When I was a kid going to Saturday matinees in California for 12 cents I loved watching western movies, whether it was Hoppy, Gene, Roy, or John Wayne heading the bad guys off at the pass. It wasn’t just the action I enjoyed but it was the fact that any conflict between the rustlers and the sheriff would end in about two hours with the good guys winning. I loved that. That is what I now often find missing in our society and in the movies, television, and in books. The good guys don’t always win and the bad guys often get the applause and seem to be loved and honored. Society seems upside down. Not right. The bank robbers, land grabbers and gunslingers may be more interesting to read about, especially when they’re caught, jailed or hanged, but I still want the good guys to win. That’s one of the many reasons I love writing westerns, because in my computer the good guys are right and eventually win. They bring a bit of sanity into the Old West where my wandering writing mind wants to live. And maybe, just maybe, I lived back there too as a mountain man, an Oregon Trail pioneer, a wrangler pushing cattle up the Chisholm Trail with Charlie Goodnight, or a man with a gun on his hip and a badge on his chest. There is right in this world, and I try to find justice, even though I may wander through mountains and deserts to get there in my tales. I’m a new hand in the High Noon Press bunkhouse. I’ve written Westerns for many magazines , including Western Horseman, The Livestock (Texas) Weekly, The Cardroom Poker News, Rope and Wire, Frontier Tales, Sniplits, and other publications. Now I’m looking forward to having my Western novel appear under the High Noon Press brand. I still have things to do to tuck all the characters, actions and thoughts into the pages, but the story will unfold with guns, action, cattle drives, wild women and men, and twists, turns, and people you’ll love and hate. But keep an eye on the good guys, because they just may win after all the dust and gun smoke settles.
I’m still sorry those 12-cent Saturday matinees are gone, because that era not only had cowboys and Indians, there was also 5 cent popcorn, a movie newsreel, cartoon, previews, the B western, and the main feature. To me the main feature was always the B western, with the modest but strong, tall, shoot-straight, “Ah, shucks, ma’am,” movie hero winning the day.
More about my cattle drive novel the next time.
--Western author Big Jim Williams