Musings on My Buddy Wes
A few months ago, my family and I attended a local Native American art fair in the small city park in Tombstone. There, I admired an original pencil drawing that depicted the main characters from Larry McMurtry's Lonesome Dove films, Augustus "Gus" McCrae, portrayed by Robert Duvall, and Captain Call, portrayed by Tommy Lee Jones.
One of my sons bought the drawing and presented it to me later as a gift. He knew what I had in mind. I can't see Robert Duvall in that role without thinking of Western Z "Wes" Crowley, the fictional hero of my own 11-book series.
When my son gave me the mat-framed drawing, I wrote across the top of the frame in black Sharpie, it all started with Wes Crowley. Then I hung it above my desk in my home office.
The sentiment is true. Other than a handful of short stories, one of which gave rise to my Wes Crowley series of novels, my writing career started with Wes Crowley. It started with that character, whom I always pictured as a weathered, rugged, Robert Duvall lookalike, tugging on my sleeve and saying, "Hey, don't you want to know the rest of the story?"
The answer was yes, yes I did, and away we went.
It's odd, though. Other than the general time frame in which the stories are set (late 1800s), the background of the initial main characters (Texas Rangers), and the fact that McMurtry's Gus McCrae and my Wes Crowley could be twins, the two sets of stories have no remarkable similarities:
▪ When Lonesome Dove opens, Gus and Call are retired Texas Rangers, though later we do get to see something of their earlier life with the Rangers through prequels. When the Wes Crowley series opens, Wes and Mac are young friends who decide to join the Rangers.
▪ In Lonesome Dove, Gus and Call are loyal to each other right up to the end. In the Wes Crowley series, Wes' closest friend, Mac, goes in a different direction that rends the friendship. (And no, Mac doesn't resemble Call in any way.)
▪ In Lonesome Dove, the two friends drive cattle to Montana. In the Wes Crowley series, Wes hunts down Mac, and later makes a fateful trip deep into Mexico to deliver a message to a prominent family there concerning the death of their daughter. He finds a new home there and lives out the rest of his saga.
The Wes Crowley series spans roughly 60 years, and it contains all the elements of the old west as well as mystery, psychological suspense and romance. It's chock full of memorable characters, some of whom even bring the occasional touch of magic realism to the mix.
If you've ever dreamed of riding hard on a good horse in a just cause, this is the series for you. And right now you can get the entire series for 25% off if you shop at Smashwords.
And if historical westerns aren't your cuppa, there are plenty more books to choose from in the science fiction, action-adventure/thriller, and mystery genres. You can see them all and read brief descriptions at https://stonethreadpublishing.com.
If you do get any books through this sale or otherwise, feel free to email me to let me know what you think of them. You can always reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.