As announced previously next Monday ( Wild West Monday none less) The Archive will become a cyber publisher by issuing Chap O'keefe's long out of print classic western, The Sheriff and the Widow. The novel will be published in four parts on each consecutive Monday. This is an experiment that if popular could be repeated - we are trying to recapture the old days of weekly serials in the pulp magazines.
So to get us all in the mood here's the book's author to tell us a little about the book:
"The Sheriff and the Widow was the third western I wrote for Robert Hale Ltd, but it became the second published. It was submitted in 1993 and published in January 1994. The first O'Keefe novel was Gunsmoke Night, appearing in September 1993. The second, Shootout at Hellyer's Creek, was published in May 1994 and was the first story to feature ex-Pinkerton detective Joshua Dillard, who is still with us, appearing in the February 2009 release, Blast to Oblivion.
"Why The Sheriff and the Widow appeared ahead of the Dillard book I was never told. Perhaps the market's acceptance of Gunsmoke Night persuaded the people at Hale that another O'Keefe book should be offered sooner than seven months later, or maybe there was simply a gap in the BHW schedule that had to be filled. The Sheriff and the Widow sold out completely.
"Later, I asked Mr Hale about the possibility of a reprint. Not unexpectedly, given the length of a viable print-run at that time, Mr Hale declined to take the risk involved and all rights in the novel reverted to me. Fortunately, he was happy to publish my next novel, and the next . . . and so on. As writing of one sort or another always constituted my sole means of living, I was obliged to take a break from westerns that lasted some years, but I returned in 2003 and I'm now working on my twenty-fourth.
"The Sheriff and the Widow is a western in the traditional vein preferred by Hale. Its influences are probably more Gold Medal than Piccadilly Cowboys. It does also have some adult themes and, especially in the later chapters, slightly macabre content that might today be called western noir."
The Sheriff and the Lady kicks off here next Monday and a gentle reminder - anyone not entered the Misfit Lil contest (see earlier posts) will have to get a move on for a chance to be entered into the draw. I will not be accepting any more entries after the 27th when the winners will be announced shortly afterwards. The 27th is also the day Chap's new novel, Blast to Oblivion is published. Demand is bound to be high so order now to avoid disappointment.