Murder — in real life

“Tickets for the gunfight?”  That’s the question I heard over and over during the past few days. Spring break is the busiest two weeks in the Tombstone, Arizona, tourist season. I was signing copies of Doc while hundreds of people shuffled past the cash register, buying tickets to see the reenactment of the famous Gunfight … Read more…

Write-in Candidate

It’s getting ugly out there on the campaign trail, but I am determined to keep running for president, as long as no actual physical running is involved, because I love my country enough to write a blog essay about it. In a stunning act of political courage, I would like to go on record: I … Read more…

Writer Tech: quoting sources in historical fiction

Yesterday an email came in asking me a technical question about writing historical fiction about a real person. “My subject wrote an autobiography in the 1940s…. How does one handle first-person material without plagiarizing? If your subject recounts a conversation, can you paraphrase that conversation? If you rewrite the conversation with different words, are you … Read more…

Lessons from Tombstone

All the bruises have faded to yellow. The scrapes and cuts have healed. The idea of swinging into a saddle no longer makes me shudder. Several people have asked, “Was it worth it? Did you learn anything?” The answer is not just yes. It’s hell, yes. When you walk down the broad Tombstone streets toward … Read more…

Why don’t (s)he write?

Remember that line from Dances With Wolves? Kevin Costner and a teamster come across a skeleton and the teamster says, “Somewhere back east, his sister is wondering, Why don’t he write?” I’m not dead, but I’ll  put it this way: 1500+ people have climbed Mt. Everest. Only 67 have completed this ride. About 4:30 yesterday, … Read more…