Thursday, November 22, 2012

Bill Crider & Chuck Tyrell: Wolf Creek @ChuckTyrell @macavityabc #western

Wolf Creek: 
Book 1, Bloody Trail
Book 2, Kiowa's Vengeance
Book 3, Murder in Dogleg City

by Ford Fargo

This is the second installment of our Wolf Creek-athon.  Every few days for the last two weeks in November, Romancing The West will feature some of the finest Western authors today.  All are members of the prestigious Western Fictioneers.  They've collaborated to create a new series called Wolf Creek, and are writing under the name of Ford Fargo. To catch up, be sure to read the first installment.

Comment on any or all of the articles and you'll be entered into a drawing to win a print copy of Wolf Creek: Book 1, Bloody Trail, donated by Cheryl Pierson.  See details below.

Today, two of our Wolf Creek contributors weigh in on their characters and the series in general…

Bill Crider
Cora Sloane is on her way to Wolf Creek to become the school teacher. She appears to be quite a prim and proper young woman, just the kind of person the townspeople are expecting. Her dresses are modest, and she can quote Shakespeare when the occasion arises. She seems perfect for the job.

But Cora has a secret. Her real name is Amanda Hall, and she’s wanted for murder. She and her mother helped hide Amanda’s outlaw brother when he was on the run, and in a shoot-out with the law, one of the lawmen was killed. So were Amanda’s brother and mother. Amanda escaped and took her new name. When she heard of a job opening for a school teacher in Wolf Creek, she figured that a small frontier town would be an excellent place to start her life over. How was she to know that the stagecoach would be attacked by Indians before she even arrived? Good thing she has a pistol in her reticule. People are in for a surprise when they mess with Cora Sloane.

Working on a book in the Wolf Creek saga was great fun for me. I was lucky enough to draw the opening chapter of Book 2, Kiowa Vengeance, so I got to start the action while introducing both my own character and a couple of others who’ll figure into the action on down the line.

Even better, since Troy Smith was the overall editor of the series, he provided a great outline and series bible for me to read. Everyone who writes for the series already has plenty of information about the town, its people, and the general outline of the books. It’s a pleasure to work with an efficient editor and to be a part of a story that so many of my favorite western writers are participating in. How cool is that?

Bill Crider, author
About Bill Crider:
I’m a native Texan and former college teacher and administrator living in scenic Alvin, Texas, near enough to the Texas Gulf Coast to have been through two hurricanes. I’ve written around seventy-five novels in various genres, including both standalone westerns under my own name and series western novels under various house names. My mystery novels featuring Sheriff Dan Rhodes have been appearing just about every year since 1986. I’ve been nominated for the Edgar Award and the Shamus Award for my novels, and I’ve won the Anthony and Derringer Awards for my short crime fiction. My wife, Judy, is my proofreader and constant inspiration. I owe everything to her, and she never lets me forget it. If you want to learn more about us, check out my website or follow my peculiar blog.

Chuck Tyrell
My major character in the Wolf Creek series is Samuel Jones, a gambler and an expert with pistol, sword, or knife. At one time in his life, Jones was an assassin. In the prewar days of New Orleans, duels were the way quarrels were settled, and young Philippe Beaumont used this custom to kill those whom rich people wanted dead. At long last, he grew uneasy with such work, and spared a young man he’d been paid $500 to dispatch. He gave the victim, whom he had deliberately missed, the bank draft that should have bought his life, and suggested that the young man stay away from the woman he courted.

Beaumont left New Orleans and took the name of Sam Jones, which, because of his southern gentlemanliness, morphed into Samuel Jones. He spent some years on the Santa Fe Trail, at first a hunter, then as an organizer, but his love was the sense of danger that came with gambling and the joy of easy living. This love took him to the magnificent riverboats of the Mississippi in the postwar years. But the family he’d shamed in New Orleans still wanted his life, and he had to kill a man on the Delta Princess, a man hired by the Delacortes of New Orleans. Again, Samuel Jones disappeared, or shall we say, he moved, all the way to Wolf Creek. Although he was once a killer for hire, Samuel Jones had become a gambler with scruples. No one is allowed to cheat at his table. But the Delacortes had not given up their hunt for Samuel Jones aka Philippe Beaumont.

A secondary character I suggested to editor Troy Smith is Billy Below, one of the young cowboys who came up the trail with the Texas herds. Like young Henry Antrim, no one knows or cares what Billy’s real name is. They only know he prefers to be “below” during his trail-end encounters with dirty doves, hence he’s called Billy Below. It’ll be interesting to see where he goes.

The series is an exciting project. Troy Smith, our editor in chief, knows exactly where the stories are going, and even though we “writers” do a chapter or two apiece for any particular book, Troy makes sure the transitions are seamless. And they are amazingly seamless. For anyone who likes towns inhabited by three-dimensional and sometimes four-dimensional characters, I cannot recommend the Wolf Creek series more heartily.

Chuck Tyrell, author
Charles T. Whipple, an international prize-winning author, uses the pen name of Chuck Tyrell for his Western novels. Whipple was born and reared in Arizona’s White Mountain country only 19 miles from Fort Apache. He won his first writing award while in high school, and has won several since, including a 4th place in the World Annual Report competition, a 2nd place in the JAXA Naoko Yamazaki Commemorative Haiku competition, and the first-place Agave Award in the 2010 Oaxaca International Literature Competition. 

Raised on a ranch, Whipple brings his own experience into play when writing about the hardy people of 19th Century Arizona. Although he currently lives in Japan, Whipple maintains close ties with the West through family, relatives, former schoolmates, and readers of his western fiction. Whipple belongs to Western Fictioneers, Western Writers of America, Arizona Authors Association, American Society of Journalists and Authors, and Tauranga Writers Inc. Find out about his latest books on his website, or visit him on Facebook or Twitter.

In our latest adventure, Wolf Creek is threatened by marauding Kiowa warriors who seek to avenge the deaths of their comrades at the hands of buffalo hunters. While the town fortifies itself, and a cavalry detachment looks for the raiders, the stage from Wichita is attacked –leaving a handful of Wolf Creek citizens alone and on foot in hostile territory...

Excerpt from Book 2 
(from Bill Crider’s chapter):

The coach lurched forward, and Cora heard the driver slap the reins and yell encouragement to the horses.
“They aren’t coming to welcome us to Wolf Creek,” Benteen said, as the coach picked up speed. He spoke as calmly as if he were taking tea in the family parlor. “You have a gun, Hix?”

Hix was as imperturbable as Benteen. He shook his head and said, “I prefer other weapons.”

Benteen didn’t ask what those might be. He said, “But you can shoot.”

Hix hesitated for a moment, as if considering his answer. “Of course,” Hix replied. “If my life depends on it, I reckon I can.”


Like Cora, Benteen also had a bag at his feet. He bent down to it and came up with two revolvers, both Smith & Wesson Americans. He left a third inside.

“It’s a good thing I brought along a few pistols to sell in my new shop.” Benteen handed one of the guns to Hix. “It’s fully loaded, and I have more cartridges.”

Hix took the pistol and looked at Weatherby, who was now hiding in the floor of the coach.

“I don’t think the drummer will be needing one of these,” Hix said, hefting the gun.

“What about you, ma’am?” Benteen asked Cora.

Cora rummaged through her bag and brought out an old cap-and-ball Navy Colt. It felt heavier and more awkward than she remembered, but she could hold it steady if she used both hands. The coach was bouncing so wildly now that she wondered if it would be possible for her to hit anything

“I can shoot,” she said, and as she spoke, she recalled the smell of burned powder, the dying lawman, her brother’s capture, her own escape. She pushed those hard memories away—that had been another life, and she was starting a new one now. But only if she lived to do so.

“You don’t have to worry about me,” she said.

Wolf Creek Book 3: Murder in Dogleg City

They call it “Dogleg City” –the dangerous part of town, where life is cheap and corruption is rampant. People die there all the time, but this murder is different. Unless Marshall Sam Gardner and his deputies can solve it, the town just may be blown wide open...

Excerpt from Book Three
(from the chapter by Matthew P. Mayo):

“What can I get for you, Marshal?”

“Sadly, I’m not here for a drink. I’m looking for Rupe.”

The big man nodded toward the front door. “You must have walked right by the little soak, Marshal. He wobbled on out of here not a minute ago, maybe less. He always heads off to the alley.” He nodded to his left. “He was in here flapping his gums about that killing. Claims he’s your only witness. Provided us with quite a show, he did.”

“That damn fool.” The marshal shook his head, then thought maybe that meant Rupe had remembered something useful.

“This is not my best day,” muttered Gardner. “Thanks, Charlie. I’ll—”

The distinctive clap of close-by pistol shots, one, then another hot on its heels, sliced through the noisy room and killed all sound. Marshal Gardner had already shucked his sidearm and stiff-legged it to the door, then bent low and peered out the frame. He couldn’t see any smoke hanging in the air. He hoped Croy or O’Connor would have heard it, too, and come running.

“Charlie! You keep everybody in here don’t let anyone leave. I’ll be back.”

“But Marshal, I can’t—”

“Do it, damn you, or you’ll answer to me.” With that, Gardner skinned low out the left side of the door and hugged the face of the building. “Rupe!” He whispered loud enough for anyone out there to hear him, but he had to know if that big-mouthed drunk was still alive.

Authors and their characters
Bill Crider - Cora Sloane, schoolmarm
Wayne Dundee - Seamus O'Connor, deputy marshal
Phil Dunlap - drifting bounty hunter Rattlesnake Jake
James J. Griffin - Bill Torrance, Livery owner
Jerry Guin - Deputy Marshal Quint Croy
Douglas Hirt - Marcus Sublette, Schoolteacher
LJ Martin - Angus “Spike” Sweeney, blacksmith
Matthew P. Mayo - Rupert "Rupe" Tingley, Town drunk
Kerry Newcomb - James Reginald de Courcey, artist (secretly the outlaw Sampson Quick)
Cheryl Pierson - Derrick McCain, small farmer
Robert J. Randisi - Dave Benteen, gunsmith
James Reasoner - G.W. Satterlee, county sheriff
Frank Roderus - John Hix, barber
Troy D. Smith - Charley Blackfeather, scout; Sam Gardner, town marshal
Clay More - Logan Munro, town doctor
Chuck Tyrell - Billy Below, young cowboy; Sam Jones, gambler
Jackson Lowry - Photographer Wilson “Wil” Marsh
Livia Washburn - Ira Breedlove, crime boss
Matt Pizzolato - Wesley Quaid, Anti-heroic shiftless type

Win Free Books!
Cheryl Pierson is itching to give you a treat!  So one commenter in the next two weeks will win a print copy of 
Wolf Creek: Book 1, Bloody Trail
(USA mailing only)
Comment on every post for extra chances!

Also, comment on this post and you'll be entered to win a Kindle copy of your choice of Troy Smith's Blackwell series (short stories).  (And you'll also be entered to win the Wolf Creek book!)

Drawing for Wolf Creek will be held December 1, 2012, at 9pm Pacific Time.  Drawing for the Troy Smith book will be November 24, 2012, at 9pm Pacific Time.

Please include your email address so we can contact you; otherwise, we'll draw another winner.


  1. Let me just say, both these guys are a pure joy to work with.

  2. And apparently, their prose is so good it's like a lucid dream.

    1. LOL. I'm going to delete the comment you're referring to (it's spam), so I just wanted people to know you're not totally wacko. :)

    2. I suppose a little bit of wacko serves a writer well. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

  3. I really enjoyed Kiowa Vengeance, and am looking forward to Murder in Dogleg City. These characters are so realistic, and I'm excited about this series. Here's hoping the Wolf Creek series will continue for a very long time!

  4. What an amazing series this will be. Enjoying the first book more than I can put into words.

    1. Thanks for letting us hear from you! I'm so glad you are enjoying it so much. That always makes us happy.

  5. I love the concept, and the authors are awesome. Great job, ladies and gentlemen! AT gmail DOT com

    Marsha Ward
    Writer in the Pines

    1. Marsha, we have had so much fun working on these books. They really came together well, and the authors were all so good about working together and making it all come out write in Troy's capable hands. Thanks for the compliment--we're so glad you came by!

  6. Great new series and great group or authors. I look forward to the next book.

  7. Kiaow Vengeance is a terrific read. It is great to read these different vignettes and see the citizens of Wolf Creek come to life - or death! Congratulations guys and hat off again to Troy for another seamless page-turner!


Romancing The West welcomes you to show your appreciation of our guest blogger by leaving a comment. If there's a contest, don't forget to leave your contact information. Thanks!