Noblesville author's 3rd Western to be released Tuesday
Larry Sweazy, Noblesville, gets a kick every time readers ask him to sign copy of his book
It gets even better when a reader talks with Sweazy as if his book characters were members of the reader's family and wants to know what's going to happen next.
"That's the greatest compliment there is," said Sweazy, 50, Noblesville.
He is amazed sometimes when he thinks about how a Western series he debuted in 2009 has grown in popularity with the release of every book.
"It took me 15 years to get my first novel published, and there were days -- heck, years -- when I didn't think it would really happen," Sweazy said. "I'm glad I didn't give up, though."
Sweazy, who wanted to be writer since childhood, will release the third book in his Josiah Wolfe, Texas Ranger Western series, "The Badger's Revenge," on Tuesday nationwide. He'll make two book-signing appearances this month. The first is Tuesday in Noblesville and the other is April 9 in Fishers.
His books are on library recommended lists throughout the nation, including Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library, he said.
"It makes readers aware that my books are available for them to check out. There are more than 25,000 books published every month, so anytime a library recommends my books, it really helps to grow my readership."
After more than 300 rejection slips, Sweazy got his big break six years ago when he won the Western Writers of America Spur Award for Best Short Story in 2005. His first published novel, "The Rattlesnake Season," came out two years ago, a milestone he calls "right place, right time." The book was a finalist in the 2010 Best Books of Indiana competition.
The second book in his Josiah Wolfe series, "The Scorpion Trail," came out a year ago. The fourth book in the series, "The Cougar's Prey," will be published in October, with "The Coyote Tracker" to be published in late 2012 and "The Gila Wars" in mid-2013.
Sweazy said sales have been strong enough for his publisher to show continued support and enthusiasm for the series.
Sweazy said Westerns in general have seen a recent uptick in popularity, mostly because of the remake of "True Grit" and upcoming movies like "Cowboys & Aliens," expected to be released in July.
An Indiana native, Sweazy is a 1978 graduate of Anderson Highland High School who as a kid watched "Bonanza," "The Virginian," "The Rifleman," "Gunsmoke" and his favorite, "The Wild, Wild West," on television.
He lived in Texas five years after graduating from high school, which he said helps explain why he writes about a Texas Ranger. Josiah Wolfe is a single father in the 1870s. In the new book, Wolfe must escape after being captured by two Comanche bounty hunters.
While Westerns are Sweazy's focus, in February 2012 he'll publish a stand-alone mystery novel, "The Devil's Bones," set in Central Indiana.
Noblesville author Larry D. Sweazy will release the third novel in his Josiah Wolfe, Texas Ranger series, "The Badger's Revenge," on Tuesday. He will sign copies of the book at the following locations:
Tuesday -- 6 to 8 p.m., Barnes & Noble Booksellers, 17090 Mercantile Blvd., Noblesville.
April 9 -- 1 to 3 p.m., Mudsock Books & Curiosity Shoppe, 11850 Allisonville Road, Fishers.
Call Star reporter Betsy Reason at (317) 444-6049.