2016 Western Fictioneers Peacemaker Award Winner

Author GP HUTCHINSON - 2016 Western Fictioneers Peacemaker Award Winner

The Value of Reader Reviews

Reader Reviews RandomReader reviews–How much do they really matter? Perhaps you’re like me, and you don’t buy anything online without first taking a peek at what customers have to say about the product. Maybe you’re my polar opposite, and if something online looks good to you, you go for it. You couldn’t care less what anybody else thinks of the item. It would be interesting to compare product satisfaction levels–and number of returns–with and without having taken a look at reviews before making the purchase.

A Different Use for Reader Reviews

As a writer, I read reviews all the time. Not just people’s reviews of Continue reading

First Draft of Strong Suspicions Is Finished!

Texas Ranger BadgeOne year to the day after finishing the first draft of my novel Strong Convictions: An Emmett Strong Western, I’m thrilled to announce that I’ve just completed the first draft of Emmett Strong Western #2–Strong Suspicions! Hoo-wee!

In the second story, Emmett and his compadres attempt to settle down into normal life once again back home in Texas. But some crafty outlaws take advantage of a run-in Emmett and his friends had with an abusive saloon owner on the way home, and they manage to convince some pretty influential people that Emmett, Juanito, and Sikes have just pulled off a nasty crime. Continue reading

A Western in Thirty Days?

Write a Western CoverI just finished reading a book called Write a Western in 3o Days: With Plenty of Bullet Points (love the subtitle) by Nik Morton. I didn’t buy and read the book to determine whether I could write a Western in thirty days–I’ve already done that. Instead, I bought it to find out what pointers the author might offer for writing a better Western. Meanwhile, in the process of reading the book, I’ve been prompted to sit down to answer a few questions that people often ask me about writing and publishing novels in general and Westerns in particular.

How Long Does It Take to Write a Novel?

Great question! It warrants a little clarification, though. Continue reading

Strong Convictions Wins National Award

Strong Convictions Wins National Award!


NIEA Winner Seal Hi-ResGreenville, SC, USA — The 9th Annual 2015 National Indie Excellence® Awards recognized Strong Convictions: An Emmett Strong Western by GP Hutchinson in the category of Westerns as a winner in this year’s competition.

This prestigious national award, based in Beverly Hills, California is open to all English language books in print from small, medium, university, self and independent publishers.

The National Indie Excellence® Awards exist to help establish independent publishing as a strong and proud facet of the publishing industry. Recognizing authors that put their heart and soul into their work, the National Indie Excellence® Awards is proud to be a champion of self-publishers and small and independent presses that go the extra mile to produce books of excellence in every aspect. Awarded since 2007, the National Indie Excellence® Awards competition is judged by independent experts from all aspects of the indie book industry, including publishers, writers, editors, book cover designers and professional copywriters.

Book Signing Joe's Place 2

Award-winning author GP Hutchinson autographs copies of Strong Convictions at a book-signing event.

Winners and finalists are determined based on overall excellence of presentation in addition to the writing. Strong Convictions: An Emmett Strong Western is a classic-style Western in which Texas Ranger Emmett Strong must overcome his reluctance to draw his six-gun if he is to avenge his brother’s death at the hands of a mad gunslinger and rescue his forbidden love interest.

“We are proud to announce the winners & finalists whose books truly embody the excellence that this award was created to celebrate, and we salute you all for your fine work,” said National Indie Excellence® Awards Award President & CEO, Ellen Reid.

Authors Read From Their Works

Chicora Alley Reading 1

GP Hutchinson reading from his novel Strong Convictions

Ten local authors read from their works on Open-Mic Night at Chicora Alley in downtown Greenville, South Carolina, tonight. The lead-off reader/writer in the event was GP Hutchinson, author of Strong Convictions: An Emmett Strong Western. Students from the highly competitive South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts, as well as several seasoned poets read their compositions during the remaining nine time allocations.

Emrys Board President Anna K. Freeland served as the event host. With her warm personality and humor-laced comments and directions, Ms. Freeland introduced each reader and set the stage for a relaxed and enjoyable occasion. All ten authors were very well received by the eager listening audience. Their works ranged from the excerpt from Hutchinson’s novel to autobiographical poetry to an essay. The readings included comedy, satire, and sobering psychological and sociological commentary. Some authors read from unpublished work, while others read from works available for purchase.

Following the readings, authors and audience enjoyed the opportunity to meet one another, to renew acquaintances, and to discuss the pieces that were read, as well as works in progress.

The next Emrys Open-Mic Night will take place the second Tuesday night in August.

Writing Westerns: Authenticity or License?

Riders of the Purple Sage

“ZG Riders of the Purple Sage Cover” by Source (WP:NFCC#4). Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia

The debate continues–when writing Westerns, should authors aim doggedly for maximum authenticity, or can they lapse freely into artistic license? Should Westerns be classified as historical fiction, or are they merely inventive yarns–mysteries, romances, and action stories–that just happen to be dressed up in hats, boots, and spurs?

The Western Authors and Readers Group on recently took up this topic, and it really started me thinking.

Historically Speaking

From the days of James Fenimore Cooper’s The Last of the Mohicans through Dime Novelthe era of the Western dime novels, exaggeration was accepted and even expected in American Westerns. Readers eagerly devoured such exaggerations. Perhaps they knew no better; perhaps they simply like the West they read about in fiction better than the West they knew from experience.

But not everyone was happy with the artistic license exercised by popular Western authors. The legendary Zane Grey–who, by virtue of his popular appeal, was one of the first authors to attain millionaire status–was troubled to no end by critics’ accusations that his works took unacceptable liberties regarding the realities of life in the Old West.

And Along Came Hollywood Continue reading

Authors Who Have Inspired Me

Like any writer, I owe an awful lot to authors who have inspired me. My stories–and your enjoyment of them–would not be the same without those who have gone before me and made a favorable impression upon me in terms of style, dialogue, language usage, and so much more.

So who are some of these inspirational forerunners and peers? And what has each contributed to the fiction that GP Hutchinson produces? In the scope of a post like this, I can’t list them all, but I’d love to share the top few. Continue reading