June 20, 2011

History Matters

By Mona Hodgson

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


Caroline said...

The Bly westerns were some of the first books I allowed my boys to read. Thanks for the great post. Arizona is one of my fav states!


Mona Hodgson said...

Hi Caroline,
Thanks for reading.

Trinity Rose said...

Thank you so much Mona for posting this story. Stephen was one of my favorites and even though I've never met him or Janet, I really love them a lot. The Hidden West series is my favorite of theirs. He is greatly missed.
Trinity Rose

Mona Hodgson said...

Thanks for reading my post and leaving a comment.

csthankful said...

Thanks Mona for your special blog about Steve and Janet. Janet is my sister and Steve has been family for most of my life. I loved his books, his love for my sister, and most of all his ability to have God first in ALL things of his life. YEs, when God called to him, Steve answered and we will see him when God calls us too. PTL!

For His Glory said...

i've enjoyed stephen bly's books for a number of years and have added many to my collection. i had recently ordered, received and read "Throw the Devil off the Train" and am glad to have received it (and with an autograph). that cowboy hat signature was so "cool" to me :)

It saddens me to realize his writing for us is over, i'll miss that, but know that, to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord for those who belong to Him.

thanks for your kind post, and though i haven't met him or his family on this side of heaven, i've enjoyed getting to know them through their website, blog & books.

Mona Hodgson said...

Hi CS,
Thanks for reading my post, and thanks for your comments. Nice to meet Janet's sister here. She's a sweetie.

Mona Hodgson said...

Hi, For His Glory!
Thanks for reading the Bustles and Spurs Blog, and Stephen and Janet's books. We will indeed miss him here.

Janet Bly said...

Mona: Thank you so much for this delightful tribute...and enjoyed all the posts. We appreciated so much your hospitality to us during those Hidden West Series research days. Blessings to you,