Interested in A New Genre

When I was a kid visiting my aunt and uncle in Hastings, Michigan, my favorite thing to do was gaze for hours at Uncle Rob’s many bookcases. I can’t tell you how many great authors I discovered on those shelves. John Dos Passos, Jim Harrison, Thomas Babington Macaulay…but the one author that intrigued me the most (but so far even to this day have not read) was Louis L’Amour. He had an entire leather bound collectors set of the great Westerns that he didn’t allow me to touch. That was a bit of a buzzkill, but it created a little tiny spark inside that for the longest time has been all but extinguished.

I don’t know why, but when I got to California a couple of weeks ago all of a sudden, out of nowhere, I began to be interested a little bit in Western literature. I’m not sure if it was flying over the desert on my way into San Diego, the style of house that you don’t see at all in Michigan, or something else entirely. I’m certainly not staying in an area associated with the Wild West. What might have done it was when I came downstairs and saw my girlfriend’s mom watching Longmire on Netflix. Craig Johnson’s mysteries are the only Westerns I’ve ever read, and besides the occasional Gunsmoke episode when I can’t find nothing else on the first season of that show is the only true Western show I’ve watched my entire life. And I can very honestly say that I’ve never written anything even remotely near that category.

Not only can I figure out why I’ve gained a sudden interest in them, but I also don’t get why I’m interested in possibly writing a Western. Could it maybe be that, like the space settings I always turn to for my SF, the Wild West is completely unknown territory to me? Is it the rich tradition that outdates SF and modern fantasy that is drawing me in? Is it the Western condition?

Hopefully as I start doing some research into it and make an attempt at writing one I can find the answers I seek. I’ve toyed around in the past writing horror, comedy, thrillers, and literary fiction but never Westerns.

Time to saddle up and get going!


8 thoughts on “Interested in A New Genre”

  1. My grandpa had the exact same set of leatherbound L’Amour books. Intrigued me to no end. Westerns can be a lot of fun! It’s astounding how much they have in common with a great many other genres, as though the spirit of the West never left as American authors branched out. I’ll be curious to see how this works out for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Alexis’ Grandpa would be so excited to hear that her boyfriend wants to write a western. Her paternal grandfather loved nothing more. Although, he was known to watch many a horror movie. I’m also shocked to hear LeeAnn was watching a western while you were here. She’s so cute. I’m sorry we didn’t get a chance to meet you while you were here, John. I’m Alexis’, aunt … Auntie Krissy. If you write a western, I’ll post about it on my book blog, Passion for Pages. :).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Krissy, this show “Longmire,” is SOOOOO GOOD!!!! I’m addicted!!! And you are correct, Grandpa Braunreiter would be so proud!!! You still have plenty of time to meet John!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. If possible, a trip to Lincoln NM would ignite your old west fire. Wonderfully preserved old west town of the Lincoln county wars and Billy the kid. His handprints remain there complete with the bullet hole at the foot of the courthouse stairway where he shot Dep Bell. ” I’ll make ya famous”


  4. My dad had those leather bound L’amour books. In one bored couple of weeks I spent at his house when I was a kid, I must have read a dozen or so of those books.

    I also enjoyed the Longmire show on Netflix and I am a big fan of The Rifleman and Bonanza from the old time TV days. Saturday morning with a cup of coffee and Bonanza going is one of my favorite things.

    Don’t let me get going on The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.


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