Welcome to this website, which seeks to do more than just promote Raking Hell and those books that will follow. I would like to hear from, and make contact with, lovers of all things Western, be they books, movies, music or anything in between.

Unfortunately I don't have the resources in time and IT expertise to run a forum on this website where we could chat with instant ease, but you can drop me a line via the contact page and I would love to hear from you. Where I am able to respond, either back to you via email or at the Corral, I will do so.

Each month I will update the Corral as a sort of poor man's blog to discuss, hopefully, items of interest and issues raised by you. To kick it off I have provided some background to the origins of Raking Hell – just on how it came about. It was not my first Western or even my first novel, as trying to get a book to print for a hobby writer like myself takes a good dose of patience and persistence – in my case, a number of years. I hope you find this background of interest.

Now I don't expect this website to be highly patronized or that I will be overwhelmed with emails. The facts of life are clear, the popularity of the Western novel has diminished from the mass circulation of the 1950s down to a boutique readership of today. Competition with wizards and vampires is tough, not to mention X Box, specially with Red Dead Redemption – but the Western has never gone away and I don't believe it ever will. We are a small band of devotees but numbers aren't everything and sometimes it's nice to be a little exclusive - after all, isn't that why so many people become collectors of odd and hard to get things? And isn't it the collector who becomes the expert in their chosen field of interest, as they delve into their subject to study and understand the odd and little known points of fact and fiction? So if you have something to say, a comment, a view, or even a small tidbit that you feel would be of interest, please drop me an email and I'll do my best to give it an airing in The Corral. I would especially love to hear of your tastes in Western stories. Mine tends to be towards the gritty kind, of a flawed character who is faced with difficult situations and where judgment and decisions comes with consequence.

And that brings me to my first disclosure, my confession. I am no expert on the Western but boy do I love them and have done so since I was knee-high. But I'm an Australian writer with an English publisher and far removed from the place and times of the Old West. Mine is just one more voice amongst the thousands who draw stories from the imagination of that time and place, now so long ago. My second admission is that I write to entertain, nothing more but also nothing less, and I do so with a sense of admiration and respect of the Western in all its forms.

Certainly much mythology has grown up around the Old West through novels and movies, and why not, as that particular time and place had a rich and interesting history. It offers the essential ingredients of adventure, hardship and danger that came from the frontier migration of men, women and children to a new life in the West, especially after the Civil War where hardship for so many had become the custom. It was and still is a grand stage on which to tell a story and maybe the characters John Wayne played in his movies were an illusion and somewhat removed from real life, but couldn't that be said of every fictional story that seeks to engage and entertain an audience? And why? Well, maybe we like larger than life characters, as they struggle for success over failure and good over evil. Well at least I know I do and expect that is the same for most of us.

So, welcome once again to this website and thank you for taking the time to visit. Hopefully, you'll find time to drop me a line.



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