Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Return of Rory Decker

I don't do a lot of book reviews on this site -because, to be honest, I have so many writer friends it would be hard to focus on one without being unfair to the others- but I'm making an exception for this one, Vicki Cypcar's The Return of Rory Decker. I'd heard a lot of good thngs about it, but it didn't really seem like the sort of book I'd like... turns out I was wrong. Not just about whether I'd like it, but about what sort of book it is.

Fact is, it's hard to nail down this book's genre. I suppose, after some thought, it might be classified as "sweet paranormal inspirational romance"... but that doesn't quite get it, either.

I can say this much: it is a haunting tale of lost love, second chances, and redemption. And it's hard to put down once you get into it... by the end of the first chapter, you think you know exactly what is going to happen, but you are consistently surprised by the twists the plot takes. With a first novel like this, I'm eager to see what else Vicki Cypcar can come up with.

Check it out HERE .

Monday, May 13, 2013

Shakespeare's Julius Caesar - in the Old West

Many years ago I read that John Ford had wanted to do a western version of King Lear. He never got around to it, but someone else did: in 2002 TNT aired King of Texas, with Patrick Stewart as the patriarchal John Lear (with a screenplay by Stephen Harrigan.)

The bard had been brought to the big screen in chaps before- in 1956 Glenn Ford, Ernest Borgnine, Valerie French and Rod Steiger appeared in the film Jubal, adapted from the Paul Wellman novel Jubal Troop -a western re-telling of Othello.

Both those adaptations worked pretty well, and that's not surprising. I've said often that what I like most about the western genre is the opportunity for a storyteller to strip away the veneers and get at the most primal passions of the characters -and Shakespeare was a master at that. the combination, then, as not as incongruous as it might seem to most folks. In fact, it is a natural.

I decided to try the same thing, a few years before the Patrick Stewart novel came out, in a short story called "Judah King," which is a western retelling of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. Judah is a charming, ambitious psychopath, who has pulled the wool over the eyes of a western town's citizens -he has become the local lawman, and has set a trajectory for higher office... but his oldest friend Mark Brules is starting to think Judah has gone too far, and become too dangerous. But what can he do...?

You can check out the story as a 99-cent ebook single, or in the short story collection Red Trail (which has more than a dozen other stories, as well.)

Judah King

Red Trail