Excitement fills the air at Red Canyon Ranch! We’re heading to Ogden, Utah, for our annual pilgrimage to the Western Bison Association winter meetings and the Wild West Buffalo Stampede Show and Sale. For four days we will wander around the buffalo pens at the Golden Spike Center during the day, and hob-knob, pal around, and generally party with our good friends in the buffalo industry.
What can we say about these characters? All originals cast from broken molds! Can’t wait to spend time with John Painter–one of only two Democrats in the industry. (There used to be three, but Scott Peterson switched.) And there’s Susan Maas, without whom there wouldn’t be a Western Bison Association. Crazy old Vaughn Scott will be there. Jake Weirich will want to know how his cow Fran is doing. She lives on our place. We’ll try to stay one beer ahead of Rex and Rhonda Snyder–but that never works! And we have to give a lecture to 92 school kids on buffalo before we take them on a tour through the pens. Buffalo are easier to herd!
In short, for four blissful days, we don’t have to be Michael and Kathleen Gear, famous authors. We just get to be ourselves in a social circumstance where no one cares what facade you carry around in real life, but who you really are. That’s the magic of the buffalo people. It’s the one place in the world where Kathy and I can just be ourselves.
So, if you’re in Ogden between November 30 and December 3, stop by the Golden Spike between ten am and four pm and we’ll show you some spectacular buffalo.
And we’re hoping that when we fight our way back over icy, slick, snow-blown South Pass, we’ll have a stunning new herd bull riding back in that stock trailer!
We’re just back from Jackson, Michigan where we signed 6,000 copies of DAWN COUNTRY, PEOPLE OF THE NIGHTLAND, PEOPLE OF THE RIVER, and PEOPLE OF THE RAVEN for the good people at News Group Midwest in Spring Arbor. For those of you living in the upper midwest–and looking for an autographed copy–you can find them in Krogers, at the airports, and various truck stops, and convenience stores. Meijers won’t have signed copies–they’re served by a different distributor, but they will have copies of DAWN COUNTRY in their bestseller racks starting around Thanksgiving and for a couple of weeks into December. The autpgraphed books can be recognized by a black sticker on the cover that says…uh, “Autographed Copy.” How much more direct can we be?
While we were at News Group, Marianne and Angie treated us wonderfully. Thanks so much to the good folks at Macmillan for sending us.
Also, the ebook situation is continuing. Amazon is converting some of our earlier titles, including the LIGHT books, the SPIDER series, DARK INHERITANCE, RAISING ABLE, and some other science fiction titles to Kindle format. They should be available by Christmas. Check here or on the fan club periodically and we’ll appraise you of when the titles will be available.
Meanwhile, we’ve got light snow today at the ranch, and the temps are in the low teens. For morning magic, we looked out and Krystal, one of the buffalo cows, was completely snowy white. But then, she’s magical even when she’s brown!
As many of you know, Mike and I co-author in a specific way. One of us drafts out a chapter, then the other moves along behind, editing, correcting and rewriting, which often proves to have amusing consequences.
For example, yesterday I finished drafting the ending to THE BLACK SUN, and Mike immediately started reading it. This morning, I got chapter 46 back with a note at the top of the page that said, “You must have been writing for the Pulitzer committee. This totally sucks.”
…And it reminded me of the time he had his leading character writing a ten page suicide note at the end of LONG RIDE HOME. I got the wrinkled, tear-soaked pages, read them, and wrote in the margin, “Good God, Michael, we really want this guy dead now. Toss this and kill him!”
One of the fascinating things about co-authoring is you have to have no ego, or you’re dead. Fortunately, we had shock-training twenty five years ago when we had a magnificient editor named Harriett. She used to write in the margins, “This is f…ing garbage, guys. You can do better.”
Ah, the good old days. Harriett taught us to write with all our hearts…and without a shred of ego.
So, back to the drawing board on Chapter 46.