International Thank an Author Year

WRITERI am declaring today the beginning of “International Thank an Author Year”. To my knowledge, this has not been previously declared, and I believe it is long overdue. And since Earth does not yet have an international government, I believe that I am as qualified as anyone else to declare this event.

Think about it for a moment. How many of you have a favorite book? Or an author that you absolutely adore? Have you ever learned an amazing fact by reading a book? Did you find a great recipe in a new cookbook? Has a favorite children’s book allowed you to spend quality time with a child or grandchild? Have you browsed travel books or novels with exotic locales, visiting those places in your mind? What about that special series of books, whose characters feel like your best friends? When life gets a little too crazy, do you escape between the pages for much needed relaxation?

SCREAMIf you answered YES to any of these questions, you should THANK AN AUTHOR. Without the efforts of those writers, you would have missed out on having some wonderful experiences. Just imagine how empty your life would be without books! On second thought—don’t imagine it. It is a horrifying image.

REVIEWYou may be asking, “How do I go about thanking an author?” I have several suggestions, but the most gratifying one for most authors is to WRITE A REVIEW. Just about everyone has an Amazon account, and that is probably the easiest way for anyone to leave a review. Many people also use Goodreads, or other reading-orientated sites. Many libraries also allow reviews on their websites. The advantages of writing a review are many. YOU get to tell the author how much you like the book, and even if there are some things you liked more than others. The AUTHOR gets thanked for all their hard work creating that book for your enjoyment. And POTENTIAL readers can be pointed in the right direction to find their own new favorite book.

Does the author have a website? Sign up for their newsletter. Newsletters will keep you informed of upcoming public appearances, new books coming out, and other news about the author. Authors love communicating with their fans. ONCE

Do they have a blog? Follow the blog, like, comment on, and reblog their posts so that others can get to know your favorite writers. This also lets the writer know that someone is reading what they write, and allows them to learn what topics people are most interested in.

FRIENDDo they have an author page on Facebook? “Like” their page, and invite your friends to like it too. This is a quick and easy way to show the author you are paying attention, and are interested in what they are doing. The same principle applies to Twitter. Spread the word!

Is an author appearing at a public venue for a book signing or lecture? Go see them, buy a book, get it autographed, and say “thank you” in person. You will probably be able to have you picture taken with them as well.

So go forth, fellow readers, and kick off International Thank an Author Year!THANKS

The Cowboy Rides Away…

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As I sit down to write this, I don’t even know where to begin. I’ve always been told to start the story at the beginning, yet I’m not sure where the beginning is in this case. Did it begin with me growing up in the hills of Northwest Arkansas? Or my love of horses, rodeos, and all things both country and western? Did it begin when I first got to meet my local cowboy hero, Dusty Richards? I’m not sure where the story begins.

Today, just a few days after I wrote about the passing of Pat Richards, beautiful and gentle wife of legendary author Dusty Richards, I learned that Dusty Richards himself passed away. One of my first blog posts was about my excitement over meeting one of my childhood heroes, and finding out what a real-life hero he has been for so many people.

Dusty was larger than life, yet always humble. An expansive  storyteller, as well as a great listener. A teacher, yet always willing to learn. A mentor, a friend, an inspiration. When I asked him how he got started writing, he said he always wanted to write, and had done a little now and again all his life. Writing western stories was his dream. One day, he made the decision to make that dream a reality. His advice to all was “If you want to write, you just have to do it. Write. And keep writing. Keep writing as long as the stories are in there.”

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And that is exactly what Dusty did. He wrote, and he wrote, and he wrote. Story after story, novel after novel. And the stories just kept coming. Dusty Richards was a master storyteller above all else. Not just the written word, but spoken words as well. Stories about cowboys, both real and imagined. Stories of his life, his travels, and his family. Stories of adventures with his beloved wife Pat.

The last few times I visited with Dusty we spoke about writing his biography together. His emails contained stories he remembered and wanted to include in the book. Although he didn’t get a chance to tell me all the stories he wanted, in the past few weeks, I’ve heard hundreds of stories from people across the country. Stories of Dusty and Pat, and their love and generosity. Stories of Dusty helping writers, and farmers, and friends. Story after story after story.

Although our hearts may be heavy down here on Earth, I have no doubt that Dusty and Pat are rejoicing together tonight. Dusty finally has the chance to meet his cowboy heroes and swap stories, with his beautiful bride of 56 years by his side. And I have no doubt that he is still telling stories, because I’m sure he wasn’t finished.

I still don’t know where the story began—but I have no doubt that this isn’t where the story ends.

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Introducing Michael Lee — Ninetoes Loves Books

-What is your name? Michael Lee -What genre do you write in? Currently, American Western fictional history. -What drew you to this genre? I wanted to write about something, I had some knowledge of. -What book(s) have you written? Del Rio completed and at Publishers, in pre edit. I am currently under contract for 4 […]

via Introducing Michael Lee — Ninetoes Loves Books

The Woman Behind the Man

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I’ve been quiet for a couple of weeks, because when my emotions are highest, my voice is the softest. As most of you know, a few weeks ago, right before Christmas, our dear friends Dusty and Pat Richards were in an automobile accident. The accident was dreadful, leaving both of them in the intensive care unit of a local hospital.

They were listed as stable but critical, and the prognosis was hopeful but guarded. There have been small gains, and small losses. Our emotions have been riding a constant rollercoaster. We have tried to carry on business as usual at Oghma, but I’m sure you all understand that is almost impossible when family members are going through trials. And Dusty and Pat have been family since the beginning of Oghma.

We worried about their conditions, waited for any and all updates, wondered what the updates meant for their futures, wondered if we were hoping for too much, or too little. We agonized as Pat went through surgery for her back, her arm, her wrist. We waited for news of Dusty regaining consciousness, regaining memories, we wonder if he will ever again be the Dusty we know and love. We agonized over infections, celebrated the removal of ventilators, celebrated as Pat began rehabilitation and we were told she might regain some movement in her legs after all, and not be completely paralyzed.

Last week, unexpectedly, we received the news that Pat had passed from this world. It was her birthday that day. I choose to view this as a positive sign. Everyone who ever met Pat Richards can attest to her strong spiritual nature. What better way to begin a new phase of her spiritual journey than to celebrate her heavenly birthday on the same day as her earthly birthday?

Today we celebrated the life of Pat Richards at her funeral. The family provided photographs of beautiful memories to help us celebrate with them. Wedding pictures, family vacations, community events, glimpses into a life well-lived. Friends and family sent beautiful flower arrangements to remind us that life is indeed beautiful, yet fleeting, and should be celebrated.

Yes, we are devastated to lose her. But our tears are for ourselves, for all of the things we won’t say, the times we won’t see her, the events we won’t enjoy along with her. And we cry for Dusty, who lost his partner of 56 years, her daughters who lost their mother, her grandchildren, her extended family, her friends, and her community. Pat Richards lived a beautiful life, and her spirit was strong, her faith stronger still. There was no need to cry for Pat, because as long as even one person remembers her, she is never truly gone. And knowing she touched so many lives, and so many generations, she will live on for many years here on Earth, as well as in Heaven.

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Introducing Darrel Sparkman — Ninetoes Loves Books

-What is your name? Darrel Sparkman -What genre do you write in? Frontier Western, Traditional Western, Post-Apocalyptic and General Fiction-Action Adventure -What drew you to this genre? No matter the time frame or point in history, it’s all Frontier Writing. Back to basics where a person oversees their own destiny and doesn’t rely on someone […]

via Introducing Darrel Sparkman — Ninetoes Loves Books

Oghma Family Gathering

’Tis the holiday season here around the Oghma house.  I’ve told you more than once, and tried to show you as well, that Oghma is one big, mostly happy, family. And just like any other family, we celebrate our joys and sorrows together . Now, right here at Christmas, we have experienced our biggest changes of the year for our family members. As you gather around with your family, we invite you to gather around with us as well.

 

First the celebration. A week before Christmas, our President and fearless leader, Casey Cowan, got married. His new bride Amy is a beautiful woman, inside and out. And I believe she is the rudder that Casey needs to stabilize himself before he burns out in his never-ending pursuit of perfection for Oghma Creative Media. She has already put her proverbial foot down, and commanded that he take time for himself and his family. She has achieved more toward making him take care of himself, and by extension, the Oghma family, than the Oghma staff has been able to achieve all year. They are currently on a honeymoon cruise, and Amy has refused to buy Wi-Fi, making sure Casey has time to rest and enjoy the important things in life. Congratulations Casey and Amy!

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And now for our greatest sorrow this year. A week ago today, our patriarch of the Oghma family, Dusty Richards, along with his lovely wife Pat, were involved in an automobile accident. They are both in serious but stable condition in the intensive care unit of a local hospital. We know that we cannot be as deeply affected by this as their children are, but I guarantee we not far from those emotions. Dusty has been an incredible influence on many writers, both those in our family, as well as other writers around the area and the country. The Richards family members have  touched countless lives with their kind hearts and generosity, and many, many people have written to ask about their condition, offering prayers and support for them and their family. It is at times like this that one can recognize the basic kindness in the people around the world. Because of the ongoing updates we receive form their children, we are able to celebrate each small victory Dusty and Pat achieve on their road to recovery, as well as keep others updated. We are doing our best to find a balance between informing the fans and protecting the privacy of the family at this difficult time. The family has granted permission for us to share their mailing address, so if you would like to send a card of encouragement, their mailbox is being checked daily:

Dusty and Pat Richards

PO Box 6460

Springdale, AR 72766 USA

It is going to be a long, slow road to recovery for both of them, but we believe in our hearts that they will recover and come home to their family, near and far.

Dusty rail

Back in the Saddlebag Again

After a much needed, but much lamented, break from writing for this blog, I’m back on track again folks. I know the past couple of weeks have been busy for all of us, and the next month won’t be much better. The holiday season is always a busy time for everyone, and it’s not any different at Oghma Creative Media.

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In addition to the novels we publish and the events for writers that we are involved in, we have an incredible western-theme magazined that we publish. Saddlebag Dispatches is a full-color, glossy publication that comes out twice a year right now, perhaps more often in future, that features fiction, non-fiction, interviews with western writers, articles, and advertising featuring other western-themed writing.

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And western-themed isn’t limited to cowboys. We are also serializing Bender, the Graphic Novel, the true account of America’s first family of serial killers. The Bender family lived in Kansas, and therefore fits the western criteria. Brothers David and Michael Frizell do an incredible job of bringing the story to life in all its horror. If you’ve never heard about the Bender family, I encourage you to check out either the serialization in our magazine, or better yet, get the full-length graphic novels telling the story. The first two volumes are currently for sale, and the third in on its way. Keep your eyes open for public appearances around the Midwest as well. The Frizell brothers love meeting their fans and talking about their work.


When we say “western-themed”, we mean anything that happens west of the Mississippi River, and embodies the spirit of the Old West, as most American imagine it. This of course includes the cowboys, but also the pioneers, the women, the settlers from all nations who moved westward to create a life for themselves and future generations. And it includes modern stories of rodeos, and ranchers, and anyone else who continues to work hard, play hard, and keep the spirit alive for all of us.

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We’ve talked to romance novelist Linda Broday about the power of storytelling, interviewed Craig Johnson, the man behind the incredibly popular Longmire books and television series, included articles about Native Americans, and introduced our readers to museums and collections that are relevant to all of our topics.
Our next issue will be out soon, but in the meantime pardner, mosey on over to pick up an issue or two. Then grab a chair or a log, get a little closer to the campfire, and let yourself be transported to the spirit of the West.
SaddlebagDispatches.com
Oghmacreative.com
Amazon.com
barnesandnoble.com