Some Brief Thoughts on the Western Genre

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In the book world, I wonder where westerns stand. Several decades (and more) ago, they were rather popular, I think. Two of my favorite western authors are Louis L’Amour and Zane Gray.  Today, however, I wonder if westerns are not quite as popular. Don’t get me wrong. There are still great authors publishing western novels today (Larry McMurtry, Mike Blakely, and Cormic McCarthy, to name a few).  But I wonder where the western genre status is. Do many people still read western novels?  Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think science fiction and fantasy have become the popular choice while westerns have dropped to somewhere near the bottom. And if this is the case, I wonder what it does for someone like me who’s first novel they’re writing is a western.

But whatever. Cowboys are tough. They won’t die. And neither will their stories. The Cowboy sparks something deep inside me. Something barely tangible. There’s a spirit about them makes me stand tall, keeps me fighting when I’m ready to sell my saddle, hang up my spurs and write something more “popular.”

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