I started writing at age 19, but it took 15 years and a lot of patience and understanding by my lovely wife to land my first book contract. Since then I’ve been lucky enough to have nearly 50 books published in the U S and over 20 in the U K. All are Western except one Romance, written under the name of Terry Bowers.
I don’t consider myself an author in the true sense of the word. I’ll never be famous or garner a fabulous amount of money for my writing. The joy and satisfaction I get is from story telling. I grew up playing Cowboys and Indians or bad guys with neighbor kids, or with makeshift toy soldiers or characters I created from clothespins, checkers, and crayors (as there were few miniature cowboys you could buy and they were quite expensive). But stick a straight pin into a crayon and you have an arrow in one of your men. Put a crayon on the back of a checker piece and you have a rider and his horse. Dominos were also great, because the good guys would have their numbers showing, and the bad guys would be face down.
Anyway, my dad got me interested in reading Western paperbacks when I was driving a flag car for him (used to pilot truckers moving mobile homes). After I got a regular job I continued to read. It took only about a hundred books before I grew tired of the similiarity in stories and writing. For me, most of the writers ignored the love interest, using the girl as a sideline character who fell for the hero, whether he deserved her attention or love or not. Being a romantic at heart, I felt this cheated the reader. So most of my Westerns allows the female lead to have a much larger part of the story. Often either the hero must win her heart or she must win his heart.
Secondly, I like to think of myself as something of a wit…though some like to add nit or half to the front of the word. I enjoy humor and I try and make my characters act and sound human. As my writing progressed, the action and tough hero has given way to a gentler, more intelligent hero, one who can sometimes settle a fight without throwing a punch or shooting someone. Perhaps that is part of my own aging process.
Finally, I am filled with humility when I look at the different sites under my name and see my books listed in many places throughout the world. Because the English publishing house (Hale Books) has all of Great Britain, I see my books listed in places like India or Portugal. Plus many of my books have been reprinted in large print by companies like Linford Library or Thorndyke books –serving worldwide and Canada. I’ve had a couple reprinted in Austrailia that looked like large coloring books and two of my Westerns have been reprinted in braille for blind readers (Secret of Snake Canyon & Ride Against the Wind). The Secret of Snake Canyon, which deals with helping some Cantonese and involves a Chinese slavery ring, is also listed with the Wisconsin Talking Book and Braille Library for Asians in America.
How humble this makes me feel, how thankful that God gave me the tenacity to not give up on my writing. Riches and fame…don’t need ‘um. I’ve lived to see my characters and ideas come to life and shared my characters with a great many readers. That is true wealth.