bladen_coleRiding with Bladen Cole in this, the first book of my new series, takes me back to the mountains and high plains of Montana where I rode when I was a boy. For this bounty hunter, the year is 1879, and for me, it was somewhat more recent, but we both rode under the Big Sky in that time of year when the leaves on the cottonwoods have turned golden and are beginning to fall. Each year, as the sun begins to spend its whole day close to the horizon, and the first few flakes of snow become the promise of winter fulfilled, there comes that time of quiet loneliness as you ride on limitless plains under that limitless sky.

For me, as it is for Bladen Cole, the openness of the country becomes a vehicle for pondering. Whether your vehicle is a saddlehorse – such as Cole’s trusty unnamed roan – or one with a motor – and a heater – the lonely infinity allows plenty of space for pondering and for figuring out.

For this bounty hunter, the pondering time is filled with figuring out that the only way justice can really be done is for the outlaws he is chasing to be brought back alive to point their fingers at the man who hired them — and him.  For a modern man, this author, the pondering time might mean the figuring out of how a character fits into that landscape. The object of the author’s contemplation merges with that of his characters.

The relationship between an author and his characters is a close, though for me it is not so much a situation where the author becomes the character, but one in which the characters become houseguests in my mind. I suppose that it is different for all authors, but for me, I find myself not so much writing the dialogue, but taking dictation from these people who are temporary boarders in my head. They tell me what it is that they want, and need, to say.

So, as this author does his pondering within a cocoon of loneliness, I am gradually surrounded by a small crowd people. Generally ignoring me, other than to be certain that I am hearing what they say, they communicate, argue, compromise, and conspire against one another.

Yet it is the landscape, either real or made real with words — and regardless of the color, or even the presence, of the leaves on the cottonwoods — that facilitates the dialogue and drives the action which inspires, perplexes and carries the people who live within it to their fates.


7 Comments

  1. Anna Bolos
    Posted April 3, 2013 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    It was a great book! Loved the strong female characters and the twist and turns in the plot. Cant wait for part 2!

  2. Bill Yenne
    Posted July 8, 2013 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    Spring has come to the high country of Montana. Yes, I know that this is an odd – nay, jarring – statement to be making in the upslope of July, but Logan Pass on the Going-to-the-Sun Road through the Rockies only just opened a week or so ago. The snow has largely been erased from the ground that Bladen rode back in 1879, but not entirely.
    So many cycles of years have passed since he passed through.

    If I hadn’t been on the road myself – not on a roan as Bladen Cole was in that winter long ago, but in a more modern conveyance – I would have made note of the pass opening when it happened.

    Thanks to you Anna Bolos for your comments about Bladen’s story. I am glad that you liked my painting of the portraits of the two female leads. A lot of women have said that. I suppose it is probably true that they shine more brightly by comparison to the diabolical nature of the male villains. Is there anything good that can be said about “good-for-nothing” Jimmy Goode?

    Anna Bolos mentions a book two, a further adventures of Bladen Cole, if you will. A lot of people keep asking me this.

    I’m pleased to tell you that he WILL be riding back this coming winter. For those of you who read BLADEN COLE BOUNTY HUNTER, I will go as far as to say that his obsession with the Rat-Faced Man who shot and killed his brother down in Silver City will be a driving force, but more in what Bladen is hoping to avoid, than in what he will be seeking. But sometimes… well… I will say no more.

    For those who have not yet read BLADEN COLE BOUNTY HUNTER, now’s the time to add him to your summer reading list.

    Happy Trails.

    Bill Yenne

  3. Norm Schuller
    Posted July 13, 2013 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    What a read – I enjoyed the Montana backdrop and the adventures of Bladen Cole! Looking forward to the continuing saga of the bounty hunter.

    The author did a great job of creating suspense and captured the history of this period of Montana.

  4. Posted July 17, 2013 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Norm. In both books, I put Bladen into a landscape where I have spent time, and used vintage maps – uncontaminated with interstates and such – to follow his trail. In the first book, I had an 1879 map of Montana Territory at my elbow, and traced his progress with that. I know how these places look from ground level as I have been there, as have you and many of the folks who have written to me about this story.

    Jerry Puffer at KSEN AM Radio in Shelby, Montana (near where Bladen passed) has similar comments on his blog, which you might want to check out.

    Amazingly (or not), once you take two steps off the road, much of this country, the mountains and the cottonwoods and all, looks no different now than it did back then.

  5. JR Hubbard
    Posted August 12, 2013 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    Great book! I’ve been a Yenne fan for years and it’s exciting to have another book that I can fall in love with. The detailed descriptions define the era when the story takes place. I love the characters and the story! Another winner!!

  6. Bill Yenne
    Posted November 3, 2013 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    BLADEN COLE RIDES AGAIN!
    The Bounty Hunter is back!

    The opening pages of my second book in the series find him trailing a pair of fugitives south from Durango, Colorado and across the New Mexico line. After what happened all those years ago down in Silver City, you would have been right to say that old Bladen would not be likely to ride south of the New Mexico line. Too many memories. Too many demons.

    You would have been right to say that old Bladen would not be likely to linger long south of the New Mexico line . . . until you see him being offered an offer he cannot refuse.

    Once again, Bladen Cole is on the trail in New Mexico Territory, riding into a world inhabited by men whose life is driven by the fire of greed. In this world, the hotter the fire burns, the more likely it is to consume the finer qualities of rational thought, and to tip the greedy toward the cauldron of madness.

    Saddle up and join Bladen and I on this lonely trail.

  7. Bill Yenne
    Posted November 3, 2013 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    and here is the publisher’s page for the new Bladen Cole book:

    http://www.us.penguingroup.com/nf/Book/BookDisplay/0,,9780425250761,00.html?The_Fire_of_Greed_Bill_Yenne

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