This interview is with one of the giants of the Western writing world… John D. Fie, Jr! You may already know about his books, “Incident at Benson’s Creek,” “Luke Pressor: U.S. Marshal,” and “Blood on the Plains.” These books have been picked up by Western readers, libraries and even bookstores around the world. If you haven’t heard of these great books… you may want to check them out by clicking here. If you aren’t convinced to buy your copies now, you may be after this interview. Don’t forget that the latest Fie Western “Guns Along The Weary River” is currently in the top one hundred bestsellers. You can purchase your copy by clicking here. Scroll down to learn why Fie is leading the pack when it comes to exciting Western adventures!
When did you decide to become a writer?
I’ve been writing short stories for years, but just as a hobby for my enjoyment, and I never gave it a thought about publishing, until people wanted to see some of the stuff I was writing. I started sharing more and more and kept getting those compliments on how good my writing was and how it should be a book. My wife kept urging me on also for years.
We were on one of our trips across the country in the RV, and I stopped along the Santa-Fe Trail in Kansas. We both wanted to see the wagon ruts that are still visible even today; I got this eerie feeling out there. Like the ghosts who had gone before me were talking to me. My curiosity got piqued, and I started doing research. It was the following year when we were out in Wyoming that hit home when I walked a bit of the Oregon Trail that did it. My mind was made up at that point to sit down and write a book.
Which writers really inspire you?
I’m going to surprise you with this answer—it’s Stephen King. The man grabs hold of you and won’t leave go until he pulls that big surprise at the end of the story. But there are also a lot of others too numerous to list. But Stephen King is the one who inspires me the most.
Can you tell us about your previous hit Westerns? How did those come about?
Like I said previously, walking both the Oregon and Santa-Fe Trails got me to sit down and get serious finally. Blood On The Plains was my first book; I have to give a big shout out to J.C. Hulsey and Outlaws Publishing.
Blood On The Plains was first released back in 2014 with a bland looking cover, and it never went anywhere. J.C. wanted me to sign with Outlaws Publishing, and with the urging of Miss Anna, I signed on. The cover got changed and improvements made to the story, and the book re-released in 2015. Don’t you know, it shot up onto the best sellers list! Readers wanted more, and I quickly pieced together a short story from out of some of my older short stories that were never previously published.
Luke Pressor: United States Marshal was born. It also joined Blood On The Plains on the best sellers list. At this point, I was saying to myself this can’t be possible, but both of those books remained on that bestsellers list for almost all of 2015. People and readers are now really screaming for more, and along came Book 2: Gunfight At Bensons Creek, for what is now called the Blood On The Plains Western action series. Luke Pressor also is the same story; book 2, Pressors Hunt is also currently a series. I’m prouder than a peacock in full bloom at the success of both these sets. Now, maybe I shouldn’t say this, but I’m adding a book 3 to both of these series. For The Blood On The Plains Western action series, it will be Renegade’s Revenge, some time after the first of the year. The same goes for Luke Pressor. It will be Sudden Justice, and I’m introducing a new character to the series by readers’ request. He is Marshal Liam Garrett Kelleher.
Right now I have projects that I’m working on for the remainder of this year. But I just want to let my readers know I read your emails and get your messages.
Outlaws launched my writing career with those best sellers, and we’ve made a few changes once again when I signed with Dusty Saddle Publishing, who have now taken these two series and turned them into monster hits around the world, along with my current release, Taylorville Showdown. But I’m reaching down into my bag of tricks once more. I will be releasing yet another book this year. “Guns Along The Weary River.” I’m putting the finishing touches on it, and I believe it will move into pre-release sale within the next few weeks.
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he do that is so special?
Wow, you’re going to get me in trouble with the readers. From the emails I get and the messages I receive from everyone, they all have their own favorite. But Matt Hutchins is the main character in the Blood On The Plains series, and of course Luke Pressor in that series. I have made the sub-characters so likable, everyone has a favorite. Mother Crawford, Clem, and Steven and Martha Beckerman just to name a few.
What are you working on at the minute?
I’m enjoying writing this new one, “Guns Along The Weary River.”
What’s “Guns Along The Weary River” about?
A wagon master has decided to build a settlement at a place called the Weary River. Wagon trains crossing the continent have a narrow window in which to get across the river. A lot of exciting things take place. I don’t want to let the cat out of the bag just yet.
What draws you to the Western genre?
I have always loved the west since I was a child. I watched every Western on TV; read every book I could get my hands on also.
Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban as Martha and Steven Beckerman in the Pressor Series, Kevin Costner playing Luke Pressor. Then I have a special place for Trace Adkins in my up and coming release with Sudden Justice. Julia Roberts as Sally in the Blood On The Plains series. They’re all perfect for those parts. They all ride (except for Trace, I’m not sure if he does or not). But he can play one mean hombre. Have you ever seen a few of the movies he has made? It’s too bad we don’t have Strother Martin or Bea Arthur anymore. I had Miss Roberts, Bea Arthur, and Strother Martin in mind when I wrote Blood On The Plains and of course Gunfight at Benson’s Creek. Miss Arthur is playing the part of Mother Crawford and Mr. Martin as Clem, the livery owner. My wife and I used to play a game, and when we would watch a movie, we would match actors and actresses to one of my stories. Miss Anna called my attention one night to a video she was watching on Facebook to Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban. Just by the way they interact with one another naturally they’re the perfect Beckermans. Boy, I could go on and on.
How much research do you do for your Westerns?
A lot. Even though it’s fiction, the clothes, weapons, and the products they used back when have to be right.
Have you have written any other novels in collaboration with other writers?
No novels, but I was asked to write a short story for the Six Bullets To Sundown short story collection for Dusty Saddle Publishing.
Why did you do decide to collaborate, and did that affect your sales?
I think it gives readers a chance to get a snap-shot look at all the different styles that Western writers have, and I don’t think it hurts sales. Taylorville Showdown made it to the best sellers list, as well as a few others.
Why do you want to write?
I write because of the fun I get out it, and it’s my hobby.
What made you decide to sit down and start something?
Out there on the plains, walking those trails, there are stories to tell. The Western genre has massive materials to write about.
Where do the ideas come from?
Sometimes I’ll see something interesting; it could be an old whiskey bottle or someone can say something. Because writing is my hobby, I have to create a story. You know what I think? It’s a challenge. My mind challenges me. I have been thinking about two words a friend challenged me with back at the end of 2015 or the beginning of 2016. I’ve lost sleep thinking about those two words. Those two words: Weary River. In a few weeks I think it is, readers everywhere will be reading the result of that challenge. “Guns Along The Weary River.”
Do you work on an outline or plot, or do you prefer just to see where an idea takes you?
I do all three. I could be sitting in a restaurant and an idea pops into my head. Out comes my notebook, and I write it down. At other times, I’ll see something and I pull out the phone camera. I have already told you about our little game that Miss Anna and I used to play.
How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
I think I’m improving with every book I write. You learn something new with every release. When you first start out, you’re going in blind. The reviewers can be kind, or they can nail you to the wall. I learn from my mistakes and try not to make them again. Just writing short stories to yourself is one thing, but now I’m writing to an audience—something altogether different.
What is the hardest thing about writing?
Staying focused and making sure you’re giving the reading public what they can enjoy.
What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
Writing the book as a short story. My thoughts were taking me way past the short story range. I had to struggle to condense my ideas, so I wrote them all down, studied them and came up with the solution.
What is the easiest thing about writing?
For me, it’s finding a subject to write about.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
For a novel, a month or two; for what’s called a novella, a few weeks.
Do you ever get writer’s block?
Yes, I think it happens to everyone now and then.
Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?
I just walk away from it and do something else. It comes back when you’re not straining yourself to work.
Do you read much? And, if so, who are your favorite authors?
I use to, but lately I have been too busy. I read all different kinds of books. You never know what you’re going to find in a different genre.
What books are you reading at present?
I discovered a new author. I think this is his first book and it’s pretty good. It’s called South Of The Border by Ryan Fleming. For a fictional story, he’s getting pretty close to reality. I haven’t finished it yet. I’m staying focused on what I’m doing for the time being.
It is a time period as vast as the desert and as relevant as our world today. It is the time between Colonial America and the modern age. A place that held death, destruction, love, desire and greed. A time of man’s bravery and fears. A place where a man needed every ounce of his strength to survive. A barbaric time. A better time. It is a place we call the Old West. This is an exciting adventure in that dangerous, yet, dramatic and exciting place.
Big Ben Culver thought that he found paradise and dreamed of a place where people could live in harmony. Farm, Ranch. And raise a family. Little did he know that greed always wants a part.
This is the latest action-action adventure from the #1 bestselling Western author John D. Fie, Jr. Saddle up and ride with a true Western bestseller through that wild and dangerous place called the Old West. This adventure will take guns, guts and glory… Purchase your copy of “Guns Along The Weary River” by clicking here.
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