Western Books

I have often read that Owen Wister's publishing of The Virginian, 115 years ago this week, on May 28, 1902, was the start of Westerns in America.  Nice that the setting was Wyoming, which was still pretty new and still a bit wild at that time. But that was not the first western, not even close. Long before the beginning of the 1900s were the Dime Novel Westerns, sometimes shortened to Dime Westerns.

Elk Mountain as seen from the town of Medicine Bow
the setting for the start of Wister's, The Virginian

The Dime Westerns became popular shortly after the Civil War spanning a time period of nearly 40 years before the publication of, The Virginian. The books were short, almost always less than 100 pages, and priced at a dime or 15 cents. These books centered on fictional escapades of real people, many of the settings were, Wyoming, Texas, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma and Montana.  Mountain Men, Indians, Soldiers and Bad Guys of all kind made up the many characters of these books. Later, a smaller format, adopted for magazines became popular, these were all set to the standard length of 32 pages.

Today westerns make up less than one percent of the overall book market – so what happened? Maybe, not much. If a reader looks, it is easy to find westerns today, just not the old tired, fake Wild West type of story. 
This is my modern day, set in WyomingYoung Adult or Adult Western Mystery

Suspense-Thrillers and Mystery-Detective along with books classified as Young Adult dominate today's best seller lists. I write books I classify as western-mysteries, some set before 1900 and some in modern time. I still read westerns today, some are thrillers, some mysteries, and some suspense, but all are set in the west.

Guess the Western is not dead, it just lost its singular classification, maybe the old time shoot-um-ups died in the street with their boots on, but today great western stories can be found in just about any popular genre.

Here is a link to my books on Amazon – four of these books could fall into the western category. Click on any of the books and read a free sample.

The second of my Blade Holmes Westen Mysteries
Cover photo from Fort Laramie - each book has Fort Laramie settings.

Things To Do On A Wyoming Mothers Day

Seems to me that a good Wyoming Sunday afternoon drive cures most of my ailments.
Sometimes it is all about the view - this one from 25 miles west of town

It is always fun for Jan and me to see what wildlife are up and around, enjoying the day. 
Looks like a family outing

Wild Iris
This time of the year it is fun to what new wildflowers are blooming.
Indian Paintbrush - Wyoming State Flower
Today we took a drive to the west of town, not a long drive, only a total of about 75 miles and a couple of hours.
Prairie Dog calling out
 I thought that today I would post a few photos of our drive – it’s kind of what Wyoming is all about. 

Hope all of you enjoyed the day as much as we did.

Wyoming State Slogan

Wyoming State Slogan

If you are like me, not a good deal, you may not know that Wyoming has a state slogan.  Stop roaming; try Wyoming, healthy, wealthy, growing Wyoming.  Not very catchy in today’s world, much too old fashioned.

The slogan was picked as the winner of a contest in the Wyoming State Tribune, and the winning slogan was announced on February 20, 1917. The winner was actually submitted by two people. The first part was by Harry McCraken of Casper, and the last part was submitted by George Stough of Cheyenne. I am not sure how the judges called the winner after changing the entries to make one they liked.

Much like our own holiday, Wyoming Day, December 10 each year, the state slogan has been, pretty much forgotten.

In today’s world we are still all about branding, not sure the state slogan would fit into today’s version of Wyoming.

Speaking of branding. In 1936, Wyoming trademarked the bucking bronco logo for license plates. But that logo of the famed bucker Steamboat goes all the way back to the time of the state slogan, 1918. One of the reasons that today we are the Cowboy State today, instead of the Sagebrush State or the Equality State of 100 years ago, is that famous logo seen on Wyoming license plates.