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Wednesday, December 8, 2010
PLEASE WELCOME, OSCAR WILLIAM CASE!
YES, OUR OSCAR!
Girls, we’ve seen our sometimes quiet, sometimes trouble-instigating, and always funny Oscar here making comments that make us laugh; never knowing who he really was! Well I’m here to OUT HIM today! Oscar is an accomplished author of several books and we’re going to talk about his western books today.
Howdy, ladies. Come in, come on in and make yerselves comfortable. I’d offer you a shot of tequila or some swoggle juice, but being a teetotaler, I can only provide you with a shot of water.
You’re an American author with eight western books under your belt and several are published. Your first being,
The stranger from The Valley. An interesting novel about a hero named Chappie Wesford. A Marshal, who is assigned to carry out an untypical mission in a town called Altaveel. While there he falls for a Widow named Bigknife, who is shunned by the locals. Conflict comes when the wealthiest and most powerful family in Altaveel; The Henberrys, eldest son Milt thinks Wesford is there to take over their family business and is showing interest in the woman Bigknife, who Milt is enamored with. He and Oakley Henberry try to kill Wesford.
The second being
The Upamona Gold Claim Wrangle and your latest release being an exciting Western Titled Blood and Blazes in Upamona , a sequel to the Gold Claim Wrangle.
In this tale, Slim Sanglant returns to Upamona from prison seeking vengeance on those who sent him there, and Sheriff Red Skene is on his trail. There’s a killing, houses and a barn set on fire, and people missing before Red can get to the bottom of it with the help of his deputy, Bushy Carlsen. While Red is looking for the killer and arsonist, his wife is thinking about someone else and having serious doubts about their marriage. Everything is resolved in a surprise twist at the end.
Name five things that fascinated you about the West that sparked your desire to write westerns.
I would be hard pressed to name five things that sparked my desire to write westerns, but maybe two or three will be sufficient if I play my cards right. One of the things, although not the main reason, was that I had an Uncle Oscar Beebe, who was a deputy in Price, Utah, and he was awarded a rifle for his part in rounding up some of the Butch Cassidy gang back when. The main reason may be Zane Grey’s Riders of the Purple Sage, which my Mother used to read with me on her lap. We never finished the book, but she encouraged me, and in elementary school I wrote a short story about Jim Hatfield of the Texas Rangers, a pulp hero from one of the pulps my older brother dragged home. The story was probably about five or six sentences long, but my mother thought it was a dandy. Later, when I finished with the family history and genealogy stuff, I turned to Westerns asa natural thing to do. My only regret is that I should have started sooner, say forty or fifty years.
What insight can you provide to the up and coming writer when it comes to options of publishing one’s book; is it best to do print publishing or go E-publishing these days?
In my limited experience, most publishers these days provide both print and electronic publishing it seems. If a person wants a print book only, he may want to try the traditional route. A book by a traditional publisher gives a writer acceptance or standing in the community, or at least it used to compared to self-publishing. I have several rejections from agents and publishers and decided that it takes too much time at my age to wait around for up to a year for maybe another rejection and went the “self-publishing” way. In addition to print, iuniverse (one of many) provides e-publishing for each of my novels, the latest one is available on Kindle. E-publishing is the way to go if you don’t care about having a book inprint.
Do you think there would be less violence today, if everyone wore a gun on their hip, like they did back in the western days?
Not in the least. Arizona is an open carry State, and you can go about anywhere with a gun strapped to your hip, but I don’t think it has had any effect on the violence or crime. The trouble makers are going to cause trouble no matter what, criminals have to do what they do for one reason or another, and there are shootings, knifings, killings about every day here in metro Phoenix.
What’s your opinion on self-publishing?
There is “self-publishing” and then there is “self-publishing.” What I do is called “self-publishing” since I do all the proofing, editing, correcting, and some formatting and iuniverse prints it for a fee (vanity press, to some). I have known of only one real self-publisher, that is, he does everything required to put out a print book, but he said it cost him around $15,000, and then he does all the advertising, etc., to sell it. Most writers can’t afford that price, so we go the other routes.
How would you compare today with the western world; what are the things that haven’t changed?
Hmm, this is a toughie. In my opinion, not much has changed except the modern conveniences. We still have shoot-outs, bank robberies, holdups, etc., but the culprits get away faster. We don’t have too many lynching’s anymore, unless through a public trial, not like in the old West where horse and cattle thieves were strung up or shot with no lawyer present and no trial. Taking the law into your own hands is supposedly forbidden these days.
What is the most important thing a young writer should watch out for when getting into this business?
Make sure the business is legitimate and stick to normal writing. Most people read for entertainment, and complicating things by using obscure words and phrases or a far out writing style doesn’t sell too well from what I’ve read and heard. Make sure you can write a complete and legible sentence.
What’s your take on writer groups or chapters? Do they really help a writer?
I belong to one group only, the Arizona Authors Association, and find it helpful by providing classes and info on upcoming events. They also provide critique groups, but I haven’t got into that yet.
It’s obvious you love the Wild West Days…so if you could go back in time who would you want to be, and why?
Having given this extreme thought, I would like to have been Doc Halliday, I think. He was fast with a gun, a great gambler, knew horses, and loved the “girls.” But he also had consumption and died at the ripe old age of 36, from natural causes (TB), not from lead poisoning.
Wow, I didn’t know that. Very interesting.
Girls, Oscar has been kind enough to offer a free give-away of his newest release Blood and Blazes in Upamona.
So, we’re going to play a little game; unscramble these letters to make the title of one of his books below. Then your name will go into the hat and next Wednesday I’ll announce the winner!
The Bloody Gulch.
Trouble At the Sagrado Ranch
The Long Time Posse
Up The Arkansas
Reluctant Deputy Tom Anderson
Back in September of 2005, on the first day of school, Martha Cothren, a social studies school teacher at Robinson High School in Little Rock, did something not to be forgotten.
On the first day of school, with the permission of the school superintendent, the principal and the building supervisor, she removed all of the desks out of her classroom. When the first period kids entered the room they discovered that there were no desks.
Ms. Cothren, where're our desks?'
She replied, 'You can't have a desk until you tell me how you earn the right to sit at a desk.'
They thought, 'Well, maybe it's our grades.'
'No,' she said.
'Maybe it's our behavior.'
She told them, 'No, it's not even your behavior.'
And so, they came and went, the first period, second period, third period. Still no desks in the classroom.
By early afternoon television news crews had started gathering in Ms. Cothren's classroom to report about this crazy teacher who had taken all the desks out of her room. The final period of the day came and as the puzzled students found seats on the floor of the deskless classroom.
Martha Cothren said, 'Throughout the day no one has been able to tell me just what he or she has done to earn the right to sit at the desks that are ordinarily found in this classroom. Now I am going to show you.'
At this point, Martha Cothren went over to the door of her classroom and opened it. Twenty-seven U.S. Veterans, all in uniforms, walked into that classroom, each one carrying a school desk. The Vets began placing the school desks in rows, and then they would walk over and stand alongside the wall. By the time the last soldier had set the final desk in place those kids started to understand, perhaps for the first time in their lives, just how the right to sit at those desks had been earned.
Martha said, 'You didn't earn the right to sit at these desks. These heroes did it for you. They placed the desks here for you. Now, it's up to you to sit in them. It is your responsibility to learn, to be good students, to be good citizens. They paid the price so that you could have the freedom to get an education. Don't ever forget it.'
By the way, this is a true story. And this teacher was awarded Teacher of the Year for the state of Arkansas in 2006.
Please consider telling others about this message...tell them to come here to read and ponder then pass along, so none of us will ever forget that the freedoms we have in this great country were earned by U. S. Veterans.
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