On the 27th of October, we were driving home from the Women Writing the West conference that had been held this year in San Antonio, Texas. In one of life's little ironies, we had just crossed over onto the Navajo Nation and were enjoying a beautiful New Mexico sunrise when we heard on the news that Tony Hillerman had died the day before. To be there at that moment when we got the news made me want to cry even though I never knew the man.
As we crossed a corner of the land that he wrote so vividly about, I found myself recalling all my favorite books of his: The Dark Wind, The Blessing Way, A Thief of Time, Coyote Waits, Skinwalker. I will admit that who-dun-it mysteries have never been my favorite type of books, but Hillerman's books were the exception for me. I loved his stories, the setting, and his protagonists Leaphorn and Chee. He is going to be missed, and his books will be coveted more than ever before.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
I've always been a fan of Louis L'Amour books. I read a number of them when I was in my twenties. As a matter of fact, I think his stories had a direct influence on my interest in the history of the American West and, subsequently, what I eventually chose to write about. I had had his memoir on my bookshelf for probably twenty years and decided it was high time I read it. It was a wonderful, enlightening book of a humble, hard-working man who quit school at the age of fifteen but who had such a thirst for knowledge that he never went anywhere without a book in his pocket. It tells of his struggle to become a published writer, and how he acquired an education from his many travels, jobs, and adventures as well as from simply reading, reading, reading. This is an inspiring book for fans of L'Amour and for writers in general.
Friday, October 10, 2008
Another great review came in for The Last Rodeo from Roundup Magazine, published by Western Writers of America. The reviewer said, "Duty makes a difference in this tale . . . the apex of the story is one you'd never guess, making for some darn good story-telling."
You can see more reviews in previous posts.