Sunday, February 21, 2010

CREEDE OF OLD MONTANA - Stephen Bly - Free Book

Always good to have you with us, Stephen, and I love westerns. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.

I try to make them as different from me as possible. But that is impossible for any writer, including myself. Stuart Brannon’s my most well known. He’s become a legend…in my mind and in the minds of my readers. My wife, Janet, claims he’s just like me in so many ways. “After all, look at his initials—same as yours,” she points out.

I sure would like to be like him. He’s my hero. In fact, every novel of mine has some sort of reference to or cameo appearance by Stuart Brannon. Some have told me they think that all my fiction, whether historical or contemporary, is one huge revolving series...because of the inter-relation of the characters.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?

Well, don’t know if this is the quirkiest, but it rates as one of them…I don’t like writing about a place I’ve never been. That means loading my truck to cruise up and down most every road in the eleven western states. I’ve spent much more time on unpaved roads than highways. In fact, asphalt and blacktop bore me. Interstates drone like a prison line because I see nothing but the rig in front of me. One time I flew to downtown New York City to interview an editor recommended to me, surrounded by millions…the next day I was bumping along one of my unpaved roads to the edge of the Grand Canyon, no soul in sight as far as I could see. A sign warned: Don’t travel alone. Carry water. This road not patrolled. All of this helped my research for the Austin-Stoner Files about a NY editor who teams with a rodeo cowboy out west.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?

When I started receiving checks in the mail from magazine editors for my articles and short stories. That was back in 1976, quite some time ago, but I was already married and a father of two young sons. In fact, my wife Janet was responsible for getting those early submissions sent out.

Hooray for Janet! Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.

I like reading all kinds of history book, from any era, any civilization. I’ve always been fascinated with history. When I started writing westerns, I focused my reading on the Old West between 1870 to 1910.

What are you reading right now?

I'm working on three different volumes...Mornings on Horseback by David McCullough (about Teddy Roosevelt), Prescott’s The Conquest of Mexico and The Conquest of Peru, and Tough Towns by Robert Barr Smith

What other books have you written, whether published or not?

Creede of Old Montana is book #101 for me. That’s both fiction and nonfiction for adults, kids & teens. Some of the most recent titles are The Land Tamers (a re-issue of my first western novel with Tyndale), One Step Over The Border by Center Street/Hachette), 3 contemporary novels in The Horse Dreams Series (B&H), Paperback Writer (which received a positive review in Publisher’s Weekly), and 6 books in the Fortunes of the Black Hills Series (western, B&H).

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?

Some pro golfers are grinders…they play one shot at a time. Not all are nice and easy, but they give the next shot every ounce of skill they possess. Head down and focused on the next swing, they look up onlyat the end of the round. My life’s like that. I’m a grinder. Whatever the Lord sets in front of me next to do, I tackle it full steam. I keep my head down and focused on the present. And you know what? I’ve had a pretty good life. Nothing spectacular, but it’s been good.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?

My marriage and partnership with Janet for 46 years, plus the wonderful family the Lord’s given us…three sons, three daughters-in-law, three grandkids.

What is your favorite food?

Steak…the thicker and redder the better. However, my wife has me on a mostly fish and chicken diet right now with lots of fruits and veggies. It’s for my own good, but I sure do hanker for some beef at times.

I'm with you. I eat really healthy, but once in a while, I have to have some steak, medium rare. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?

My main challenge in the beginning was trying to find a publisher who would risk doing westerns. Before my first western was released, the publisher told me upfront that they would not do anymore. So, I shelved the other manuscript I had completed and waited for some sort of opening. Several years later, when Frank Peretti’s first novel became a bestseller, I found out who his publisher was and took my first Stuart Brannon novel out of the drawer. I approached them and they were very open to trying my westerns. I did a lot of fiction for Crossway after that.

What advice would you give to an author just starting out?

Read good writing. Keep writing something every day—in a journal, a story, roughing out an article or book, composing a poem. Attend a writers’ conference where you can take classes and interact with editors, publishers and other writers.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

Discipline. Discipline. Discipline. There’s no boss to make you accountable for daily output. You’ve got to devise and stick with your own schedule.

Oh, yes, the "D" word. I have a love/hate relationship with it. Tell us about the featured book?

Avery John Creede rides to Fort Benton, Montana, in 1860 for a reunion with old army pals. He discovers a running gunfight with a notorious outlaw and two women determined to distract him, each for her own reasons.

The dark haired beauty, Carla Logonaire, is an old flame and the gal of Avery's dreams. Her daddy made his mega-fortune with imported glass and partnered with Theodore Roosevelt, Sr. Avery buys a diamond and sapphire ring for her, just in case.

Meanwhile, he's accosted by Sunny, the caustic mystery blonde in the yellow dress, who threatens him because he jailed her bank robbery friends. She wants him dead. Meanwhile, Avery desires nothing but a little peace and quiet.

But just as things get real hectic, Avery's 15-year-old tenderfoot nephew, Ace, shows up with disturbing news…and Uncle Avery’s got a new responsibility on his hands.

Sounds like a book I'd like to read for sure. Please give us the first page of the book.

No one knew how Avery John Creede got the scar on his face.

No one except Avery and the one who did it. He never talked about it. Most who knew him figured the other person dead. Not the type of scar that makes you wince and turn your head, and never covered by a beard, it hung high on his cheekbone like a badge of honor. But a person had to stand up to Creede and look him in the eye to see the scar. For the past six weeks on the trail north from Shiprock, no one had been that close.

July hot and August dry, the September heat that reflected off the brick wall left Avery with a stale feel, like a sweat drenched cotton shirt, long dried. He studied the wide river from the tiny, two-step balcony of his second-story room at the Grand Hotel. Although he could not see it now, he knew he was positioned under the arched 1881 stone façade high at the building’s peak. Like a pontiff overlooking an empty plaza, he surveyed the near deserted street below.

A lady with a famine-thin waist and a bleached yellow dress spun a parasol over her shoulder as she sauntered past the cottonwoods toward the riverbank. Like bait skimming across a still mountain lake, Avery figured she trolled for some man to set the hook.

A very good hook. How can readers find you on the Internet?

You can order our books through any online bookstore or via our website:

Creede of Old Montana
by Stephen Bly
Center Point Publishing/Thorndike
300 pages, hardback, $29.95

Thank you, Stephen, for this peek into your life.

Readers, Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book.

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 6 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment. Here’s a link.


Merry said...

My husband and I enjoy westerns, please include me in the drawing for Creede of Old Montana, it sounds great. Thanks!


Robyn said...

I'm with Merry. I enjoy westerns, but my husband LOVES them. Hoping to surprise him with a win for him since it sounds like we'd both love Creede of Old Montana. :-)

coolestmommy2000 at gmail dot com

K said...

I really enjoyed the Austin-Stoner Files. I would really like to read Creede of Old Montana! :) Please enter me in the draw! :)

Casey said...

I like Steven Bly and you can't beat a western! Please enter me. :)

rubynreba said...

I haven't read a good western book for a long time. I'd love to read this.

Virginia said...

I really enjoy reading westerns! they are my favorite read! Creede of Old Montana sound wonderful and I would love to read it!


Abi said...

sounds good. Count me in thanks

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

A J Hawke said...

Having read several of Stephen's books, I'm looking forward to Creede of Old Montana
being just as good a read.

Put my name in the pot for a chance to win.

A J Hawke

Simply Stacie said...

Please count me in.

Carly Kendall said...

I think I have tried to win this book somewhere before and I would love another chance. Thank you.

Nancye said...

This sounds like a great book! Thanks for the chance.

nancyecdavis At bellsouth DOT net

Tina Dee Books said...

Loved the interview Lena & Stephen. I'd love a chance to win what sounds like an adventure of a read!


Julia said...

I have heard rave reviews of Stephen & Janet Bly. Please enter me.


Charity said...

Please enter me:) Thanks so much!!


Linda said...

Am so embarrassed, but I've never read a book by Stephen Bly. He's on my long list of TBRs, however. I would love a chance to win a book of his. Please enter me. Thanks.
desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

Esther said...

I love westerns, and Creede of Old Montana sounds awesome! This is one book that I would love a chance to win. Please enter me in the giveaway. Thanks! Esther

kristen said...

I love reading Mr. Bly's books. His stories have a great writing. Thanks for the interview!!
Please enter me:)

Brenda said...

I really enjoy westerns!
dancealert at aol dot com

Anonymous said...

please count me in...thanks :)


Stephen Bly said...

So glad to hear from all of you! With so many entries, we'll be glad to give a couple copies for Lena's drawing. . . .

Debbie Jackson said...

I love westerns too

Wilburta Arrowood said...

It sounds like Stephen Bly has out produced Louis L'Amour in number of books! Quite an accomplishment. I would love to win this latest book.

Anonymous said...

I would love to read this book....please enter me. Thanks!!

Connie Sue said...

Stephen and Janet made a die-hard lover of Christian Western books a long time ago. I didn't think I would like them but boy was I wrong! Steve has a way of making the characters so real youa re sure you know them as best friends. My favorites are the Brazo's family. God has blessed you richly in your writing and ALL you do. Blessings, Connie Sue

Judy said...

WOW, 101 books :) I knew there were a lot but I didnt know that many :) I love the historical aspect of your books and how they never stop moving all the way through them.. I havent seen a new one in a while so I cant wait to read this one :D

Liz said...

I love Stephen Bly's books! Especially the Stuart Brannon series and The Californians series. I think it is so cool that his characters are intertwined in every book he writes! You can't find authors like that anymore! I can't wait to read Creede of Old Montana!

Sandy said...

I think Stephen Bly will be my all time favorite author. I just love his stories. My goal is to find all his books, buy them and read them.

Stephen Bly said...

Those of you who want to be considered in the drawing for one of two books to be given. . .please include some way to contact you at the end of the week. Thanks for all your notes. . .greatly appreciated!

Judy said...

It is always a treat to read that one of my old school mates has written another wonderful book. Look forward to reading more in the future.

Kelly said...

i would love to win this book!

Cameron Tilbury, camerontilbury at yahoo dot com said...

I really enjoy westerns--and they're not easy to find here in the UK. God bless Stephen Bly--and Janet too!
I like where Stephen says he prefers to spend much more time on unpaved roads than highways. I do too...and the folks you run into are much more interesting.
Thanks for the interview.

gahome2mom said...

I would like to read Mr. Bly's latest book. Thanks.



Edna said...

I read my first book by Stephan this past week and it was so good. I would love to win this one.


Anonymous said...

This book really intrigues me and I would love to win it! Please enter my name in your draw. Thanks!

Latina Puebla said...

I've read all of Stephen Bly's books except this one and hope to win it through this blog. He is an awesome writer! Latina Puebla

Anonymous said...

I won this book in Mr. Bly's contest and have read it and shared it with several others. In fact, there is a list with names on it who are waiting! I highly recommend it. This is just as "catching"(speaking of hook) as his other books and I loved it! Great action, and who wins Creede in the end? Kept me guessing!

The Bookworm said...

My hubby enjoys westerns! Thanks so much for offering this giveaway!

Trinity Rose said...

Hello Steve,
You are one of my favorite authors. Love your yahoo group and seeing you on facebook. Would love to win one of your books to add to my collection. Right now I'm reading "The Land Tamers." Another super read.
Trinity Rose aka Wanda

wandaelaine AT gmail DOT com

Stephen Bly said...

I notified Lena that we will be giving away 3 of the Creede of Old Montana hardback books, because of the terrific response to this blog. She'll notify the winners soon by the end of the week, I believe.
On the trail,

Mark said...

We've enjoyed the books that Stephen has written! We have always been Louis L'Amour fans, so having a Christian-view western is fantastic!

IdahoMarla said...

I really have enjoyed the 20 or so Stephen and/or Janet Bly books I have read. I think my favorites are the Austin-Stoner Files ... or whichever one I'm currently reading. Creede of Old Montana sounds interesting!
Please enter my name.

Cindy W. said...

It's been a long time since I have read a western but always loved them when I why haven't I read one lately??? Hmmmm, that's a good question.

Please enter me in your drawing!

Thank you,
Cindy W.


Buukluvr81 said...

Oh! This books sounds great! Westerns are good!

Please include me in the drawing!
Blessings and hugs,

Joel said...

Have loved all of Stephen's books, especially the Horse Dreams series. Please enter me in the contest.

lovedandamazed said...

Stephen Bly was the favorite author of my teenage years... I've read more than 40 of his books, some of my favorites being the Stuart Brannon and Horse Dreams books, but who doesn't love the Lewis and Clark young adult series? :-)

I haven't been around here in a few weeks but I didn't see winners announced for this giveaway so I thought I'd see if I could jump on at the end. :-)


Marla said...

I like a good old western story now and then. This sounds like one I would really enjoy. thank you for the giveaway.

Cíntia Mara said...

I think I never read a book about western, just see stories on movies or TV.
This might be a good chance to star.

Please, enter me in your draw.
God bless you...