To The Duke

To The Duke

Monday, August 15, 2011

Meet John Nesbitt

I met John Nesbitt a few years ago in Scottsdale, Arizona at the Western Writers of America conference. We talked for a long while about my new venture, a publishing company called High Hill Press. I told John I wanted to do a Western Anthology. Later he sent me a story called Chugwater Charlie. But the anthology was put on hold. Then Dusty Richards and I stampeded forward with Cactus Country this year and we contacted John to make sure it was still okay to publish his story. The one thing I've learned about Western writers is that they are generous and always willing to help out a friend. Visit John's website to learn more about him and his writing, and make sure to order your copy of Cactus Country Anthology Volume I so you can read Chugwater Charlie. I've put a small tidbit on here to entice you.

John's Web Address

John D. Nesbitt lives in the plains country of Wyoming, where he teaches English and Spanish at Eastern Wyoming College.  His articles, reviews, fiction, and poetry have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies.  He has had more than twenty books published, including short story collections, contemporary novels, and traditional westerns, as well as textbooks for his courses.  John has won many awards for his work, including two awards from the Wyoming State Historical Society (for fiction), two awards from Wyoming Writers for encouragement of other writers and service to the organization, two Wyoming Arts Council literary fellowships (one for fiction, one for non- fiction), a Western Writers of America Spur finalist award for mass-market paperback original novel for Raven Springs, and the Spur award itself for his short story “At the End of the Orchard” and for his novels Trouble at the Redstone and Stranger in Thunder Basin.”  His most recent work consists of “Dead for the Last Time,” a novella; Poacher’s Moon, a contemporary novel; and Not a Rustler, a traditional western.

John at a book signing.

Chugwater Charlie
Charlie Claymore sat in the shade of his horse, reins in his lap, and stuffed tobacco into his pipe. It would have been a good moment to enjoy the quiet of the range land, but as often happened, the young boss had things he wanted to talk about.
            “Here’s the deal, Charlie. If I want to take Amy anywhere, she’s got to have her old Aunt Celeste come along as chaperone. If you were the kind of friend a fella needs, you see, you’d go along on this picnic, and you could keep Auntie-Q from hangin’ on every word I might want to say.” George waved his hand. “Wouldn’t cost you a dime. I’d pay for the vittles, the carriage, the whole shebang. And besides, it would be good for you.”
            Charlie watched the tobacco strands lift as he laid the match across the bowl of his pipe and drew the flame downward. “It’s not a matter of money,” he said. “She’s not exactly my dish of prunes to begin with, and more than that, I’d just as soon not get drawn into other people’s affairs.”
            George frowned as if he had been offended. “Affairs? This is just a matter of eatin’ cold chicken and mince pie, and makin’ up nice to the old lady.”


  1. I like the authentic-sounding dialogue. And the saying, "not my dish of prunes" is precisely my dish of prunes!

  2. I also like the authentic dialogue. And cowboys seem to come up with some real good sayings.