by Clay More
A short story in
Hell on the Prairie
Wolf Creek: Book 6
This week Romancing The West features the July 2 release, Wolf Creek: Hell on the Prairie. It's an anthology of seven short stories, all featuring characters in or connected to the Wolf Creek series, and offering in-depth understanding of your favorite Wolf Creek residents. There'll be giveaways on each post, so please check back each day.
- Monday: Troy Smith discusses his character, Marshal Sam Gardner, and his role in Wolf Creek.
- Tuesday: In Drag Rider, Chuck Tyrell has some fun with Billy Below--how'd this character get his name?
- Wednesday: Clay More tells us about doctoring in the Old West and in his story, The Oath, how Wolf Creek's Dr. Logan Munro deals with the conflicts his oath.
- Thursday: Cheryl Pierson's story, It Takes a Man, gives us an in-depth look at Derrick McCain.
- Friday: Jerry Guin tells us how his character, Quint Croy deals with his new job as a lawman, and how Asa Pepper ended up owning a bar in the rough part of Wolf Creek, called Dogleg City in Asa Pepper's Place.
- Saturday: Jacquie Rogers penned a guest appearance by a special guest in her story, Muleskinners: Judge Not, that runs concurrent with Wolf Creek 1: Bloody Trail.
- Sunday: In New Beginnings, James J. Griffin gives us insight into the past of the town's blacksmith, and how a surprise changes his life.
If you're not familiar with the Wolf Creek series, you're missing out! Written under the house name Ford Fargo (the house name for Western Fictioneers), each book is the collaboration of some of the best western writers in the business, steered by Troy D. Smith, who also writes two characters. Links to all the Wolf Creek books are at the end of this article, just above the contest announcement. For more information on the story world, visit Wolf Creek, Kansas.
|Dr. Keith Souter|
writing as Clay More
CM: Clay More is my western pen-name. My real name is Keith Souter and I live in England within arrowshot of the ruins of a medieval castle. I am a part time doctor, medical journalist and novelist working in four genres – westerns, crime, historical and YA. I also write short fiction, for which I have won prizes, including a 2006 Fish Award. A lifelong Agatha Christie fan, I try to include an element of mystery and at least one red herring in all of my stories.
|Click to enlarge|
CM: Logan Munro is the Wolf Creek town doctor. He is Scottish and has served as a surgeon in three wars on three continents, the last being the Civil War. He has certainly seen life, but he has a heavy heart, since he lost his soul mate during the Indian Mutiny. Now, the Hippocratic oath that he took when he qualified as a doctor back in Scotland is the guiding principle of his life. An unexpected shadow from his past soon tests everything that he holds dear, including life itself.
RTW: What prompted you to write Westerns? What keeps you writing them?
CM: Basically, I love the genre, having been brought up with it. You can tell that in my choice of pen-name, since Clay More is a homage to Clayton Moore, the Lone Ranger (as well as being a Scottish sword).
I have always been fascinated by the history of medicine and as a doctor myself, I am a little in awe of the doctors who practiced on the frontiers, providing medical, surgical and obstetric services with rudimentary facilities, a handful of effective drugs and a completely pragmatic approach to medicine and surgery.
That is a long-winded way of saying that I wanted to get inside the mind of those Old West doctors, like the real-life Dr. George Goodfellow and the fictionalized Doc Galen Adams of Gunsmoke fame.
I keep writing in the genre because I find it intensely exciting to pitch stories back in time, in such a turbulent period of American history.
Not only that, but since joining Western Fictioneers and having the opportunity to work with some legendary names in the business, and contribute to the WF anthologies which are so ably published by Livia Washburn, and the Wolf Creek series pioneered by Troy D Smith, I feel very at home in and around Wolf Creek. I can honestly say that working on the Wolf Creek collaborative novels has been one of the most enjoyable times of my writing career.
RTW: If you lived in 1871 at Wolf Creek, Kansas, what would your job be and how well would you get along with your character, Doctor Logan Munro?
CM: I guess I might be another town doctor, although I am not sure if my surgical skills are up to those of Logan Munro. I wouldn’t mind being a dentist, or maybe even a foot doctor.
Of course, as a fellow Scot I am sure we would get on, pretty well. He was born in Dundee and I was born in St Andrews, which is just over the River Tay. You may have heard of St Andrews, the home of golf? I went to medical school in Dundee and he went to Edinburgh. Both of us play…
But that is enough for now.
|19th Century Surgical Tools|
CM: I am surprised at the streak of ruthlessness that he has at times. All doctors have to have self-belief. You can’t start an operation and then stop halfway through or start again, for example. But Logan can adopt a line of thought and he sticks to it, even if it might seem in conflict with his chosen profession. I find that a bit scary.
I am also surprised at how much hurt he still has inside him. Until he gets over that, then he probably cannot achieve true happiness.
Oh yes, there are more surprises ahead!
RTW: What would give Doctor Logan Munro the ultimate happiness?
CM: To get over his loss of Helen and find someone to share his life.
RTW: Please set up your excerpt for us.
CM: Doctor Logan Munro has been up half the night treating a young patient. He is just contemplating having some breakfast when a patient, a veteran of the War calls on him. The man is an amputee and he is in agony and desperate for relief from the pain he is feeling in his phantom limb.
by Clay More
a short story in
Hell on the Prairie
Wolf Creek, Book 6
Barclay Patterson wiped some perspiration from his brow and gave a wan smile. ‘That’s a relief to know that I’m not mad.”
Logan crossed the room and picked up a magazine from a pile in the corner. ‘This is the latest issue of Lippincott’s Magazine of Popular Literature and Science,” he explained as he thumbed through it and returned with it folded open at a page. “Curiously, here is an article by Dr Silas Mitchell of Philadelphia. He started up a ‘Stump Clinic’ back there the year after the War ended. He calls them ‘Phantom limbs.’”
Barclay Patterson ran his eye over the page then to Logan’s surprise tossed his head back and laughed. “So I’m not mad,” he said after he stopped laughing. ‘I’m just haunted. Haunted by my own godamned leg!”
Wolf Creek: Hell on the Prairie
Available in print, or ebook at
and soon at other online stores
RTW: Tell us about your other current releases.
CM: I have a couple of medical books coming out this month, one on Understanding and Dealing with Depression and one on Understanding and Dealing with Stroke. Then later in the fall I have a non-fiction book coming out with Skyhorse, called The Tea Cyclopedia. It is all about the drink, its history, its health benefits and some quirky science experiments you can try.
I also have a crime novel that comes out next week, written under my crime writer pen-name of Keith Moray. It is called Death in Transit and is the fifth in a series about Inspector Torquil McKinnon. It is set on the Outer Hebridean island of West Uist. It is a contemporary Scottish crime novel set during a transit of Venus. There is conflict among astronomers and astrologers and the Zodiac Killer is on the loose.
In the western field, I have just contributed to Wolf Creek 4: The Taylor County War. My story The Oath is due out in Wolf Creek 6: Hell on the Prairie, of course. Then later this year I have contributed to Wolf Creek 8: Night of the Assassins, and I am working on a story for the Christmas anthology.
My other main western project is my ebook series of short stories with High Noon Press – The Adventures of Doctor Marcus Quigley. He is a dentist, gambler and bounty hunter on a quest to avenge a murder committed some years ago. The trouble is he has only a few clues about the murderer. The series builds into a complete novel. The third in the series The Covered Trail comes out at the end of June.
RTW: You're definitely keeping yourself busy, especially since you're still doctoring. Anything else you’d like to add?
CM: I am also halfway through a Clay More novel for Hale, entitled Dry Gulch Revenge. As soon as that is done, I will be writing a novel about Dr George Goodfellow, entitled The Doctor, for the Western Fictioneers West of the Big River series.
And I’ll be writing my next YA novel in the Adventures of Jack Moon series. They are about an Oliver Twist-like orphan set in misty, Victorian London.
RTW: Thanks for being with us today, Clay/Keith. I loved your story, The Oath, and I'm sure others will love it, too. Dr. Logan Munro is a fabulous character in the Wolf Creek series.
Readers, for more great stories featuring Clay More's character, Dr. Munro, try all the Wolf Creek books:
Wolf Creek, Book 1: Bloody Trail
Wolf Creek, Book 2: Kiowa's Vengeance
Wolf Creek, Book 3: Murder in Dogleg City
Wolf Creek, Book 4: The Taylor County War
Wolf Creek, Book 5: Showdown at Demon's Drop
Wolf Creek, Book 6: Hell on the Prairie
Keith (Clay) will be giving away two books. The winner of this competition will be chosen at random, from all those who leave a comment on the blog.
Wolf Creek, Book 6:
by Keith Moray
Please just be patient, since these will be coming from England. Drawing will be held July 6, 9pm Pacific Time. Be sure to include your email address in your comment.
Thanks to Clay More
for visiting RTW today.
Be sure to check back for more interviews with other Wolf Creek authors.
You can enter to win books all this week!