It Was a Great Trip
"A Cowboy's Fortune" book launch trip was a big success and a lot of fun. The weather gave us some challenges, but otherwise, we couldn't have asked for more. Linda and I drove off from home on Tuesday, January 23rd, and stayed at a hotel in Chickasha, OK, that night. We had dinner with my cousin Carla at Mama Caro’s that evening. The following morning we returned there and ate breakfast before going to Hick’s Company. That’s a mighty fine western wear store in Chickasha. The owner, James Hicks, is legendary around there. He’s eighty-six years old and still goes into the store every day. If you are ever in town make sure to meet James. He has everything you need and has a few yarns to share too.
A Cowboy's Fortune Release
As I shared in my last blog article, my second novel in the Kelly Can Saga Series, A Cowboy's Fortune will be published on Wednesday, January 24th, 2024. The cutthroat world of big oil is very different from the life of a humble cowboy, but if anyone can succeed among all the treachery and danger, KELLY CAN! It's 1919 and Charlie Kelly has married the love of his life, Susan, and together the newlyweds hope to grow the business empire that Susan's father, Walter Kramer, built. Charlie's dream of starting his own oil company becomes a reality, and Susan takes over the leadership of the Kramer Group, but tragedy soon follows triumph.
Happy New Year - 2024
I hope you spent some quality time with people you care about and some quiet alone if that’s what you need. The Holidays can be stressful if you let it, but I hope you were able to recreate yourself and think about what you will accomplish in 2024. I know I was trying hard to do some work planning book tours for 2024 in December. However, I learned that many of the people I had hoped to reach for those significant events in 2024 supporting my next novel were not at work or were in some way unavailable.
Merry Christmas 2023
I hope you got your shopping done and all that's left are some presents that still need to be wrapped. You say you haven’t even started!!! OMG!!!
That’s a typical mid-December conversation, isn’t it? I remember when I was still working at Edward AFB my friends would talk about how they had let time slip by and now they would need to fight the crowds who were also doing last-minute shopping.
What a Whirlwind Life Can Be...
Don't you love the Holidays? I sure do. The final three or four months of every year are always hectic for me, but I love it. The week before last was the International Western Music Association's (IWMA) annual convention or conference here in Albuquerque. I always enjoy the music, workshops, and especially seeing old friends again. I heard all of us attending using the word "family" a lot. At first, I thought, what? Are they discussing a cousin, aunt, or sibling? Then it hit me. Of course. We in the IWMA are a big family (by choice), not by blood.
Yearning for Yesterday
My next novel in the Kelly Can Saga Series, "A Cowboy's Fortune," will launch in January 2024. I'm excited about this! It will continue the story following Charlie and Susan Kelly as they create their future together. My native state, Oklahoma, will continue to be where the action is, and several counties are featured. Two mean a lot to me. I lived in Payne and Pottawatomie counties from pre-school to college in Shawnee and Cushing; both towns have important scenes in Fortune. I couldn't stop thinking about how great it was to be a kid back in the 50s and 60s in those two small cities.
Thirteen States, Eight Bookstores, and Twenty-One Days - Part II
I hope you've read Part One. If not, stop and find it, and you'll get the whole picture of an action-packed twenty-one-day book signing tour. We left off having spent the night of Saturday, September 23rd, at Devil's Lake, ND. We got up the next morning and drove to Grand Foks, ND. Outside of Grand Forks is Grand Forks Air Force Base. We went onto the Base to see what it was like. As a retired Air Force couple, this is what we do. We were very impressed with the Base, and if I had stayed in my original career field, I could have been assigned there.
Thirteen States, Eight Bookstores, and Twenty-One Days
Boy, did I try to pack ten pounds in a five-pound sack! My wife Linda and I drove off from our New Mexico home on Thursday, September 14th, heading toward Cheyenne, WY. We would spend time with our grandkids before my first stop on Saturday at Blue Mountain Book Store in Laramie. Our visit was great, and I could take the rest of this blog bragging about how well Jordan, Tina, and Darian are doing, but I won't.
What’s Down the Road for Charlie and Susan?
What's Coming Next
It's the right time to discuss the next Kelly Can Series book. My publisher and I met this past weekend and put some final ideas and touches on the manuscript for book two. We are using "A Cowboy's Gusher" as the working title. I am pretty happy with it, so it'll likely be what we use. As my readers know, near the end of "Destiny" Charlie takes a job as George L. Miller's sidekick, working with E. W. Marland's oil company, supporting the growing oil business on the 101 Ranch. Charlie also marries Susan Kramer-Blackaby. I hope I'm not spoiling it for those who still need to finish Destiny. In book two, the oil business becomes a more significant part of Charlie and Susan's life.
Joe. How Do You Do It?
I get asked this question a lot - "Joe, how do you do it?"
People who already know me seem especially puzzled about how I get my writer's time completed. I am busy because of my involvement with several organizations. My writing is number one though and I'll share what I do to protect enough of my time to continue to grow and improve as a writer. It starts with getting to bed (most nights) at an hour, allowing me to get around seven hours of sleep. You may need more or less. Protect whatever you need so that when you awake, you feel good. Maybe groggy, but good.
Tulsa, Oklahoma, the “Oil Capital of the World” and the Hotel Tulsa
Historically, the energy industry, primarily oil, has fueled Tulsa's economy over the years. Still, today the city has diversified, and now its economy has added other segments such as finance, aviation, and several technology areas. For most of the 20th century, the city was called the “Oil Capital of the World” and played a significant role as one of the most important hubs for the American oil industry.
National Day of the Cowboy
I'm excited to share my experience a few days ago at the Chisolm Trail Heritage Center (CTHC) in Duncan, Oklahoma, supporting their National Day of the Cowboy celebration. I was honored when Edie Stewart, the Center’s education director, asked me to be part of the event.
Here is a little background for those who don't know about this annual celebration:
In 2005, National Day of the Cowboy (NDOC) sponsored a bill in the Wyoming House and Senate to preserve and celebrate cowboy culture and history in that state, naming a holiday to be observed on the fourth Saturday in July.
Rapid City Conference - Part II
I hope you enjoyed Part One of the Rapid City Conference adventure. Maybe that's too strong a term, but it was fun for Linda and me. We love taking the old US or State highways when we can, which lets us drive through the small towns you miss when you use the Interstates. That said, we did use I-90 across South Dakota on Sunday, the 25th. We wanted to stop at Wall Drug on I-90, about fifty miles east of Rapid City. While we were there I met with the bookstore manager and they purchased six copies of A Cowboy's Destiny for their shelves. YAHOO! That was a great start to our trip home.
Conference in Rapid City
Meet Chester Abrams
The Million Dollar Elm
Today this famous tree would be located east of the Osage Nation Tribal Museum in Pawhuska, Osage County, Oklahoma. The Million Dollar Elm was the site of public oil and natural gas lease auctions starting in November 1912. Colonel Ellsworth Walters, who lived in Skedee in Pawnee County, Oklahoma, was the official auctioneer for the Osage Nation beginning in 1916.
The Creation of the Kelly Oil Company
Kansas City a Hundred Years Ago
Kansas City is a central hub of the Kelly Can Saga in and around the time of Book Two "A Cowboy's Gusher", and beyond that, I think we need to understand what was happening there post-World War I and into the Roaring 20s. Although today Kansas City is considered a moderate and family-oriented place to live, a hundred years ago, it was a wide-open rip-roaring town.