To The Duke

To The Duke

Monday, July 18, 2011

A letter from Dusty Richards, two-time winner of the coveted Spur Award, recipient of the National Cowboy Hall of Fame “Wrangler Award,” Winner of the Will Rogers Medallion Award, and recently named The Greatest Living Western Author in 2011, by True West Magazine.

Howdy from my ranch house to yours,

When Lou Turner of High Hill Publishing sat down and talked to me about THE WEST and doing an anthology, I thought what all does she want done?  How restricted should we be? What should we fence in. Then I began to think—why restrict it to a time period.  A rodeo held today, or one held a hundred years ago, are basically the same. Daniel Boone opened the West for all Americans.  So I told Lou, “Let’s shoot for anything we can shade under a western hat in fictional short stories, western poetry and western historical articles. Maybe we can round up a little art work, too.” So from that meeting The Cactus Country Anthology Volume One was born
            I was not disappointed in the submissions I received.  I sure have enough, and even more that we plan to use in future issues.  Many award winning authors sent me short stories, in fact I was over whelmed.  And in our first anthology you will also read some folks unknown to western publications. Lou likes to call them “future Spur Award Winners,” and they’re damn good story tellers. 
            You can consider this publication to be a fresh breeze out of the West.  Unlike a book, this will give you different outlooks on the West you may not have considered.  Call them yarns. Even when looking at the same scenery and events, none of us see things the same.  And when you settle back to read short fiction it is this trait that wets our mouth. There are some great authors between the covers of Cactus Country Anthology.  You’ve probably read some of their work in the long form, but in short fiction the author is challenged to tie things up in fewer words.
            I want you to have an arm chair adventure over and over by reading our first anthology.  My hope is that in these words bound between the covers, you will silently hear the soft hymn in the pine trees. And that the flavor is real enough to make you smell boiling coffee over a wood camp fire, and the drum of horse hooves loud enough to take you to the settings the authors so brilliantly write about.
            “I can’t find westerns.”  That’s a common complaint I hear from many folks. I spoke to a young man stocking a book store shelf one day—told him who I was and said, “You might sell some of my books if you had my latest one here.”
            He told me in no certain terms that his company knew how to sell books and didn’t need any advice from me.  Fine, but that’s no help to the person who tells me, “I can’t find westerns.” 
            Please tell your friends about the Cactus Country Publishing blog.  We plan to make special offers on our books from time-to-time, and as we grow we’ll expand the line making more westerns available. Our dream is to one day have a Western Book of the Month Club.
            In the meantime, bear with us, we are small, but soon we’ll be much larger as we fulfill your western likes and needs.  Join this blog as a follower, and send us your email address so we can get you signed up as a Cactus Country Club Member.  We’ll provide lots of information on the West, and hopefully we'll have lots of fun.
            Thanks for dropping by today.  And please don’t stay away too long.
     Dusty Richards
     Dusty Richards, western writer and anthology editor.
Dusty Richards
PO Box 6460
Springdale, AR 72766

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