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How could an Eastern city boy hope to write a convincing novel of the West?   

A teacher once told me, “Jack Schaefer, the author of Shane, hadn’t traveled beyond New Jersey until after he wrote his novel.  It was said of him that he found the West within himself before he found himself in the West.”  I hope I’ve followed in those footsteps.

Here are some events that gave me a leg up:

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As a boy, I camped with my family across the West, soaking up the grandeur of our most scenic national parks, learned to ride in the Grand Tetons, and saw first-hand the plight of modern Indians on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota

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As an avid reader, I decided early on I wanted to be a writer, so I got a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Missouri.  One course that stuck with me was “The Twilight of the Sioux,” taught by Dr. John Neihardt, transcriber of the famed memoir Black Elk Speaks

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In 2000, I founded a still active writers group at CIA that grew to 180 members

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I took two courses in 2001 and 2002 -- “The American West in Fiction and Film” and “The Worlds of Mysteries” under Judy Riggin at Northern Virginia Community College— that got me started writing Murder for Greenhorns

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I studied writing under mystery author Noreen Wald (aka "Nora Charles") in 2002

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I helped found the Albuquerque chapter of Sisters in Crime in 2004 and was 2008 president

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While writing and revising Greenhorns, I spoke on a panel on spy novels at MWA’s Edgars symposium in 2002, a panel on settings at Left Coast Crime Seattle in 2007, and a panel on research and realism at LCC Denver in 2008


















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