What are the triumphs and trials of writing a series?
I like the way a series allows the characters to evolve over a longer period of time. I’ve always enjoyed thinking in the long run and planting seeds of plot developments that won’t grow into anything for several books down the line. Obviously, these plans can change over time, too, as the characters do, but when I start a series I have a general idea of what happens not only in the first book but in later books as well. The difficulty in writing a series is in not repeating yourself but coming up with fresh ideas instead. Of course, that’s true of non-series books as well, but I think it’s an easier trap to fall into when you’re writing a series.
Why do you write westerns?
Although I’ve always read and enjoyed Westerns, I didn’t set out to be a Western writer. My goal was to write mysteries, and I was somewhat successful at that. But I also didn’t want to tie myself down to one genre, so when an editor asked me to write a Western, I jumped at the chance and found out that I was good at it and enjoyed it. Since then I’ve written more Westerns than anything else, although I’ve turned out quite a few books in other genres, and as long as the opportunity is there I’ll continue to write Westerns because I love them. Simple as that.