Solid Advice For Writers from Ernest Hemingway

ErnestHemingwayThis is great advice for learning how to write, and for living a full life.

“The most solid advice for a writer is this, I think: Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell. And when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.”–Ernest Hemingway

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Life Imitating Art

IMG951296I just received this photo of my old neighbor the B-52 navigator at his new base in Louisiana, holding up my B-52 book in front of his B-52. As a friend put it, I wonder if this is like holding a mirror up in front of a mirror?

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Isle Royale’s New Look

Isle_Royale_cover_sanserif_3200X4800Feast your eyes on the new cover for Isle Royale, my young-adult action/adventure novel. I think the refreshed design is more contemporary, and adds a dose of mystery and intrigue. Thinking of Isle Royale on this fine day makes me long to visit again. I bet the fall colors are fantastic. I backpacked alone on the island for a week to do my research, and it was quite an adventure. Wonderful in every way, except for the rogue gang of squirrels who stole my food. But that’s a story for another day.

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Ghost Marshal Paperback Available Now!

GM-Paperback(LyingDown01)-square-9-25-14Yeehaw, buckaroos! Some people prefer paperback books over those fancy e-books, and I can’t say I blame them. It just doesn’t seem right to cozy up by the campfire with one of those e-reader contraptions. Sometimes you just need a real book to hold in your hands. For all you real-book lovers out there, Ghost Marshal has just been released in paperback, and I must say I’m mighty pleased with how it turned out. It’s a beautiful book, packed with over 300 pages of rip-snortin’ Western action! Pick up your copy at Amazon by clicking here. Of course, if you love e-books (and who doesn’t love carrying around an entire library’s worth of books in your saddlebag?), then pick up your Ghost Marshal e-book at the Amazon Kindle Store, Barnes & Noble Nook, Apple iTunes for your iOS device, or Kobo. Or just click the book cover over on your right, and you’ll be taken to my website’s Ghost Marshal page, which includes handy links to all the various vendors.

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Heroes and Villains Cover Reveal

Wild-Bill-coverYeehaw, buckaroos! I just finished the cover designs for a new book series destined for publication in the next week or two. This first set of titles includes Wild Bill Hickok, Annie Oakley, Billy the Kid, Jesse James, Butch Cassidy, and Buffalo Bill Cody.

This is a re-boot of my Heroes and Villains of the Wild West biography series for young adults, which has gone out of print in hardcover. Now you won’t have to hunt for them on eBay or in dusty libraries. The e-book versions will be available as single titles, or all six books bundled together. Each book is about 5,000 words, perfect for school reports, or for adults who want to learn a little something about the American West and the wild and wooly people who made it so fascinating. Stay tuned for more details, or sign up for my newsletter to be notified by email when this series becomes available.

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Just Published! Ghost Marshal: A Tale of the Weird West

GM Cover 800x1200Yeeha, buckaroos! At long last, I’m letting Ghost Marshal out of the stable. What kind of book is it, you ask, and just what the heck is a Weird Western, anyway? Think The Ghost and Mrs. Muir meets True Grit. It’s the kind of Western I always wanted to read myself, a fistful of nonstop Western action, eccentric characters, romance, vile villains, and things that go bump in the night. My team of beta readers sure enjoyed it, and I hope you will, too.

And lest you think Ghost Marshal is a one-horse wonder, fear not! I’m already hard at work on the sequel. This past summer I scoured the West, including trips to Devil’s Tower in Wyoming and Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument in Montana, both important locales for Jessie and Wild Bill’s next great adventure.

Mosey on over to the Ghost Marshal book page on this site for more info and links to ebook vendors. It’s live right now on Amazon Kindle,Barnes & Noble Nook, and Kobo. It’ll soon be up on iTunes (although I don’t recommend reading it on your Apple Watches). And I’ll be releasing a paperback version in a week or so. I’ll keep my website updated.

Thanks for your time, friends. Share this news with your posse to keep the spirit of Wild Bill and Jessie alive! Have a great autumn season, and happy reading!

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Last Stand Hill

Last Stand Hill, Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, MT

Last Stand Hill, Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, MT

A Message For the Living (From my recently published young-adult book, “Battle of the Little Bighorn”)


In south-central Montana, just off Interstate 90 about 65 miles (105 km) from Billings, Montana, the United States National Park Service oversees Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument. In 1876, the area was the scene of warfare and carnage. Today, it is hallowed ground, a peaceful place for people to learn and reflect.


The park preserves the battlefield, and also serves as a memorial to the people who fought and died there. It is the only battlefield in the country with white stone markers representing where soldiers fell in battle. There are also 17 red stone markers that show where Native Americans died. (Many more Indians died at the battle, but these 17 are confirmed by family oral histories.) George Armstrong Custer’s marker shows where he died on Last Stand Hill, along with many of his comrades.

Also on Last Stand Hill are two memorials. A large stone marker commemorates soldiers of the U.S. Army’s 7th Cavalry who died on the battlefield. It was placed in 1881. In 2003, the “Peace Through Unity” Indian Memorial was dedicated to honor Native American men, women, and children who died on the sacred ground defending their way of life. The memorial was built to “encourage peace among all the races.”

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Devil’s Tower

JH at Devils TowerI’m back from a short three-day, 1,900-mile trip to South Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana. It’s always good to fill my lungs with clean Western air, even if just for a little while. I was mainly conducting research for book 2 of the Ghost Marshal trilogy, but also shooting some photography for a set of ebooks I’ll be releasing soon on heroes and villains of the old West. Here I am at Devil’s Tower, Wyoming, which plays an important part in the next novel. (Thanks to my sweetie Sue for the photo.) I love this place. The light changes from minute to minute. It’s hard to capture adequately with a camera. It’s one of those places you just have to see in person, even though it’s a bit out of the way (but the drive there is very pretty, just an hour or so north of I-90, northwest of the Black Hills). If you go, be sure to take the loop trail around the tower. The north side, away from the parking lot and most of the hubbub, is peaceful and quiet, and helps you better understand why it’s such a sacred spot for Native Americans.

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Westward Ho!

JohnBadlands2005I’m heading to South Dakota tomorrow to do a little research for my next Western novel, a sequel to Ghost Marshal. Hopefully we’ll see Badlands National Park on the way to Deadwood. After that, it’s on to Devil’s Tower in Wyoming, Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument in Montana, and then back down to Wyoming to Hole-in-the-Wall territory. Time to make my RAV4 earn its keep!

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