Sunday, July 11, 2010

CREATING 'COWBOY FOR A RAINY AFTERNOON'

STEPHEN BLY

I'm sittin' here in my office, about to shut down the computer and head to bed. I'm looking at a copy of my new book, Cowboy for a Rainy Afternoon. It's such a treasure to me. 

Over the past twenty or so years, I've written dozens of novels. I love them all . . . and especially the characters I've been able to create. They are like family to me. I learned early in my writing career, never waste my time writing a book no one wants to read. In practical terms, that means I never write the whole book until I have a contract for it. That has always been my philosophy. A couple samples chapters perhaps . . . then find a publisher . . .then write the book. That's the way I did it with Stuart Brannon, Nathan Riggins, Tap Andrews . . . and Paul James Watson (Paperback Writer.) Much of that last book is autobiographical, but I wouldn't write it until Broadman & Holman (B&H) sent the contract. 

Ah, but then there's Cowboy for a Rainy Afternoon. In the midst of writing The Horse Dreams Series . . . in the middle of the hassle with Brooks & Dunn concerning One Step Over the Border . . . in the middle of developing the character of Avery John Creede . . . I would sneak up to the bunkhouse and write another chapter of Cowboy for a Rainy Afternoon. No contract. No commitment to publish. I knew it might never come out in print. I didn't care. It was me. It is the closest story to my heart I've ever written. 

There is no driving plot . Oh, but there are so many wonderful stories. This is the book that I got to write not to please the publisher. . .nor the editor. . .nor my Janet. . .nor any of my wonderful fans. It is not by accident that Little Brother is 10 years old in 1954. So was I.

This novel's my treasure. My story. In this one you look into the heart and soul of the writer. 

It's a little intimidating to open myself up and tell you all this. After all, you might not like it all that much. Hmmm. I can handle that. After all. . .I wrote it just for me.

Cowboy for a Rainy Afternoon (Center Point Premier Western (Large Print)) 



1 comment:

Jan said...

Hi Steven, love your books. My favorite is Paperback Writer, then The Final Chapter of Chance McCall.

In this post you said, "I never write the whole book until I have a contract for it. That has always been my philosophy. A couple samples chapters perhaps . . . then find a publisher . . .then write the book."

Is that the way you've done things from the start, or are you able to do this now because you have had so many books published?

(I hate wasting my time, too!)