Monday, September 24, 2012

Wolf Creek Characters #4: Bill Torrance

WOLF CREEK is probably the most unique western book series ever produced.

Here's how Charles Whipple describes it at his review over at the Western Fictioneers website:

"This is an adventure written by several Western Fictioneers authors, the best the genre’s got, dead or alive. This is a short novel. Know why? It only introduces Wolf Creek and its citizens. Yes, it reaches a satisfying conclusion. But you end up sitting on the edge of your chair reaching for the next volume. While a handful of authors wrote this book, the story fits together well. While there are differences in style, they fit together well. And while Bloody Trail is a fitting beginning to a new series, it also promises many more rousing stories to come."

In fact, here are a whole slew of great reviews for our first installment:

Not the Baseball Pitcher (Randy Johnson)

Western Fictioneers (Charlie Whipple)

Western Fiction Review (Steve Myall)

Singular Points (Charles R. Rutledge)

From Dundee's Desk (Wayne Dundee)

The Post Modern Pulp Blog (Jack Badelaire)

The Cap'n's Blog (Robert S. Napier)

I've been describing some of our town's residents on this blog. Today I focus on the character written by James J. Griffin, who provides this description:.

Owner of the livery stable
(James J. Griffin)

Bill Torrance is a man who seems to care only for horses, and little else. He’s never even been known to carry a gun. In modern-day terms, he’d be considered a “wimp”. However, Bill Torrance is not his real name, and his background is far from the picture he presents to the citizens of Wolf Creek. This becomes clear when the town is attacked by the Danby gang. 


Like many people in Wolf Creek, Bill Tolliver has a secret. I can't give it away here, but it is revealed in Bloody Trail.

James J. Griffin, while a native New Englander, has been a student of the frontier West from a very young age. He has travelled extensively throughout the western United States, and has visited many of the famous Western frontier towns, such as Tombstone, Pecos, Deadwood, Cheyenne, and numerous others.

Jim became particularly interested in the Texas Rangers from the television series Tales of the Texas Rangers. Jim's deep interest in the Texas Rangers led him to amass an extensive collection of Texas Ranger artifacts, which is now in the permanent collections of the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum in Waco.

Jim is a graduate of Southern Connecticut State University. When not traveling out West, he currently divides his time between Branford, Connecticut and Keene, New Hampshire.


"Yeah, but Sheriff, look at what you've got. A half-breed Cherokee, who'd rather strum his guitar or play his harmonica than work; then there's Gallagher, a four-eyed store clerk who probably can't even see to aim a gun, let alone set a horse; and finally, Torrance, who no one ever saw with so much as a pea-shooter until this mornin'. Hell, none of 'em will do us any good out there, 'specially the livery man."
Satterlee gazed at Bill, who had thrown on his shirt but had yet to button it. He took in the bullet scar on Bill's chest, and the old saber slash across his belly, both still coated with Jed's and Rojo's blood. He also hadn't failed to notice the Model 1866 Winchester Yellowboy repeater Bill slid into his saddle scabbard.
"Joe, I think Torrance might just surprise all of us. He's ridin'."
"Ridin' what? He don't even have a decent horse," Montgomery objected. "That fancy calico pony of his will never keep up. Hell, it ain' nothin' but a spoiled pie-biter, everybody knows that. Horse like that is only fit for women or squaws."
Bill had said nothing, until now. He stalked up to Joe and sank his left fist deep into Montgomery's belly. The young man doubled up, wrapped his arms around his middle, and collapsed to the dirt. He lay on his side, gasping for breath, eyes watering with pain.
"Montgomery, you can say whatever you'd like about me, but talk about my horse like that again and I'll kill you where you stand," Bill warned.


I have been accompanying my introductions to our authors' point of view characters with a description of a member of the supporting cast. This time around, it is a character who was also created by Jim Griffin, but who is proving popular with several other writers (although not necessarily with all the citizens of Wolf Creek!)

General busybody
(Supporting cast)

Edith Pettigrew is the widow of Seth Pettigrew, one of the founders of Wolf Creek, and considers herself, and her group of sewing circle ladies, the ethical compass of the settlement. She is constantly badgering the marshal and sheriff about some perceived iniquity... but she is not the morally upright pillar of the community she pretends to be. As she gets progressively more deeply involved in the seedier elements down in Dogleg City, her secrets -which are many -will be harder and harder to keep.

Check out the exciting first installment of Wolf Creek- at amazon and Barnes & Noble!


  1. Bill Torrance's character really intrigued me, Troy. I can't wait to see what other secrets are in his past as the series progresses! I love these posts you are doing about the characters in book 1.

  2. And the supporting character he came up with, Edith Pettigrew, seems to be a favorite with our writers. She has appearances in the next two books...

  3. Troy,

    I really appreciate your highlighting Bill. Only problem is I didn't write the excerpt you chose (above). Keith Souter as Clay More wrote that passage.


  4. Thanks, Troy. Understandable, since you had to tie all this together, especially in the beginning. Not that there was anything at all wrong with the original excerpt, just wanted to see credit go where it was due, to Keith.


  5. Torrance is the type of character I have always enjoyed reading. Deep and full of secrets. Looking forward to this series even more with each post I read.