is written by a Western Fictioneers author as "his" character, and another that is part of the ensemble supporting cast that all the writers share.
SHERIFF G.W. SATTERLEE
Here is James Reasoner's description of his character:
"The Taylor County sheriff is G.W. (for George Washington) Satterlee, a former buffalo hunter and army scout who has wound up in law enforcement. Since sheriff is an elected office, he's mastered the political process well enough to get elected and can gladhand when he needs to, but in times of stress the rougher edges of his earlier life can still come out, sometimes when he doesn't want them to. He's tall, lean, middle-aged, and I see James Coburn when I think of him. Satterlee is honest (for the most part), a little vain, and tough enough that you don't want to have him looking for you if you're an outlaw. He leaves most of the day-to-day administrative duties of the office to his chief deputy because it's more fun to be out galloping around."
G.W. Satterlee stretched, yawned, and then wearily
scrubbed a hand over his face. He was getting too old for
this. He had a comfortable bed in his house back in Wolf
Creek, and yet he'd spent the night sleeping on the hard
ground, just like in the days when he'd been hunting
buffalo or scouting for the army.
But, at least he'd woken up this morning, he reminded
The hour was well before dawn. A faint band of gray
tinged the eastern horizon. A few yards away from the
spot where Satterlee had spread his bedroll, Charley
Blackfeather was poking the embers of the fire to life.
"I'll have some coffee boiling soon, Sheriff," the
"And I'll be more'n happy to drink some of it,"
Satterlee replied. "Obliged to you, Charley. Quiet night,
"Real quiet," Blackfeather said. "Except for the
wounded men moanin' now and again. But in war, that
qualifies as quiet, I reckon."
"I didn't know we were at war," Satterlee said as hehunkered on his heels and held out his hands to warm
them in the glow of the flames that had sprung up. It got
chilly at night, out here on the plains. "I thought we were
just chasin' down a band of murderin' outlaws."
"Same thing. It's all killin'."
Satterlee shrugged and said, "You may be right about
JAMES REASONER is one of the most respected names in Western fiction. He has more books than you can shake a stick at, but I especially recommend the Redemption, Kansas series.
Sparkman is the owner of the Crown-W. He is a gruff, tough 60-yr-old who has been in Kansas for 30 years, since the early days of the Oregon Trail- he came from his native Kentucky in 1841 to establish a waystation for westward migrants. This eventually grew into the largest ranch in the region. Sparkman has fought off Indians, the elements, and his own neighbors. He is used to having things his own way, and is ruthless.
Ward Sparkman's wife died of fever 15 years ago. His eldest son was killed by Cheyennes; middle child, a daughter, went to school in Philadelphia and never came back; his youngest son was killed at Pea Ridge during the war (he was Union.) The closest thing he has to family is his foreman, Jake Andrews. Jake is in his early 30s, a Texan, and very capable.
Description, from Book I: "A barrel-chested man was in the lead, white hair to his shoulders, his gray porkchop whiskers askew and bone-white handlebar mustache drooping, his blue eyes cold, hard and unflinching. He dismounted, seemingly having been more comfortable in the saddle than on foot, and walked over and extended a ham-sized, well-calloused hand to Spike."