Author GP HUTCHINSON

2016 Western Fictioneers Peacemaker Award Winner

Author GP HUTCHINSON - 2016 Western Fictioneers Peacemaker Award Winner

Readers Excited About Return of Emmett Strong

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The return of Old West hero Emmett Strong is drawing enthusiastic reviews from first readers of Strong Suspicions (Emmett Strong Western #2).

Look for it in paperback and Kindle editions around March 1, 2016!

In Strong Suspicions, Texas Ranger Emmett Strong is back in the saddle, returning home to San Antonio with the girl he longs to marry. But finding someone to tie the knot for them is proving to be a challenge, owing to the fact that she’s the daughter of Chinese immigrants. Along the way, there’s a ruckus in El Paso’s Wild Hog Saloon, and by noon the next day, folks are convinced that it was Emmett and his compadres who robbed the saloon owner and beat him unconscious. Meanwhile, a bested enemy, set on revenge, hires the notorious fast gun “Three Finger” Ned Cage to dispatch Strong, his amigos, and even his girl.

Emmett’s not one to go looking for trouble, but trouble’s come calling on him–by the spadeful. Question is, can Emmett deal with all the danger before it puts him under?

Haven’t yet read the first Emmett Strong Western, Strong Convictions? Grab it while you can before the sequel comes out!

The American Cowboy: Two Different Pedigrees

I’m painting with a broad brush today as I share these fun facts about the cowboy of the 19th century American West, but did you know that, in the heyday of cowboys and cattle drives, two distinct cattle culture traditions developed side by side?

"HerdQuit" by Charles Marion Russell - Uploader took photo at museum. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons - Wikimedia.org

“HerdQuit” by Charles Marion Russell – Licensed under Public Domain via Commons – Wikimedia.org

There were the cowboys of Texas heritage, of course, many of whom were unemployed Civil War veterans who heard that there was lots of free beef on the hoof down in the Lone Star state and a huge demand for it on the depleted tables to the north and east. Then there were the buckaroos who came up via the California vaquero tradition. Continue reading

Music: Not Exactly My Muse, But Still…

Music Staff 1With my busy schedule, I can’t afford to wait for my muse to move me before putting words on paper (or text on screen). I’ve got to snatch up every hour I can find and make the best of it. So how do I transition quickly from mundane, sometimes mind-draining tasks directly into writing? Well, two things that help are my earbuds and the right music.

When I first started writing, I feared that music would distract me too much from thinking about what needed to happen next in the story. I was especially concerned that anything with lyrics would seriously interfere with making the best word choices.

Then I read Write. Publish. Repeat., an outstanding how-to volume by Sean Platt and Johnny B. Truant. I can’t remember which of the two mentioned it, but one of them talked about turning out massive word counts while listening to some seriously raucous, lyric-laden tunes. Since then, I’ve come across several other big-name authors who relate that they, too, do their best writing while headphones pump one variety or another of music into their ears and brains. I thought, If it works for big-leaguers like them…

Wow! Was I surprised! Not only did the music help drown out the real world around me, but it also helped me enter into the universe of my story—far better than I’d ever imagined it would. Even songs with lyrics are fine, having little negative effect on my concentration and creativity. It’s gotten to where I usually prefer to write with music playing, and about the only time I don’t listen to music while writing is when, for some specific reason, I don’t want to completely shut out my wife, daughter, or dog.

Old West Costume Hat Miller HatsOf course, choosing the right music is a huge factor. Not every tune needs to be Western in flavor when I’m working on Westerns, but certain melodies have the remarkable power to fire up the creative juices time and time again–almost every time I hear them.

My favorite playlist for working on Westerns includes tunes by Calexico such as Minas de Cobre and Tres Avisos. I also like Theme of the Glowing Amigo by Diego’s Umbrella, Buried West by The Inner banks, and a number of Western movie themes. Scores from The Magnificent Seven, El Condor, and the old TV series The Virginian come to mind.

What works for one author may not work for another. And the same thing doesn’t necessarily work every single time. But when this writer wants to make some serious progress on crafting a story, the right music is often as helpful as anything for making the jump from the ordinary, everyday world around us into the world of my created characters.

Audible Version of “Strong Convictions” Now Available

Audible Version of Strong Convictions Is Here

StrongConvictions_AudibleDo you prefer hearing a story over reading one? Do you anticipate a long trip soon–a trip that would be a whole lot more enjoyable if you could pass the time listening to a gripping story as you travel? If so, you just may be interested to know that Strong Convictions: An Emmett Strong Western is now available in audio book format.

The Narrator

The Audible version of Strong Convictions is narrated by talented voice actor Alex Zonn. Alex’s voice evokes images of the old-time tradition of storytelling beside a snapping campfire. You’ll imagine yourself beneath a crystal clear nighttime sky somewhere out in the broad expanses of the American West. Before you know it, Alex will transport you back to 1881, to the world of Texas Ranger Emmett Strong. Alex has recorded for the reader the entire award-winning novel, unabridged–so you won’t miss a single captivating scene.

Audible books can be listened to on a broad spectrum of devices from smartphones to tablets to smart TVs. (TV listening may require Amazon Fire, Chromecast, or Roku-type devices.)

Special Offer

From the date of this post, the first 25 NEW subscribers to gphutchinson.com will receive a FREE copy of the Audible version of Strong Convictions (a $21.83 value). So hurry and sign up using the pop-up before the 25 free copies are gone!

Book Trailers: Do They Work?

Book trailers–do they work? What do you think of the images? The music? The text? Do they generate interest in reading the book? Does a trailer like this need audible narration?  I’d appreciate knowing what you think. So feel free to use the comments box to give your feedback.

Typically, a book trailer is not exactly a movie clip dramatization of a scene from an original novel. It would be incredibly difficult to obtain stock photos that precisely fit the original characters from a particular book. And production costs for a trailer featuring actors who accurately portray the actual characters of the story could become prohibitively expensive in no time.

Any IDEAS?

Should authors and publishers even bother with book trailers? Or do book trailers have their place in helping readers and writers connect? We authors value input from our readers, so reach out and let me know what you think about this trailer or about book trailers in general. Thank you!

Something NEW

Just out–the audio book version of Strong Convictions!

Cover Reveal: Strong Suspicions, Emmett Strong Western #2

One of the most exciting milestones along the road to releasing a new novel is the day an author gets to unveil the cover art for the new title. It’s a day of celebration. The upcoming release is a very real thing–it’s a complete story, approaching it’s final, ready-for-publication form. And the author can hardly wait to get it out to the reading public.

Cover Reveal: Strong Suspicions

StrongSuspicions_CVR_No_RivetAnd so it is that I’m thrilled to be able to show you the cover for Strong Suspicions, the second novel in my Emmett Strong series of Westerns. I’m extremely pleased with what cover artist Steven Novak has come up with, and I’m tremendously grateful to Karla VanHorne of Purdy Gear Custom Leather Goods for permission to use the image of another of her museum-quality gun rigs on the cover. The cover of each installment of the Emmett Strong series is truly unique, not simply the insertion of a stock photo into a cover template.

Strong Convictions, the debut novel in the Emmett Strong series, is doing very well. After winning the National Indie Excellence Award for Best Western of 2015, the novel has recently ranked as high as #3 among classic-style Westerns in Amazon.com’s Kindle Store, and is drawing very favorable reader reviews. Almost daily, I hear from readers who are looking forward to the sequel. What a delight to know that folks are really enjoying the story! Continue reading

Political Correctness and Westerns (Part 1)

What do they say? Perception is reality? Well perception certainly helps create some realities.

Blazing Saddles Poster

Movie poster for the American theatrical release of the 1974 film Blazing Saddles. The poster art copyright is believed to belong to the distributor of the film, Warner Bros., the publisher of the film or the graphic artist. (Wikipedia)

I cringe (for more than one reason) when I think of Mel Brooks’s 1974 movie Blazing Saddles. It fostered a perception about Westerns that, according to some, brought about the demise of the genre.

The perception? That Westerns are racist and sexist. True or not, it’s an opinion that a sizable segment of society seems to hold. But does this perception match reality?

It would appear that political correctness prompts a good number of potential readers to steer clear of Westerns without ever giving them a chance. I, for one, believe the loss is theirs. And it’s sad. A lot of folks are missing out on some very captivating stories–tales that not only entertain, but that also provoke deep thought about a lot of meaningful issues.

So let’s examine political correctness and the Western genre of fiction and film. Continue reading

Five Things That Make Westerns Cool

On the Trail Bill Gracey

“On the Trail” Flickr Photo by Bill Gracey

Perhaps our memories are short and we’ve forgotten just how utterly enjoyable a good Western movie or book can be. Or maybe some of us have never been exposed to Westerns. Either our families never introduced us to the wonderful world of the Old American West or our nascent curiosity about this golden era and this captivating literary and cinematographic genre was prematurely snuffed out when the moguls of cool decided some time ago that Westerns didn’t pass their litmus test. Well let them scurry off to another round of Grey Goose martinis while you and I go have some serious fun. Open your eyes and ears, my friends. Westerns are exceedingly cool, and here are five of the many reasons why. Continue reading

Updating the Packaging

A New Look on Social Media for Author GP Hutchinson

As almost all of my writing during the past year has focused on the Old West, and as I look forward to developing many more characters and stories from that colorful era and that broad stage, I’ve decided it’s time to change the packaging Facebook Logoon my internet presence.

The new header and new tagline now appear here on my author website, plus on my Facebook and Twitter pages.

Why the Change?

When I was transitioning from writing a modern thriller set in Japan to writing my first Western, it made sense to use the tag, “Where East Meets West for Adventure and Suspense.” But as more and more readers are coming to associate my name with the Western genre Continue reading