Nick Wales, ace publicist and expert in all things western, commissioned a painting of the top-selling western writers at DS Productions, and I was flabbergasted to be included. I’m the dude on the left in the purple shirt. Yee haw!
Fans of the half-breed vigilante Jacob Blade are in for a treat in 2020. Thanks to the creative ingenuity of renown publicist Nick Wale and the fantastic art of Kevin Diamond, the entire series is being reissued this year with a new and exciting cover that’s sure to appeal to fans of the ‘shoot ‘em up’ western genre.
Jacob Blade was a simple farm boy living with his mother and father in Indian Territory until he came home from a trip to local markets one day and found his parents slaughtered by a group of itinerant outlaws. With his dying breath, Jacob’s father asked him to avenge their deaths, a task that he took on with relish. In the course of his quest, he discovered that there was a lot of evil infecting the western frontier, evil that he determined to help eliminate, one dead outlaw at a time.
This is just one of several series that I currently write, and is second only to the Deputy U.S. Marshal Bass Reeves in the joy it gives me to write.
The new covers give a sense of continuity to the series, and, in my humble opinion, illustrates the protagonist most effectively. I sincerely hope that readers will find them as attractive—and seductive—as I do, and welcome any comments. In the meantime, I’m currently working on another Jacob Blade adventure, with Jacob coming to the rescue of a small community of settlers in Nebraska who are being tormented by a greed rancher who wants to take their land. Keep an eye out for Sins of the Father, coming soon to Amazon.
Creative collaborations are not new; writers do it all the time. One of my favorite authors, James Patterson, does whole series with different co-authors. Where I had not thought of collaboration, though, was creative graphic arts, such as paintings, until my wife, Myung strong-armed me into it. A Korean by birth, she’s into group-think as opposed to my unbridled Texas individualism. She’s a good sketch artist, though, with a natural talent for copying things. She decided to take an art class at a local community center, taught by a well-known Korean artist, and discovered that she’s not as confident about applying color to canvas or paper as she’d like to be. So, naturally, she suggested that I do the coloring of her sketches. I was reluctant at first, but since I was back into painting at the time, and some of her sketches were quite nice, I decided to go along. The first one we did actually turned out quite nice, but the process was not without its travails and bumpy spots. For instance, she comes along when I’m just doing the under painting and complains about the color scheme, taking up precious time while I explain that this is just an under painting, not the final colors. After I’m done, or almost done, she will inevitably want something changed–much like when we rearrange the furniture. Sometimes I do it, sometimes I dig in my heels and refuse.Her fellow students, and her art teacher, have all given their seal of approval to the resulting work, so maybe we’ve got something going here. Her original sketch didn’t have the bud at the top left. I thought it added better balance to the piece. I added the background trees and changed the clumps of flowers around. Her linear perspective was a tad off, but I corrected it. Then, after I was done, she wanted the little curve in the far end of the bridge. Not sure it adds anything to the picture, but it doesn’t hurt. She did this self portrait from an old photo I took. I added the beret and we mutually agreed on the color of beret and coat. We’re still arguing over this one. She wanted more fish and leaves floating on the water – I refused. Our daughter settled the argument by saying that she loved it like it is.
Source: Artistic collaboration
Pocket journal with ‘Buffalo Soldier’ photo on front cover and ‘Writer’ cartoon on back cover
I’m currently working on a new Buffalo Soldier novel that involves Sergeant Ben Carter and his men getting caught up in the prejudices of a small town in New Mexico Territory, when a man has been falsely accused of murder, and Ben must reconcile his duty of aiding law enforcement when requested with his sense of justice and right. Below is one of the cover designs I’ve come up with. Comments are welcome. Chapters I’ve completed are being posted at http://www.wattpad.com/story/42692455-buffalo-soldier-mob-justice so if you want to see the story behind the proposed cover, pop over and give it a read. Comments on the cover design are also welcomed.
The tenth book in my Buffalo Soldier series, Range War will launch soon. I’d like to share the cover I’ve chosen for this volume, which is the story of Ninth Cavalry Sergeant Ben Carter and his special detachment. They are caught in the middle of a dispute between cattlemen and sheep ranchers – with a gang of hired gunmen to complicate the mix.
My next ‘Buffalo Soldier‘ novel will be about the Buffalo Soldiers at Yosemite; only, instead of being about them patrolling Yosemite after it was designated a national park, this will be a fictionalized story of Ben Carter and his men escorting the naturalists who mapped the place prior to the designation.
Given that the cavalry often accompanied railroad and other survey teams, this is well within the realm of possibility. At any rate, below are two paintings – or actually, two versions of the same painting – that I’m considering for the cover. Comments welcome.