My husband and I live at the base of Mingus Mountain, home to the historic copper mining camp known as Jerome, Arizona. About fifteen years ago, my fellow writers and our friends, Stephen and Janet Bly, along with their son Aaron, came for a visit. Actually, our house served as home base during their research trip for Stephen and Janet’s contemporary novel Copper Hill in their Hidden West Series.
Some of our favorite moments during that visit included our times camped out in lawn chairs in our driveway. Under the stars, our cowboy buddy regaled us with tales of the Wild West, Idaho stories, and his ideas for books to come. We were already fans of Stephen Bly’s Stuart Brannon stories. And on those evenings chewing the fat under a moonlit sky, it felt as if we could’ve been sittin’ on the porch at Broken Arrow Crossing with Stuart Brannon.
Endearing and enduring memories of a man who understood the importance of history and the value of preserving it.
Yes, history matters. Stephen Bly and his wife, Janet, are an indelible part of my history as a writer, and as a reader of western fiction.
I don’t consider myself a historian by any stretch of the imagination. Instead I am a writer of historical fiction, inspired by a master of the craft. I enjoy doing the research involved in delivering a compelling story steeped in history. Like Stephen Bly did for me in his westerns. Whether historical or contemporary, Stephen’s stories were rich in human history and man’s history with God.
Stephen rode off ahead of us this month. I’m sure the sound of his Father’s voice on the mountaintop in Idaho sounded mighty sweet, calling him home. We’ll surely miss Stephen here.
His latest novel, Throw the Devil off the Train, is my next read. You can check out all of Stephen and Janet’s books at http://www.blybooks.com/store.htm