Western Novel Author Interviews Hero For Plot Idea

Western Novel Author Stephen Bly playing golf in desert

Western Novel Hero Stuart Brannon Writes Again by Stephen Bly

I began to think about my next western novel and sorted through some ideas. I ordered a triple-tall iced espresso. That’s cold coffee with about ten times the caffeine content as regular coffee. No flavoring. No milk. No nothing added. A modern hyper drink. Kind of like the dregs at the bottom of the pot of Old West cowboy coffee, after it’s been over the campfire at least four hours.

I don’t seem to have the time to sit around the campfire anymore, waiting for the coffee to get good and strong. So I order it iced at Starbucks, even in winter. Coffee, I think, should be sipped slow. But when you’re driving down an icy road at night in a blizzard, sipping’s not always an option.
Western Novel blog article with Espresso coffee shop window
This time, however, I sat at the back table in Prescott’s Pioneer Club, staring into the Atlantic Ocean blue eyes of a wide shouldered, gray haired man wearing a dusty black cowboy hat. It had been years since I’d seen him. The creases around his eyes told thousands of tales I would probably never hear.
Western Novel blog article with Cowboy drinking coffee
His coffee, straight off the campfire, swirled in a chipped, blue enamel tin cup. He wore a dusty, dark gray wool suit. At least, I think it was gray. He didn’t have a tie. But the once white shirt was buttoned at the collar. I couldn’t tell if he had shaved that morning or not. Some old boys like him look a little rough in the beard all the time.
His Colt revolver hung gentle in the well worn, double loop Mexican holster. I’ve never seen him without it. He stared at me a moment, in such a way that I wanted to shove up my hands and holler, “I surrender. Don’t shoot!”
He glanced around at the floor as if searching for a spittoon. But I knew that wasn’t it. Stuart Brannon doesn’t chew.
About halfway through the cup of coffee, he cleared his throat. “You still writin’ them western novel books?”
“Yep. Kind of addictive after all these years.”
“Is any of the stories true?”
“Sometimes. Depends on what windies I hear.”
He held up his cup in front of his lips as if to warm his face. “You do get things wrong from time to time.”
I slurped the last of my iced espresso. “And I appreciate your corrections.”
Brannon pulled off the beaver felt hat and laid it, crown down, on the table. “You lookin’ for another story?”
Western Novel Hard Winter At Broken Arrow Crossing by Stephen Bly
“Always.”
“Did I ever tell you about the time I went to Oregon to search out what happened to Tom Wiseman?”
“Nope.”
“Well, I’ll tell ya, but only because Tom deserves his story to be told. He was a good man. Way too good to have that happen to him.”
“When was that, Stuart?”
“Ought-five, the year of the Lewis and Clark Centennial in Portland.”
I loosed the collar of my golf shirt and leaned back in the booth. “They had a big celebration, right?”
He waved towards the front door. “Yeah, but my story begins right across the street at the Prescott post office. I got one of those lilac smellin’ letters from Harriet. When Lady Harriet Reed Fletcher sends you a lilac scented letter, it’s a dangerous omen.”
“Uh huh. What did she want?”
“Now, I said this was just the beginnin’. So, relax and have another one of those cold drinks. This story will take a while.”
And it did.
Western Novel Author Stephen Bly playing golf in desert
I’m writing up that whole event in a western novel right now with the working title: Stuart Brannon’s Final Shot. Lots of adventure and humor and I suspect a touch of romance, as usual, but also this time set on a golf course. In Gearhart on the coast near Portland. In 1905. That’s ’cause Lady Harriet talked him into participatin’ in a celebrity charity tournament.
Should be ready for your reading pleasure sometime late 2011.
So nice of Brannon to share with me this idea for a plot…so I can author it straight out of his life.

Copyright©2010

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YouTube Book Trailer for historical western novel Stuart Brannon’s Final Shot by Stephen Bly with Janet Chester Bly, Russell Bly, Michael Bly & Aaron Bly:

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Stuart Brannon’s Final Shot was a finalist for SELAH Award in Historical Fiction, by the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference.

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