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Tuesday, 31 March 2009

New blog with some western content


Getting the younger people reading genre fiction is what it's all about and so I was pleased to come across a new blog, The Dominic Fox Scene which looks interesting.


Go HERE and let's welcome Dominic into out family of bloggers.

GARY DOBBS/JACK MARTIN INTERVIEW

There an interview with, yours truly HERE

WILD WEST WEEKLY - HISTORY OF A PULP MAGAZINE


Head over to the Black Horse Express for a great article by Laurie Powers on the history of pulp magazine, Wild West Weekly - HERE

Monday, 30 March 2009

IMPORTANT APPEAL

Please note the message at the top of The Archive's sidebar -


RAYMOND CHANDLER QUIZ

Thanks to Dave Rosenthal of the Baltimore Sun for the following email informing Archive readers of a Raymond Chandler quiz run by the newspaper. It's good fun so have a go completing the Chandler-like phrases.

Gary, I saw your recent post on Chandler and wanted to note that The Baltimore Sun's Read Street book blog has a game to follow up on the recent anniversary of his death. Just fill in the blanks to show how he might complete phrases including "as --- as a Dick Cheney sneer," "as recession proof as ----" and "as ---- as an A.I.G. bonus". The link:

http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/books/blog/2009/03/are_you_the_next_raymond_chand.html

Enjoy!

Dave

TOP TEN AMAZON WESTERNS for pre-order

The Tarnished Star continues to make a good show on the charts, having climbed back to number three for 30th March 2009.


Hot Future Releases in Books

Any Category > Books > Fiction > Genre > Westerns

The bestselling new & future releases in Westerns. Updated hourly.


1. Collision Collision
by Jeff Abbott (Author)
Publication Date: 7 Jul 2009
Available for pre-order

RRP: £5.49

Price: £4.94

You Save: £0.55 (10%)



2. Untamed Untamed
by Emma Wildes (Author)
Publication Date: 28 April 2009
In stock

Price: £7.00

11 used & new from £4.24



3. The Tarnished The Tarnished Star
by Jack Martin (Author)
1 customer discussion
Publication Date: 30 Jun 2009
Available for pre-order

RRP: £12.25

Price: £9.19

You Save: £3.06 (25%)



4. The Last Gunfighter The Last Gunfighter: Slaughter
by William W. Johnstone (Author), J. A. Johnstone (Author)
Publication Date: 4 April 2009
In stock

RRP: £5.99

Price: £5.39

You Save: £0.60 (10%)

17 used & new from £1.62



5. Wilderness #60 Wilderness #60: The Outcast
by David Thompson (Author)
Publication Date: 1 Jun 2009
Available for pre-order

RRP: £5.99

Price: £5.39

You Save: £0.60 (10%)



6. Brimstone Brimstone
by Robert B. Parker (Author)
Publication Date: 5 May 2009
Available for pre-order

RRP: £17.84

Price: £16.06

You Save: £1.78 (10%)



7. Outlaws Reckoning Outlaw's Reckoning (Ralph Compton Western Series)
by Ralph Compton (Author), Marcus Pelegrimas (Author), Marcus Galloway (Author)
Publication Date: 7 April 2009
Usually dispatched within 1 to 4 weeks

Price: £4.23

10 used & new from £3.29



8. Lucky Luke Vol.18 Lucky Luke Vol.18: The Escort (Lucky Luke Adventure)
by Rene Goscinny (Author)
Publication Date: 8 Jun 2009
Available for pre-order

RRP: £5.99

Price: £5.39

You Save: £0.60 (10%)



9. Stagecoach Graveyard Stagecoach Graveyard
by Thom Nicholson (Author)
Publication Date: 7 April 2009
Usually dispatched within 1 to 4 weeks

Price: £4.23

10 used & new from £3.29



10. The Trailsman #330 The Trailsman #330: Tucson Temptress
by Jon Sharpe (Author)
Publication Date: 7 April 2009
Usually dispatched within 1 to 4 weeks

Price: £4.12

10 used & new from £3.26

MY TOWN MONDAY - GILFACH GOCH



For more MY TOWN MONDAY posts head over to Travis's blog.

Gilfach Goch, the name translates as red valley or red river valley. The name comes from the preponderance of red heather that dots the mountain side.

Writer Richard Llewellyn spent long summers in the village with his grandfather and years later based his bestselling novel, How Green was my Valley in a fictional version of the town. The book was filmed by the great John Ford but the Hollywood version of the coal mining town was far from the reality. In the 1970's the BBC filmed the book as a mini series and much of the location work was done in Gilfach Goch.

In the early days the working hours of the coal miners were long and arduous and miners often made it a practice to attend funerals in order to get some paid leave from work. One story is documented in Katie Pritchard's History of Gilfach Goch in which a miner slipping out from work was confronted by his manager.

MANAGER - Where are you gong?
MINER - To a funeral.
MANAGER - Whose funeral?
MINER- Whoever's dead.

Gilfach Goch's William Williams goes West
These days all signs of the coal mining past has gone away and the hills are once again green but if a person looks closely enough the signs are still there of the black past when all the hills were turned into blackened heaps and men toiled long and hard beneath the ground to earn a wage that was barely enough to raise their families.

TAINTED STATS

Weekly Stats Report: 23 Mar - 29 Mar 2009
Project: THE TAINTED ARCHIVE
URL: http://tainted-archive.blogspot.com/

MonTuesWedThurFriSatSunTotalAvg
Pageloads1452171442021941792081,289184
Unique Visitors971249512710997122771110
First Time Visitors7397709779689557983
Returning Visitors2427253030292719227

Sunday, 29 March 2009

THE SHERIFF AND THE WIDOW


Regular readers will have enjoyed the Archive's recent online publication of Chap O'Keefe's bestselling long out of print Black Horse Western, The Sheriff and The Widow. Anyone who missed it or are new to The Archive can find links to all four parts via the new sidebar on this blog.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

WILD BILL HICKOK'S LAST GUNFIGHT

October 5 1871

Abilene, Kansas.

Over fifty cowboys deterred from attending the Dickinson County Fair by bad weather, drifted into Abilene and proceeded to visit the saloons for a drunken bender. Among them was gambler, Phil Coe.

Marshall Wild Bill Hickok had warned the cowboys about carrying guns in town but the cowboys ignored him. At about 9pm someone fired a shot in the Alamo Saloon and Hickok burst in demanding to know who had fired the shot.

Phil Coe, with his six shooter in hand, claimed he had fired at a stray dog and before Hickok could say anything the gambler pulled another six shooter and fired twice at the Marshall.

The first slug went into the wall while the second tore a hole in Hickok's frock coat. The Marshall coolly drew his own weapon and fired three times. The first two shots took Coe in the stomach (the man would die in agony three days later) but the third bullet struck an armed man who had run between the two men.

At first Hickok wasn't sure who the man was but he was horrified to discover he had shot and killed his friend, Mike Williams. Hickok was openly crying as he carried his dead friend and laid him on the billiard table.

The gunfight turned out to be Hickok' last. On December 13th, with the cattle season over, the town council dismissed Hickok and his deputies Hickok never wore a badge again - it is unknown if his shame at killing his friend led to him turning his back on lawman work or if he was just being prudent because of failing eyesight and a desire to be married. One thing that is certain is that James Butler Hickok was a changed man after the shoot out at the Alamo saloon.

On August 12th 1876 a drifter by the name of Jack McCall walked into Deadwood's Saloon No. 10 and shot Bill in the back of the head while he was playing poker. He had been holding aces and eights which has become known as, The Dead Man's Hand.

He was dead at the age of only 39.

WILD WEST MONDAY THE THIRD

RAYMOND CHANDLER

Earlier this week saw the 50th anniversary of Raymond Chandler's death - The excellent Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind blog has a list of some great Chandler related posts published to coincide with the anniversary. HERE

NEVER DREAM OF DYING


Never Dream of Dying
Raymond Benson
Hodder
Originally published 2001


This was Raymond Benson's fifth Bond continuation novel, his seventh Bond if you count the two film novelisations - Tomorrow Never Dies and The World is Not Enough. And the book is the final part of what has become known as, the Union Trilogy.

A war has broken out between SPECTRE and The Union. The book opens with Bond and old friend Mathis botching a raid on a film studios which is suspected of being a front for international arms dealing. Innocent people are killed in the raid and Bond, now an embarrassment to his people, is sent on another assignment. Mathis on the other hand is suspended but both men continue to try and track down Le Gerant, the man they know has outfoxed them and is responsible for the film studio fiasco.

Benson was the third writer to try his hand at continuing Ian Fleming's world, after Kingsley Amis and John Gardner and although readers knew pretty much what to expect by this point, the author does do some tweaking and delivers an enjoyable enough Bond adventure. The extended climax is truly thrilling and although it's not Fleming it's a damn good mixture of both the film and literary character.

The stuff that fueled the West


The image of a group of cowboys huddled around a campfire sipping freshly brewed coffee is a familiar one indeed. But in the mid 1800's making a brew was not an easy task - pre ground coffee was almost impossible to get hold off and the Westbound travellers would carry sacks of coffee beans with them.

These green beans weren't ready to use until roasted in a frying pan and then run through an hand held coffee grinder. Then a handful of grounds would be tossed into a pan of water and brought to a boil. As the water cooled, the grounds sank to the bottom.

This time consuming method of making the rocket fuel presented business opportunities for shrewd businessmen such as James Folger in California and John Arbuckle in Texas.

Both men would set up businesses making easily prepared coffee and soon the names of both Folgers and Arbuckle were well known across the West.

Today the five story brick building that housed the Folger empire still exists in San Francisco. It is a listed building and will be preserved for future generations.

John Arbuckle was a millionaire by the early 1890's and had branched out into the sugar business and following his death in 1912 the Arbuckle brand seemed to fade away. But the product can still be purchased today by mail order.

Folgers remains America's favourite way of waking up.

Friday, 27 March 2009

THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RING TWICE


James M. Cain
Originally published 1934
Orion Crime Masterworks series.

I love the Orion Crime Masterworks series because they are all uniform paperback editions that look good on the shelf. And are a easy way of picking up classic books at a nice price.

The Postman always rings twice was a book I knew by reputation but had never read. Well I have now and even now it's still shocking in places and a damn good read.

What surprised me is how urgent and ferocious the sex scenes are even if they do largely take place off page. But the author does a great job of depicting the heat between the two characters and right from their first dalliance it is obvious that their affair is going to consume them. In fact it's not really a love affair but something far more primal.

The book is so well known that any thoughts I have are largely redundant but what I can say is that the book is as contemporary as anything I've read recently and truly deserves the tag of noir classic.

Orion's Crime Masterworks series is well worth checking out - they've published books by Hammett, Conan Doyle and James Cain as well as just about every classic crime writer you can think of. A lot of these titles have been out of print for years and they offer a good chance to catch up on classics you might have heard of but never read.

Top marks Orion

Tarnished Star, Tainted Archive NEWS


There's a little over two months now for the release of my debut novel Tarnished Star, 95 days to be precise and I'm starting to feel a level of excitement that I've not known since I was a ten year old waiting for Christmas. The book is doing well on pre-orders and to ensure you get a copy you can order with free worldwide delivery HERE. No monies will be deducted until the book is ready to be sent. The book can also be bought from AMAZON, WATERSTONES and other online retailers.

If you want the book, and I hope you do, pre-ordering is a good option because my publisher specialises in small print runs and at the moment the pre-orders are dictating the extension to the usual print run.

David Cramer and Elaine Ash have kindly given their excellent Beat to a Pulp over to Jack Martin/ Gary Dobbs during the novels publication week and will be running two stories from me . Firstly a Jack Martin western, The Devil's Right Hand and the second a curio called The Way to a Man's Heart written under my own name. I hope you folks enjoy them. And sticking with the Beat to a Pulpsters, anyone interested may want to check out a previous Jack Martin western, A Man Called Masters HERE. Also check out the sidebar on this blog for links to my other online fictions.

The Tainted Archive will be celebrating the publication big time but as well as Tarnished Star centric news, there will be features on my March 2010 book, Arkansas Smith as well as the usual blend of features and reviews. I'm especially pleased to inform all you archivists out there that I have a Dean Koontz interview in the pipeline. Also the first Tainted Archive podcast should be ready by July - the first issue features audio interviews, a short story and anything The Archive can beg, steal or borrow to boost content.

Exciting times, indeed. And please forgive me for blowing my own trumpet but understand Tarnished Star is my debut novel - I've been writing for over twenty five years, have several unpublished novels in the loft, and the upcoming publication is probably the biggest single event of my life in 2009. I think I've produced a damn good western, an enjoyable read with characterisation that, hopefully makes the players in the drama seem real. Ahh well, I do hope you all like it and will be back in 2010 to buy Arkansas Smith.

Nuff said - bye for now.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

From the Doctor Who Xmas special 2008

A friend tagged me on this pic on Facebook earlier - it comes from the last Doctor Who Christmas special. We are all off to a jolly old Victorian funeral and that's me second from the end, obscured by the Dr Crippin lookalike in front of me.

At the very head of the cortege is my very good friend AB - otherwise known as the Beast of Bath. Lock up your daughters and household pets when this guy's about.

It was a good day, though and that fake snow really is cold.

M


Directed by Fritz Lang
1931
Peter Lorre, Gustaf Grundgens and Ellen Widmann

Fritz Lang had previously made silent movies concentrating on monsterous criminals but for his first talkie he turned to more mundane and altogether more frightening horrors. Originally he had planned to make the movie about a set of poison pen letters and their effect on a small community but the director decided to change tack after hearing about the exploits of real like killer, Peter Kurten, known as the Dusseldorf Vampire.

When the film studio learned what Lang and his screenwriter wife were planning, they gave up on the project and the director took it to the small studio Nero Films. This limited the budget and forced the director into a six week shoot between Jan and March 1931.

Peter Lorre is truly chilling as the child killer and he received universal praise for his performance but he didn't get on with the director and would forever resent the way he was forced to throw himself down some steps twelve times before Lang was happy with the take. Maybe this contributed to the haunted look Lorre carries through the entire picture.

The movie is a classic but is sadly unavailable on DVD and given the current paedophile hysteria it looks set to remain that way for quite some time.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

QUANTUM OF SOLACE DVD


Well I've finally seen the entire film - I originally went to see the movie in the cinema but walked out after about forty minutes because I felt the makers had betrayed the essence of what makes Bond great.

I still feel the same way and wasn't that keen to buy the DVD but I'm a massive Bond fan, always have been, and - well, I have to have the complete collection. Even if, to my mind, this is the worse of the entire series.

Casino Royale was a great action movie but on times it didn't feel like Bond and Daniel Craig's performance was a million miles away from any of the actors that had gone before. The film was universally acclaimed which I never really understood - over the years the Bond films have built their own unique identity that always made them stand out from the pack and whilst in some ways Casino Royale was refreshing it was also a Bourne clone.

In the past Bond has always led but now he follows.

Quantum of Solace goes a step further than Casino Royale and is nothing like a Bond movie - it's virtually two hours of admittedly spectacular action sequences tacked together with dialogue that really makes no sense. The plot is flimsier than the global economy and M seems to pop up everywhere as Judy Dench's character is fast developing into something of an action woman.

I'm starting to warm to Daniel Craig in the part and he does look every bit the dapper agent in the tux but the producers need to lighten things up a bit and bring back Q and Moneypenny.

I haven't revised my opinion - QOS is the pits, more Bourne than Bond but I am starting accept Daniel Craig in the role.

The extras on the DVD are piss poor which makes them rather suited to the movie they accompany.

COGBURN RIDES AGAIN



I'm not really sure how I feel about the reports that the Coen brothers are to remake True Grit. On one hand I'm always pleased when there's a big budget western in the works and the remake of 3 10 wasn't too bad, if not the equal of the original. But True Grit is such an Iconic John Wayne role.

Ahh well, let's hope and I pity the actor who takes on the Wayne roll - he'll have some mighty big boots to fill.

LOS ANGELES : Following a mixed reception to 2008's "Burn After Reading", the Coen brothers, Joel and Ethan, are back with "True Grit", the classic movie which earned American screen icon John Wayne an Academy Award.

However, the directors are putting their own spin on the novel by Charles Portis, telling the tale from the point of view of the 14-year-old girl at the heart of the story.

"The book recounts the girl’s story," Joel told the Daily Mail. "In the John Wayne film, she was played older. We want her to be her real age - it’s her story!"

The 1968 novel, as well as the film directed by Henry Hathaway the
following year, focussed on Wayne’s character, the irascible and aging US Marshall Rooster Cogburn, the man whom the girl hires to hunt down her father’s killers. (NOTE - THIS IS UNTRUE. THE BOOK WAS FROM THE GIRL'S POV BUT THE MISTAKE IS IN THE ARTICLE SO I'VE LEFT IT THERE.)

Aside from Wayne, the original movie featured Kim Darby as the young girl, Glen Campbell as one of the lawmen and Robert Duvall and Dennis Hopper as outlaws.

There has been no mention of any of the original cast returning to reprise their roles in the remake.

Producer Scott Rudin, who worked with the Coen brothers on the Oscar winning film "No Country for Old Men", is set to join them once again. The Coens will squeeze in this film before they begin working on their next film, “The Yiddish Policemen’s Union”, based on the novel written by Michael Chabon.

The original "True Grit" spawned two sequels, 1975’s "Rooster Cogburn" and 1978’s "True Grit: A Further Adventure". The latter was a made-for-television follow up of the two films.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

THESE COMIC BOOKS ARE A THREAT TO ALL THAT IS GOOD IN SOCIETY - THE EC COMICS STORY

You want to feel your bones shake, eh? Something to give you nightmares? To keep you awake at night?

Well let me offer you this putrid story from beyond the grave, a tainted, twisted story of bloodcurdling horror and gruesome murder, of vampires and werewolves and human monsters driven by insanity - The Tainted Archive looks at the history of EC comics.

EC, or Educational Comics, was originally run by the conservative Max Gaines. He had been there at the birth of comics when he had the idea of folding the newspaper funnies into a booklet and selling them to the comic hungry masses. When he set up EC Comics the line was made up of patriotic American history stories and Biblical legends. The company was initially hugely successful but by the late 40's children were turning away from these wholesome comics and looking for their thrills in the new superhero titles that were appearing on stands.


When Max was killed in a bizarre speedboat accident his son, William Gaines took charge of an ailing comic book company. His answer to the company's problems was to totally change the direction of the comic books published.

He found a kindred spirit in artist, Al Feldsten and together the two men set about creating a series of macabre comic books that would appeal to the masses. But first they dropped the word Educational from the comic book line and EC became to mean Entertaining Comics.

In early 1950, EC released two new titles - Crypt of Terror (which was later renamed Tales from the Crypt) and Vault of Horror. So successful were these new books that they followed these up with Weird Fantasy and Weird Science and then these were boosted by several more titles - Crime Suspense Stories and The Haunt of Fear.


The horror comics were the most successful - each story was introduced by grisly characters; the white haired crypt keeper, the old witch and the maniacal vault keeper. Each character would introduce their respective stories with a series of ghoulish, and often terrible, puns.

The lurid cover artwork often featuring severed heads, axes dripping blood and ghoulish creatures would certainly stick out on the stands next to the likes of Classics Illustrated and Archie. The comics were outselling their nearest rivals three to one and for awhile everything looked on the up and up for the revitalised EC Comics.

Trouble however was just around the corner.

In 1954, the US Senate Sub-committee held hearings to decide whether comics inspired juvenile delinquency. This campaign was led by Senator Estes Kefauver. A lead witness, Dr. Fredrick Wertham testified that comics created a mental readiness for temptation and that Hitler had only been a mild threat compared to the comic books the children of America were reading.

The Dr also suggested that Batman was promoting homosexuality because Robin was always drawn with his legs apart and naked and that he was totally smitten with Batman.

Although no definite connection could be found between the comic books and America's then problems with youth crime, the Senate decided on a course of self regulation. This though was basically censorship under a different name and was not that different to today's political correctness movement.

In 1955 the Comics Code Authority came into being and it published a set of guidelines to control the content of comic books and the rules laid down were particularly harmful to crime and horror comics. Each title had to be submitted to the Comics Code Authority for their seal of approval and most US distributors refused to carry titles that didn't hold the seal of approval.

EC comics were refused the seal of approval without first making massive changes to their story lines. Gaines initially refused and he found he had no distributor for his titles. And then in 1956 Gaines was told by the authority to tone down a story it considered racist because a picture in the story showed a black man perspiring.

Gaines decided there was little point in publishing comics in such an environment and gradually the EC line ceased to exist.

However EC lives on today in graphic novel reprints and the countless TV shows and movies that were inspired by the comics.

In the saddle with Gillian F. Taylor interview



Gillan F. Taylor describes herself as a part time writer from Sheffield but for a part timer she is certainly prolific with eleven Black Horse Westerns under her belt. She also writes fan fiction set in the Blakes 7 and Star Wars universes. She has a joint honours degree in ancient history and archaeology and proved her smarts when she recently won BBC's television's Mastermind which is probably the most arduous TV quiz in the world.

The Archive caught up with this lady of the West for a quick question/ answer session.

TA:
What is it about the western that appeals to you?


GT:
Horses ! I was, and still am, a classic pony girl. So I loved to watch westerns on the telly because they had horses in. The first western I read was called ‘White Stallion, Red Mare’, by J T Edson, which I bought under the impression it was about horses. It wasn’t, but I enjoyed it and bought more.

I like westerns in much the same way I like other action-based genres, but it does has some unique aspects. I love the way that westerns are so often firmly set into the landscape. They evoke wide plains, mountains, deserts. The landscape often influences the action in a way that you don’t get in other genres.

I’ve done a lot of research about the west for my own writing, of course, especially how people lived out in this new land. When I read a western I’m reminded of what these pioneers went through, moving into a empty land, facing all the natural and unnatural hazards, and building a new life so far from home and family. The people who moved West were brave people.

TA:
What writers influence you?

GT:
That’s difficult to answer, because I read a lot of different authors, and have been writing for many years now. I could suggest Jane Austen, Ian Fleming and J T Edson and they’re probably all in there somewhere.


TA:
What is your writing pattern?

GT:

My writing tends to be rather irregular, hence the erratic gaps between books appearing. When I’m being organized, I try to write during the day, regular working hours, but I’ve always been a nightbird, so it’s not uncommon for me to work in the evening or late into the night. When I’m making the effort to sit down and get on with a book, I aim to write two pages a day, five days out of seven.



TA:
How would you describe your books to newcomers?



GT:

Umm…I guess there’s a bias towards character-driven stories. ‘Cullen’s Quest’ is a more straight-forward adventure, though its two sequels, ‘Hyde’s Honour’ and ‘The Judas Metal’ (out next year) are more character driven. There’s usually a streak of humour in them, especially the Darrow novels. Writing dialogue for Darrow and Keating when they start sniping at one another is great fun.

More specifically, there are three series so far. The Rocking W trilogy (Rocking W, The Paducah War and San Felipe Guns) is complete and evolved from the first western I wrote. It centres around the friendship between Paul Hallam, and the Comanche half-breed, Josh Thunder and is set down in the Big Bend of Texas.

The Williams/Hyde trilogy will be complete on the publication of ‘The Judas Metal’. Hyde and Williams meet during an eventful stagecoach journey in the south-west of Texas (Cullen’s Quest) and start working a silver mine together. Loyalty and friendship are the themes of these books, tested by lots of action.

There are currently three Darrow books (Darrow’s Law, Darrow’s Word and Darrow’s Badge) and I intend to write more. These are set in an expanding railroad town in Wyoming. Darrow is the local sheriff, who does a good job in spite of his low opinion of the town and his deputy. Deputy Hugh Keating is an English gentleman with a weakness for alcohol and gambling, and a sense of self-preservation and borders on cowardice.

Of my other titles, Jonah Durrell, the protagonist of ‘Two-Gun Trouble’ will probably return again, as will Sheriff Alec Lawson and his deputies from ‘Silver Express’ – out in September 09.

TA: Given the state of the genre at the moment where do you see it going in the future?


GT:

There’s been a mini-revival of the western in cinemas recently, so one can hope that this would spill over into more mainstream books. However, I suspect that the western book as likely to remain sidelined, especially here in the UK. I don’t think it will die out totally, but I think it needs to find a younger readership. Just don’t ask me how.



TA:

Future projects?



GT:

I’m currently writing a short story featuring Jonah Durrell for the next Express Westerns anthology. After that I plan to write the next Darrow novel. Elements of that story have been simmering away for three or four years now, but I recently figured out how to make them work as a coherent story. Then it’s either another full length Jonah Durrell novel, or a Sheriff Lawson novel.


TA:

How does it feel to be a Mastermind winner?



GT:


Great ! I’d been on 15-1 three times before (final twice, won once) so I knew I wasn’t likely to freeze under the pressure of answering questions in front of the camera. I had a lovely day out – the production team are lovely people and really took care of us. I loved sitting in the black chair, being challenged with the questions and giving back the answers – at least in my specialized subject, where I got everything right, and made what I believe to be the highest score of the series (18), and possibly of the revived format. Then as my general knowledge was weaker, it went to a tie-break, which is unusual. I won on Mastermind thanks to something I’d picked up from watching ‘I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here’, which amuses me no end.

I’ve watched Mastermind from back in the 1970’s, and long had a vague idea of appearing on it. I finally decided that this was as good a time as any, and went for it. I guess anyone who watches it wonders how they would do, and I’m proud that I not only tried, but won.

My next appearance will be broadcast on Friday 17th April.



TA:

Desert island book?



GT:

That’s a tricky one to answer. I’ll nominate ‘Out West’, a short story anthology from the 1950’s edited by Jack Schaefer. It has stories of all kinds, including some good comic yarns, and covers pretty much the full range of the western story. Sadly, there’s nothing by Schaefer himself, who was an excellent writer. I’m also tempted to claim my own ‘Darrow’s Badge’, because I enjoy it so much.



TA:

Desert island film?


GT:

Once Upon A Time In The West. All three or so glorious hours of it. The first time I saw it, I was fascinated by the three men waiting at the railroad station, the way they passed the time and the natural sound that gave a better sense of time and place than any dialogue. I love the soundtrack – the wailing harmonica and Cheyenne’s jaunty theme, and how each theme is used and transformed within the film. I’m a big fan of Charles Bronson and this is a good role for him. I love the way the stories unravel, and the different layers of the characters, and Cheyenne’s fate and…



The archive thanks Gillian for her time.


Visit Gillian's web site HERE


Below is a video I have put together of Gillian's last Mastermind appearance - enjoy.







Monday, 23 March 2009

TOP SELLING WESTERNS IN AMAZON PRE ORDERS FOR WEEK ENDING 23 MARCH 2009

The bestselling new & future releases in Westerns. Updated hourly.


1. Lucky Luke Vol.18 Lucky Luke Vol.18: The Escort (Lucky Luke Adventure)
by Rene Goscinny (Author)
Publication Date: 8 Jun 2009
Available for pre-order

RRP: £5.99

Price: £5.39

You Save: £0.60 (10%)



2. Brimstone Brimstone
by Robert B. Parker (Author)
Publication Date: 5 May 2009
Available for pre-order

RRP: £18.69

Price: £16.48

You Save: £2.21 (12%)



3. Resolution Resolution
by Robert B. Parker (Author)
5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1 customer review)
Publication Date: 5 May 2009
Available for pre-order

RRP: £7.05

Price: £6.35

You Save: £0.70 (10%)



4. Untamed Untamed
by Emma Wildes (Author)
Publication Date: 28 April 2009
Usually dispatched within 1 to 3 weeks

Price: £7.00

7 used & new from £4.24



5. Collision Collision
by Jeff Abbott (Author)
Publication Date: 7 Jul 2009
Available for pre-order

RRP: £5.75

Price: £5.08

You Save: £0.67 (12%)



6. The Unforgiven The Unforgiven (Leisure Western)
by Alan LeMay (Author)
4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
Publication Date: 30 May 2009
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7. The Man The Man from Laramie (Leisure Western)
by T.T. Flynn (Author)
Publication Date: 1 April 2009
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8. The Tarnished The Tarnished Star
by Jack Martin (Author)
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Publication Date: 30 Jun 2009
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9. 45Caliber Widow 45-Caliber Widow Maker
by Peter Brandvold (Author)
Publication Date: 5 May 2009
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RRP: £4.31

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10. Six Ways Six Ways from Sunday
by William W Johnstone (Author)
Publication Date: 1 May 2009
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