Western stories are making a comeback, or so some experts say, but tales of the hardships our pioneers confronted have long been a rewarding and intriguing part of American literature. From the Leather Stocking Tales by James Fennimore Cooper through the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain and on to the great westerns such as Hondo and The Shadow Riders by Louis L’Amour, writers continue to explore the rich tradition of great American stories.
But even with this increased popularity now, and more Westerns movies and TV shows, many writers struggle for recognition. Writing is by its very nature a lonely business with endless hours spent in front of a keyboard to turn out even the shortest story. And after an author does put in so much time and energy creating what could be a wonderful tale, the market place for what he has done is still so very limited these days that in all likelihood, except for friends and family, no one will ever read what he has written. Yet in spite of the odds stacked against them, in the best tradition of the all-American hero, these intrepid writers never quit.
In years past you would find western stories in magazines and books everywhere. Writers like Ned Buntline helped make dime novels popular in the 1800s. Westerns were the bread and butter of early filmmakers and an awful lot of powerful westerns came out of Hollywood. But things changed and westerns seemed ready to ride off into the sunset forever. But that didn’t happen and now those of you who love the genre, who’ve stuck by your heroes through thick and thin, have a wonderful opportunity to help discover a while new crop of western writers. And one of the best ways to do that is to google over to FrontierTales.com, the online magazine of western fiction. Here, at last, a western writer has an outlet for his stories, a place where readers can enjoy them and then vote each month for the tales they like the best. It’s a great way to show a writer you appreciate them, and it doesn’t cost one red cent. Can you find a better deal anywhere?
And while you’re voting for your favorite story you might drop Duke Pennell, the editor and creator of Frontier Tales, a note just to let him know you appreciate what he’s done too. And let me tell you, Duke’s done a lot. Thanks Duke!