Thursday, February 28, 2013
Despite the fact that this film takes place in Australia, it still somehow manages to capture the essence of the Western. With the exception of Shane, the characters are rough around the edges, and all of them dress fittingly for a modern Western. The Australian landscape functions well as the backdrop, becoming another character with its dirty red hills and scrubby trees.
The plot isn't the most original--a young cop with past failings moves to a new town with his beautiful, pregnant wife and is forced to prove himself when a convicted murderer breaks out of prison. However, the direction of this movie is top notch in terms of beautiful vistas and action scenes, and the no-nonsense style of acting is hauntingly reminiscent of of the Westerns of old.
If you have a couple hours this weekend and happen to have Netflix Streaming, give an Australian Western a chance.
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
This little fella dreamed of nothing else growing up, than to be a real cowboy. This is his picture at the age of six, and you can tell how serious he is. If you know the name of this cowboy, I'll send you a copy of our brand new anthology, Cactus Country Anthology Volume III.
We've waited a long time for this book, and we're proud to say it was worth the wait. Read Matt Braun, Dusty Richards, Jory Sherman, Brett Cogburn, Eddie Owens, John Nesbitt, Johnny Boggs, and many more authors who've written about the west their entire lives. We're especially excited about Matt Braun's Dead Man's Hand, it's the opening story in a new collection from Matt titled WesternLore due to be launched at the Western Writers of America convention in June. Check out WWA and plan to join us this year for their 60th convention in Las Vegas. Western Writers of America And remember, send me the name of the cute cowboy and I'll send you a copy of Cactus Country III. Cactus Country
Monday, February 4, 2013
Cactus Country Anthology Volume III is in the works! It will contain works by authors such as the cowboy Dusty Richards, the prolific Matt Braun, the award-winning John Nesbitt, and the grandson of the real Rooster Cogburn, Brett Cogburn. As you can see, some of the best Western writers of the era have been chosen by Lou Turner and Dusty Richards for this anthology, including many past Spur Award winners.
Dusty Richards has published over a hundred books in addition to many short stories and articles. He's been the recipient of many awards, including two Spur Awards in 2007: His novel The Horse Creek Incident received the award for Best Original Paperback Novel, and Comanche Moon won for Best Original Short Fiction.
Brett Cogburn is the great-grandson of the real Rooster Cogburn, who inspired True Grit. Speaking of which, if you haven’t read the book or seen either of the movies, clear your schedule and do yourself a favor. I think the Coen brothers’ rendition was particularly well done. Hailee Steinfeld might be one of my favorite up-and-coming actresses based solely on that movie. Sorry for the tangent--I just watched that movie again.
John Nesbitt, author of twenty books and winner of three Spur Awards, is also featured in this new anthology. Some of his most recent work includes a novella, Dead for the Last Time; a novel, Poacher's Moon; and a traditional Western, Not a Rustler.
Also included is Matt Braun, considered by some to be the best and most authentic current Western writer in the country. Born in Oklahoma to a long line of ranchers, Braun writes what he knows—the West—and his stories are often based on reality. Braun was raised among the Cherokee and Osage tribes, where he gained respect for Indians, and he learned their philosophy that each man has the right to choose his own path. Braun has spent the majority of his life wandering the West, and has won a Spur Award and the Festival of the West Cowboy Spirit Award, among others.
Braun currently has 40 million books in print and his book, Black Fox, was made into a mini-series by CBS. His short story collection, WesternLore, is set to be published by High Hill Press this June. The book’s launch, which Braun will be attending, will be at Western Writers of America Convention.
With this new anthology comes yet more proof that Western writing is far from dead—amazing, authentic stories are still being produced by those for whom the West is still the great frontier.