About Rick Steber

Rick Steber is an engaging Western personality with more than thirty titles under his belt and over a million books in print. Steber’s reputation as a historian and talented story-teller spans from coast to coast. He is the only Oregon author to have won the prestigious Western Writers of America Spur Award – Best Western Novel. In addition he has also won several other awards including the Western Heritage Award, Benjamin Franklin Award, and the Mid-America Publishers Award. He is a keen observer of the changing American West and he articulates these changes in prose that are boldly descriptive, invigorating and creative. Steber speaks at national and international conferences and visits schools where he talks to students about the importance of education, developing reading and writing skills, and impressing upon them the value of saving our history for future generations. If you would be interested in scheduling a book signing or special story-telling session please contact Bonanza Publishing at bonanza@ricksteber.com or call 541-447-3115.

No prettier place in the solar system . . .

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Made a wide swing through Eastern Oregon and once again realized there is no prettier place in the solar system than Eastern Oregon in late fall.

The draws are outlined by red willows and golden aspen and cottonwood. The delicate needles of tamarack trees stand out like sentinels of burnished copper against the deep green of the forest.

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On the swing I visited schools and impressed on the students the importance of reading, writing and saving our history for future generations to explore and enjoy.

I signed books at independent bookstores, but mostly I just enjoyed the traveling and sightseeing before a winter of holing up in my cabin and writing another  book.

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Rick Steber is an award winning writer of contemporary western stories. To find out more about his books, including non-fiction biographies and novels, audio books and DVDs, visit his website:  Writing the West http://ricksteber.com

To purchase a copy of Rick Steber’s latest release: Red White Black: A True Story of Race and Rodeo visit: http://ricksteber.com/newreleases.html

 

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Tracking down the lost manuscript

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I heard tell of a “lost manuscript.” It was said this manuscript told about an important era of Eastern Oregon history. And like a gold miner who hears about a lost mine, I became obsessed with finding this manuscript.

I made phone calls, chasing down any and all leads I happened to uncover. Some were disappointing dead ends, but I followed any slim possibility until I had collected enough reliable information that the urge to get going consumed me.

I threw together my camping gear, jumped in my pickup and started the hunt in earnest.

On the second day of my travels I unearthed the mother lode. The lost manuscript was in a cardboard box, 319 typewritten pages, yellowed and brittle with age. It had been hidden from the light of day for more than a half-century.

Will this lost manuscript became the basis of a book? I don’t know.

Time will tell.

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Rick Steber is an award winning writer of contemporary western stories. To find out more about his books, including non-fiction biographies and novels, audio books and DVDs, visit his website:  Writing the West http://ricksteber.com

To purchase a copy of Rick Steber’s latest release: Red White Black: A True Story of Race and Rodeo visit: http://ricksteber.com/newreleases.html

My desperate search for the lost manuscript

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The writer’s life . . . Only a small portion of a writer’s life is spent actually putting down words on paper.

That process can only begin after all the research has been completed. The problem I often find in my writing and researching are the distractions that suddenly appear .. The salmon are running in the Deschutes, or in the Coquille.

But recently it was something far different that called me away from work and sent me on a desperate search for a “lost manuscript” that was said to exist somewhere in the wild of Eastern Oregon. It was doubtful the manuscript had survived fires, floods and the passage of time. But the very possibility that it might exist drove me on a desperate search .. (more to come)

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Rick Steber is an award winning writer of contemporary western stories. To find out more about his books, including non-fiction biographies and novels, audio books and DVDs, visit his website:  Writing the West http://ricksteber.com

To purchase a copy of Rick Steber’s latest release: Red White Black: A True Story of Race and Rodeo visit: http://ricksteber.com/newreleases.html

Shanghaiing at Oregon ports

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A scene from Astoria during the golden age of shanghiing

Portland and Astoria were infamous ports for shanghaiing sailors.

Men known as “crimps” used knockout drops, alcohol and other means to obtain crews for sailing ship captains. Once the bodies were delivered on board ship and the crimp was paid the ship set sail.

At the height of the shanghaiing days crimps charged as much as $135 per man and stories were told of dead men, and even a cigar store wooden Indian, having been taken aboard by gullible captains. As steamships became more popular, the sailing era began to fade and large crews were no longer necessary.

In time the Portland and Astoria waterfront became relatively safe places, where a man no longer needed to worry about waking up with a hangover and being a hundred miles out to sea.

Rick Steber is an award winning writer of contemporary western stories. To find out more about his books, including non-fiction biographies and novels, audio books and DVDs, visit his website:  Writing the West http://ricksteber.com

To purchase a copy of Rick Steber’s latest release: Red White Black: A True Story of Race and Rodeo visit: http://ricksteber.com/newreleases.html

Race, rodeo and discrimination

Rick Steber and Leon Ransom

Rick Steber and Leon Ransom

While in Pendleton at the Pendleton Round-Up, I had dinner with Leon Ransom. Leon’s wife, Georgia, fixed a wonderful salmon dinner that included a dessert of blueberry pie fixed from scratch.

Leon contributed to my research for Red White Black: A True Story of Race and Rodeo and was friends with one of the principal characters in the book, George Fletcher. We talked about race and rodeo, and how discrimination still remains woven into the fabric of America.

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To purchase your copy of Rick Steber’s book: Red White Black: A True Story of Race and Rodeo visit: http://ricksteber.com/newreleases.html

Rick Steber is an award winning writer of contemporary western stories. To find out more about his books, including non-fiction biographies and novels, audio books and DVDs visit his website:  Writing the West http://ricksteber.com

2013 Pendleton Round-Up a big success!

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Survived the 2013 Round-Up, that  time of year when the town of Pendleton swells to three times its normal size  and begins to burst at the seams.

round-up 040I did what seemed to be endless rounds of book  signings for “Red White Black” at  Hamley’s Western Store, Armchair Books, Round-Up Hall of Fame and Pendleton  Woolen Mills. Customers were excited about the new release and sales were brisk. I met a lot of loyal readers who have read and collected most, if not all, of my  books.

That always makes a fellow feel rewarded. Thanks everyone for making this Round-Up such a success!

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To purchase your copy of Rick Steber’s book: Red White Black: A True Story of Race and Rodeo visit: http://ricksteber.com/newreleases.html

Rick Steber is an award winning writer of contemporary western stories. To find out more about his books, including non-fiction biographies and novels, audio books and DVDs visit his website:  Writing the West http://ricksteber.com

The First Pendleton Round-Up

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The idea for the Pendleton Round-Up originated in 1910 when a group of men from Umatilla County were gathered in Portland for the Rose Festival.

It was proposed that Pendleton should hold a community event and that a western show was the answer. The men formed a company, sold stock, and that September the first Round-Up was held.

It was so popular the City of Pendleton purchased the company stock and made the Round-Up a civic event complete with cowboy and cowgirl competitions and entertainment depicting what life was like in the days of the Wild West.

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Each September since, the call goes out, “Let ’er Buck,” and the Pendleton Round-Up kicks off.

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Red White Black: A True Story of Race and Rodeo The 2013 Pendleton Round-Up takes place September 11th – 14th. Rick Steber will be in various locations in Pendleton, Oregon, September 10th – 14th, signing copies of his new book: Red White Black: A True Story of Race and Rodeo. View his book signing schedule here: http://ricksteber.com/book-sign-schedule.html 

Red Black White tells the true story of the 1911 Pendleton Round-Up. Three men of different skin colors – Jackson Sundown, John Spain, and George Fletcher – are brought together during the finals of the Northwest Saddle Bronc Championship. What happened that September day, the judges’ decision and the reaction of the crowd in the aftermath, forever changed the sport of rodeo, and the way the emerging West was to look at itself.about the 1911 Pendleton Roundup and how it forever changed the sport of rodeo, and the way the emerging West was to look at itself.

You can purchase of Red Black White online at: http://ricksteber.com/newreleases.html