Creating a keepsake: Red White Black, A True Story of Race and Rodeo


On the trail of rodeo phenomena, Jackson Sundown. At his grave, Slickpoo Cemetery, Jacque Spur, Oregon

The written words of a non-fiction book get their beauty, grace, elegance and validity from the research that has been done to support them.

I do enjoy the research.

Not so much in blowing dust from a written history, but in talking with the people who actually lived that history.

Most of the events in Red White Black – the book I am currently working on – occurred a hundred years ago, or more. But I have been gathering material for this book for almost four decades and during that time have interviewed people who knew the three main characters – Jackson Sundown, John Spain and George Fletcher – and watched them ride broncs at rodeos.

Time passes. People die. They take their memories with them to the grave.

And now in my current research I hear stories from people who say their fathers told them about a particular cowboy, or an incredible ride they witnessed.

I take all these stories that are shared with me and try to weave them together into a text that will be as rich in color, texture and usefulness as a Pendleton blanket, a keepsake to appreciate in life and pass down from one generation to the next, just as the stories have been passed down to me from generation to generation.

39688_150106865005032_5183089_nVisit my website at Writing the West, for more tales of the Wild West, including non-fiction biographies and novels, audio books and DVDs. My books are now available for purchase as ebooks. Subscribe to this blog to find out more about my upcoming book: Red White Black, A True Story of Race and Rodeo.


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