A year on the Archive...so let's go back for part one of our look at the year.
As 2010 approaches, the Archive nears the milestone of 100,000 hits - The Archive started 2009 off with several interviews in January - Beau L'amour, son of western legend Louis L'amour and Celia Hayes, Max Allen Collins, Charles Ardai, Jim Griffin, David Cranmer, Mark Billingham and Patricia Gott were all grilled by the Archive in that first month. That month we also pointed readers to a free copy of a computer game, Operation Thunderbowel which I originally wrote for the ZX Spectrum platform back in the 1990's. We also revealed the artwork for my, then forthcoming, western novel Tarnished Star. And we were there early with our article on the future of reading which looked at the novelty of eReaders. And Steve M. of Western Fiction Review became the first guest blogger of the year with his review of Endworld - Doomsday.
It's fitting that there were so many interviews in January because January 2010 is set to mirror that with our Black Horse Western weekend in which we will be chatting with heaps of western creators.
February saw us pushing the Wild West Monday initiative which was due on March 2nd. Terry James was interviewed about her debut novel, The Long Shadows. And fellow Black Horse scribes David Whitehead and Chap O'keefe were also available at the campfire for a friendly chat. We also gave news of a digital publishing first and announced the the full novel of Chap O'Keefe's The Sheriff and the Widow would be published online for the world to read. The book would go onto be published in four weekly instalments (all of which can still be found in the Archive sidebar) during the build up to Wild West Monday. We also ran a competition in which lucky readers could win a copy of Chap O'keefe's Misfit Lil Gets Even. All in all Feb was a successful month of western posts leading up to Wild West Monday.
March saw Wild West Monday come and go with a bang and the instalments of The Sheriff and the Widow received record daily hits. The month saw us chat with Gillian F. Taylor and look at the birth of the western movie. And with the first reviews of Tarnished Star starting to appear we made the first mention of Arkansas Smith (out March 2010). The month saw us looking at current films, with reviews of many new DVD's during the month.
April saw an interview with Seth Hardwood and we announced Wild West Monday III which would follow in June - the first push saw some publishers announcing a small rise in western sales. I posted about the time I spent working on Doctor Who and we ran several non fiction old west articles, the piece on Billy the Kid is still our most revisited post. We ran some pictures of PC Case mods which brought some computer enthusiasts to the Archive for perhaps the first time. And we started our Deadwood episode guide which is a project we have yet to finish. Mind you I plan an all new episode guide, all original reviews, for sometime in 2010. And the month also saw us interview the lovely Laurie Powers, a pulp historian and someone who has become a good and cherished friend to myself. Her own Blog is cooking at the moment.
May saw another month of western posts as we moved towards June which would see another Wild West Monday as well as the publication of The Tarnished Star. It was very much a month of guest blogs with many other people from all over the wild west web contributing posts in the build up to Wild West Monday III. WE ran the Paul D Brazil story, A Tissue of Webs. And sadly we also reported of Elmer Kelton's illness that month . Elmer would sadly pass away later in the year. The western field lost a legend with his passing.
Next we will look at June to December on The Tainted Archive