Sunday, November 25, 2012

James Reasoner, Clay More, James J: Griffin: Wolf Creek #western

Wolf Creek: 
Book 1, Bloody Trail
Book 2, Kiowa Vengeance
Book 3, Murder in Dogleg City
Book 4, The Taylor County War

by Ford Fargo

Romancing The West is featuring the authors of the Wolf Creek series the last two weeks of November.  If you missed out, here are the first two articles:
Troy D. Smith: Wolf Creek
Bill Crider & Chuck Tyrell: Wolf Creek

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

James Reasoner
My character in the Wolf Creek series is G.W. Satterlee, the sheriff of Taylor County. This is actually the first law enforcement job Satterlee has held. In the past he was a civilian scout for the army as well as a buffalo hunter. At this point we don't know what prompted Satterlee to run for sheriff in the first place, but once elected he found himself settling into the job with surprising ease. He has a natural politician's ability to get along with people, and he enjoys the more adventurous aspects of the job, such as chasing after outlaws and battling Indians (something he did in the past while he was working for the army). G.W. (the initials stand for George Washington) doesn't care as much for the mundane, day-to-day details of the job, but to his way of thinking, that's why he has deputies. They can handle all that.

Working on the Wolf Creek series has been a lot of fun, primarily because creator and editor Troy Smith did such a great job laying the foundation for the books. It must be a big challenge to pull together the contributions of half a dozen different authors and make them read seamlessly as a novel, but somehow Troy manages to do it. I've also really enjoyed the passion and enthusiasm that everyone involved in this series has brought to it. Writing is work, of course, but it should be fun, too, and Wolf Creek is.

James Reasoner, author
About James Reasoner:
I write novels and short stories for money (although I'll occasionally write a short story for a non-paying market if it's something I really want to do) and book and movie reviews for fun on my blog. I started out as a mystery writer nearly 35 years ago and still work in that genre and others, but I've done more Westerns than anything else. I've been married to best-selling, award-winning author, uncredited collaborator, editor, and plotter Livia J. Washburn for nearly 35 years. (Note the similarity between the length of my marriage and the length of my writing career. Coincidence? I don't think so.) We live in the same small town in Texas where we both grew up, although it's not so small anymore. (We have a Wal-Mart now!) After all these years, I still love to write and can't imagine doing anything else.

(Visit James Reasoner at his website or on Facebook.)

Clay More
Dr Logan Munro is a Scottish doctor who has seen action in three theatres of war – The Crimean War, The Indian Mutiny and The Civil War. He has endured personal tragedy, having lost Helen, his wife to Malaria in India. He feels guilty that he was unable to save her. He is battle weary, having certified too many deaths and performed too many battlefield amputations on young men.

Logan is the town doctor and he sets the scene in Bloody Trail. As we follow him on a brief morning round, several of the Wolf Creek characters and their relationships are described. As a former military man he springs into action to assist when the town is attacked, and then he tends to the sick and the dying, ensuring that everything that can be done is done, so that he can join the posse. He aims to look after anyone that gets injured, including any of the gang. But, he emphatically tells Sheriff Satterlee, he’ll do whatever is needed to keep them alive, as is proscribed by the Hippocratic Oath, until the legal process takes over and they can hang them.

When Troy came up with the concept of writing a collaborative novel based on the citizens of Wolf Creek I volunteered to write about the town doctor. The old adage is that you should write about what you know, so because I am a town doctor, albeit far-removed from Wolf Creek both in time and distance (I actually live in England, within arrowshot of the ruins of a medieval castle) I thought I could drip some realism into my effort.

Having said that, I must admit that I was somewhat apprehensive when Troy gave me the opportunity to open the story, since not many readers in the USA will have heard of my name. To my mind there was a good chance of losing readers at the outset, so I thank Troy for taking that gamble. Yet the way that we wrote the story panned out well. Troy had worked out the skeleton plot and we all developed our characters and then were given free license to write our part within the framework. We wrote Bloody Trail sequentially, so that I wrote my piece then handed on to Jim, who handed on to Troy and so on. We collaborated as we went along so that each writer engineered for characters to be in the right place at the right time, ready for action.

Troy’s editing was masterful. He dovetailed the whole thing together so that it flowed smoothly. I can honestly say that this has been one of the most enjoyable writing experiences of my career. It was a privilege to work with such a group of fine writers, whose work I know and respect and I am proud that Logan Munro is the Wolf Creek town doctor.

Keith Souter
writing as
Clay More
About Clay More:
My real name is Keith Souter and I was born in St Andrews in Scotland. I studied Medicine at Dundee University and then practiced as a family doctor in the city of Wakefield in England for thirty years. While I was at medical school I started to write children’s stories for a family magazine, but after qualifying as a doctor the exigencies of the job were such that the focus of my writing was on medicine. I have also been a health columnist for almost thirty years and have written about a dozen medical and health books. I am a member of the Society of Authors, The Crime Writers’ Association, Medical Journalists’ Association, International Thriller Writers, Western Writers of America and Western Fictioneers.

(Visit Clay More at his website, blog, or Facebook.)

James J. Griffin
Bill Torrance, the owner of the Wolf Creek Livery Stable, is ostensibly a man who has never touched a weapon. He has only one close friend in town, horse wrangler Jed Stevens. Bill is very much the loner, preferring the company of horses to humans. His ability to communicate with equines is almost mystical.

However, when Wolf Creek is invaded by the Danby gang, Bill turns out to be quite the fighting man. When a posse is formed to go after the outlaws, Bill joins them. His instincts save the posse from disaster when they ride into an ambush. Bill is badly wounded, and some of his past is revealed, including his real name. Much more of that past will be revealed in Book Six, including a surprise even I wasn't expecting. There will also be an unexpected interaction between Bill and Edith Pettigrew, the self-appointed moral arbiter of Wolf Creek.

It's been both an honor and a pleasure to work on the Wolf Creek series. I'm especially grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with so many fine authors whose work I admire. It's also pretty amazing how well everyone has worked together, with no fits of pique or egos run amok. Everyone has labored to produce the best stories possible, and it shows in the quality of the books.

James J. Griffin, author
About James J. Griffin:
I've been in love with horses and fascinated by all things Western, in particular the Texas Rangers, since I was a kid, so when I started writing it was only natural I would write Texas Ranger novels. Luckily, I have my good friends, Texas Ranger Jim Huggins of Company A, and Karl Rehn and Penny Riggs of KR Training in Manheim, Texas, to help with my research. Jim provides advice on the Rangers, while Karl and Penny lend their expertise on weapons of the period. I also travel out West every chance I get for research and relaxation. My two main series are about Texas Rangers Jim Blawcyzk and Cody Havlicek. The books are all very traditional Westerns, and most are suitable for almost all ages.

(Visit James J. Griffin at his website.)

Wolf Creek, Book 4:
The Taylor County War

Andrew Rogers has one of the biggest spreads in Taylor County –but that’s not enough. He wants to eliminate his competition and be the biggest rancher in the state, maybe even run for governor. He’ll stop at nothing to achieve his goals, not even murder. Can Sheriff G.W. Satterlee, and the hands from the T-Bar-B, stop Rogers and his hired killers before the county erupts into a full-scale range war?

Excerpt from Book 4, 
The Taylor County War
(Clay More’s chapter):

Tsu Dong grunted irritably then yanked the door open and strode out, banging it shut behind him.

“A petulant young man,” Logan said, smiling at Mrs Li. And with that thought he again wondered whether the young man’s anger betrayed the sort of personality that could be channelled into the sort of tasks that he suspected Tsu Chiao ordered his nephews to perform.

“Again, I am sorry, Doctor. We do not want our children to have anything to do with Tsu Chiao or any of his ruffians They are not – like us.”

Logan concurred. The Li family were sober, upstanding members of the Wolf Creek Chinese community, whereas Tsu Chiao was, in his opinion, nothing more than an opium dealer, brothel keeper and a ruthless gang boss. Logan despised him and was aware that Tsu Chiao disliked him simply because he was British. He had heard from patients that Tsu Chiao often boasted about having fought in the Opium Wars against the British when he was a young man.

Suddenly the door was violently thrown open.

“Get behind me,” Logan cried to Mrs Li as he spun round, fully expecting to be confronted by an angry Tsu Dong.

Instead it was a red headed young man of about twenty-two, dressed in range clothes, covered in a patina of trail dust. Logan recognised Chris Hartman immediately.

“Doc! Thank god! I’ve been looking for you everywhere. My pa sent me. You’gotta come with me back to the Lazy H?”

“What’s the emergency, Chris?”

“It’s my baby brother, Ethan. He’s been shot!”
Buy links (print or digital)
Book 1: Bloody Trail -- Amazon,
Book 2: Kiowa Vengenace -- Amazon,

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 both will be held December 1, 2012, at 9pm Pacific Time.

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


  1. These three writers are very different stylistically, and they've created unique characters who cover a broad range of humanity- and it works, very well.

    1. That's amazing--a collaborative effort by 15 authors who all bring something different to the table. I'm impressed!

  2. I'm really looking forward to books 3 and 4--they look to be just as exciting as the first and second ones. Working on the Wolf Creek series has been so much fun, as James Reasoner stated. And I just can't say enough about Keith's opening in book 1. Setting the stage and letting us see the "normal" side of life just before the Danby gang comes to town was just perfect to get the story going. Jim put a nice twist on his character, Bill, in book 1 as well. And of course, Troy, I've told you before how much I admire your organizational skills in getting this all together and KEEPING it together--you have done an excellent job not only in coordinating, but also with your characters. I especially love Charley Blackfeather.

  3. I'm also having a heck of a time writing Marshal Sam Gardner- a snide, sarcastic, snarky dandy with a (deeply buried at times!) sense of honor...

    1. Troy, I really enjoy Sam, too. I love the idea of being able to create other characters within the story--I had no idea I was going to come up with Carson Ridge, the Cherokee Lighthorse officer, either, but I keep coming up with all kinds of plans for him as well as Derrick, in the future. What a great playground!

  4. This series sounds terrific. I can see my vow not to buy any books for a while is in vain.

  5. Another great feature of this concept is that it allows each writer to develop his or her own character, yet also use other writers' characters. Obviously there must not be any tinkering with those characters who are not one's own, and they should act and behave in the way that had been portrayed by the original writer. That is the theory at least, but of course Troy, our esteemed editor, may at any stage decide that a character has reached the end of the line! It is as exciting for us as we hope it is for the readers.


  6. Caroline- if it feels better, when you buy one of these you can tell yourself you're buying six books in one!

  7. The books all look amazing. The stories and the covers.



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