I’ll be published soon in nonfiction

Exciting news: I’ve been contracted to write a Story Grid Masterworks Edition in–of all things!–the Western genre.

One of Shawn Coyne’s most powerful Story Grid tools is his study guide to the Love Story genre, in the form of an annotated Pride and PrejudiceIt was instrumental to me in completing Restraint.

ebook edition of Shawn Coyne's Story Grid Edition of Pride and Prejudice on a tablet

As a Certified Story Grid  Editor, part of my new job is to help fill out the library of masterworks in other genres. I agreed to write an analysis of the classic 1968 Western novel True Grit, by Charles Portis.

I chose the Western genre not because I’m a huge fan (I’m not), but because I have a unique bona fide in the genre: I’m a main character in a Western novel myself!

My friend Greg Hatcher has written Silver Riders, a “weird Western” (yes, it’s a category), a supernatural tale set in the Old West, with a classic Western theme of vengeance. It’s coming soon from Airship 27.

(I am not a lady doctor, but I play one in this novel.)

Pen and ink illustration of a 19th century woman doctor, by Chris Kohler
One of Chris Kohler’s amazing ink illustrations for Silver Riders

The Western genre has produced zillions of movies and novels in its own right (so it’s a lot of fun to study), but it’s also a mashup of other genres–crime, adventure, morality, status and society. A novelist can learn a lot about good storytelling from the Western.

It’s an American form, too, highly specific to a particular landscape and a particular moment in history. And to my surprise, it’s still very much alive and kicking.

The Story Grid Masterworks Study Guide to True Grit, by Anne Hawley, edited by Shawn Coyne, will come out in the first half of 2018.

Now I’d better get to work.