Kindle Forum banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is the western dead? Has this uniquely American genre finished?

I am working on a post for my blog about westerns. A number of the short stories in Rambling are westerns or influenced by the west.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,565 Posts
No, it's not dead.  There are a lot of people writing them, and definitely people reading them.  But I think it is a niche audience, with some break outs.

I write old fashioned mysteries in a western setting.  They aren't really westerns, in that they are not serious historical novels.  Just kind of mysteries in western costume.  But I get a LOT of resistance to reading them.  (If you look at the reviews for HAVE GUN, WILL PLAY, you'll see that most of them begin with some variation of the line "I don't like westerns, but...."  All positive reviews, all beginning with reluctance to read it.)

At the same time, I see a lot of westerns out there, and I think a straight western would be easier to market too.

Camille
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Some of mine are centered around some of the legends of the west. Others are inspired by western songs. The first line of a song by Chris Ledoux was the spark that inspired the short story Storm.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
952 Posts
I'm webmaster for a bestselling western author, Ralph Cotton. He has over 50 books out, doing okay. His books are on store shelves. So, I'd say the genre is not dead. If you go into walmart for example, yes their book area is smaller. However, westerns are there in numbers, as are the chick-lit stuff.

Saying the audience is mainly older is not correct. On the emailing list are a wide range of people. Teenagers, women and men all ages groups. There is an audience out there for westerns.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
586 Posts
Casper Parks said:
I'm webmaster for a bestselling western author, Ralph Cotton. He has over 50 books out, doing okay. His books are on store shelves. So, I'd say the genre is not dead. If you go into walmart for example, yes their book area is smaller. However, westerns are there in numbers, as are the chick-lit stuff.

Saying the audience is mainly older is not correct. On the emailing list are a wide range of people. Teenagers, women and men all ages groups. There is an audience out there for westerns.
This thread has made me sit up and think. When I was a kid westerns were everything, I had the chaps, the hat and the pistols. Sadly those days have passed by here in the UK. I have never seen a western section in W H Smiths or Waterstones that I can recall. Must take a closer look next time I go into town. John Wayne is still my hero, even though he never fought in WW2.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I don't read many of the newer western writers. Will Henry, (aka Vardis Fisher) Tony Hillerman, and Louis L'Amour are the ones I loved, Elmore Leonard, and Larry McMurtry have done some great work. I just don't get the feeling from many of the newer authors that they really understand the west the way that these people did. I am one of those pains in the butt that gets anal about getting the facts right.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
586 Posts
Storm is about a group of people stuck on the plains with a storm rolling down off the mountains.
Dreaming of a Warm Place is about a young man stuck out in a bitter cold Wyoming winter storm with a flock of sheep.
Christmas on the Mesa is about a rancher going after a stray calf on a cold Christmas Day.
Apache Tears is based on the legend of a small semi-precious stone found in Arizona.

[/quote]The above could well be misconstrued as a genre you're probably not writing in:)
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top