Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Wolfe Saga

To celebrate the release of The Gila Wars on 5/7, the final Josiah Wolfe novel, here's a little background on the Wolfe saga. The Wolfe saga evolved very simply from one idea, with one short story, "The Promotion." This story introduced Samuel "Red" Wolfe, a modern day Texas Ranger. This was my first professionally published short story, and was published in the anthology Texas Rangers (Berkley, 2004), edited by Ed Gorman and Martin H. Greenberg. The story went on to win the 2005 WWA (Western Writers of America Spur Award), and appeared in a Best Mystery Short Story of the Year anthology, The Adventures of the Missing Detective (Carroll & Graf, 2005), also edited by Ed Gorman and Martin H. Greenberg. I followed up that short story with a sequel, "The Assignment" which appeared in the anthology, Map of Murder (Red Coyote Press, 2007), edited by Susan Budavari and Suzanne Flaig. These are the only two published stories to feature Red Wolfe.

Not long after I won the Spur, I began thinking about taking a longer view of the Wolfe family. Wouldn't it be interesting, I thought, if there was a Texas Ranger from the Wolfe family in every generation from the Frontier Battalion to the present? Thus, Josiah Wolfe was born (or created, depending on how you want to look at it). I wrote the short story, "Rattlesnakes and Skunks," and it was published in the small press magazine, Out West (now defunct) in 2006. This is the origin story of Josiah Wolfe, and to date, it is the only short story I have written featuring Josiah.

I decided to expand that short story into a novel, and it became The Rattlesnake Season (Berkley, 2009), the first western novel featuring Josiah Wolfe. The series continues to be published through 2013 with the following titles in the series: The Scorpion Trail (Berkley, 2010), The Badger's Revenge (Berkley, 2011), The Cougar's Prey (Berkley, 2011), The Coyote Tracker (Berkley, 2012), and The Gila Wars (Berkley, 2013).

The Rattlesnake Season was a finalist in the Best Books of Indiana 2010 literary competition and The Scorpion Trail won the 2011 Will Rogers Medallion award for Western Fiction and the Best Books of Indiana 2011 literary competition for Best Fiction. The Scorpion Trail is the first western to ever win the Best Books of Indiana Award. The Cougar's Prey also won the Will Rogers Medallion Award for Western in 2012, making the Josiah Wolfe series a repeat, back-to-back, winner for the Will Rogers award. The Coyote Tracker (Josiah Wolfe, Texas Ranger #5) won the 2013 WWA Spur Award for Best Original Mass Market Paperback.

To continue on with the idea of a Wolfe family saga, I wrote the short story "Shadow of the Crow" (Beat to Pulp, Round 2, 2012), featuring Lyle "Sonny" Wolfe, Josiah's son, who was introduced in the Josiah Wolfe novels as a very young boy. Lyle is at the end of his career in this story, a sixty year old man chasing after Bonnie and Clyde in Depression era Texas. This story also introduces Jesse Wolfe, Lyle's son, and I have story ideas for the oil-rich era of the 1950s and 1960s in Texas history, featuring this character--but have not written them yet.

The Wolfe family saga is an ongoing project, open to all forms, and much like all family sagas, this one continues to grow and amaze me at the possibilities that come along with it. At some point, I hope to post a family tree, and more info concerning the fictional Wolfes on this page. Check back often as the family continues to grow.

For information on the other Josiah Wolfe novels, please go to the Western Novels page of my web site.

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