Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Pulling Teeth

Why is writing this blog so much more difficult, and painful, than writing a book? It just seems so deceptive and false.

Okay. I've got my assignment from my big, bad boss Becky, so here goes.

I've not been working on my new book. I've got to get down into the canyons and spend some time. That's easier said than done this time of year. But, the book is coming together in my head, and boy have some unusual ideas popped up. Can't wait to see how it all turns out.

I'll probably show up at the Yuma Festivities that my publisher is planning on attending...and I'll be at the Wickenburg Ranch Rodeo. In fact, I'd like to put a team together and enter that one - sounds like fun.

So, that's January. February? I'll be at the Gold Rush Days for at least one day. Probably one day at the Festival of the West. I'll pick a day that no one else wants to be there. ha ha. Ooops. Guess I'll do what I'm told by the Boss Lady who's reading this over my shoulder right now. That's what I get for stopping by for a free beer.

Saw the new book, Apache, which arrived here the other day. Wow. The cover guy did one bang up job! He's good! Real good! Can't wait to see what he comes up with for Canyon of Death, the next book.

Meanwhile, I'm taking my horse and gear into Mexico for a couple weeks in January. My publisher says the next time I sign a contract she's going to make it so I can't do "risky" things. Good luck with that! Anyway, I've been studying maps and whatnot. I found a good place to unload and leave my truck/trailer, and what should be good trails. I'll ride into Puerto Vallarta - spend two weeks or so doing it. Hope I don't get rounded up by banditos. Well, that'll make a helluva book, I'd say!

So - that's it for now. I am making only one New Year resolution - and that is to get the new book finished by fall so the publisher/editor/cover man can get at it for a 2011 publication. I like a deadline...and I like a challenge!

Monday, November 23, 2009

So, I'm corralled in the publisher's office today with an guessed it. A blog.

I think I have a lot of trouble with these because I don't know why anyone would care what the heck I think. For the publisher, it makes sense - she's got a lot of things to say ALL THE TIME about her publications and projects. Me? I just have my horse and my two completed books.

I will say that I've been thinking a lot about Canyon of Death, a book that will follow the upcoming Apache. I'm trying to decide who lives, dies, and whether I'm going to continue this series or not. I might still write, but I'm wondering if I should move on to other people and places - still Western - but just leave Jake Silver et al behind. Anybody out there got any advice?

I also know I have to get to the canyons and do some serious hiking/riding before I can really proceed with Canyon of Death. It's been something I've been wanting to do anyway. I don't usually walk uphill though...that's what a horse is for, isn't it? I have to go to the canyons though, before I can proceed. The full story is there, waiting for me, I can feel it.

Got an early review from Midwest Book Review and, in all honesty, I was feeling pretty damn good about the great comments the reviewer made about me. It was almost embarrassing, but I sure appreciate every word that nice lady wrote!! Wouldn't have gotten half that praise though if it weren't for the efforts of the great Moonlight Mesa editor, Paula Silici. She should be getting the reviews...not me.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Publisher Beckons...

Okay. I'm back after an extended three weeks riding in the Sisters Wilderness area. Can't believe how cold it got this year...early. Had some snow in places. It felt great though to break out and spend some quality quiet time on my horse, eating my pathetic campfire cooking. I must be getting older though. I actually bought a small camper for my pickup...I didn't sleep out on the ground or in the horse trailer. The small comforts afforded by the camper were truly enjoyed. Had running water...a flushing toilet...small refrigerator. Felt like the lap of luxury!

Moonlight Mesa's editor has finished with my second book, Apache. Thank the good Lord there's not nearly as many pencil marks and comments as the first book! Learned my lesson from that woman! She's probably the best teacher I ever had!!

So, Moonlight Mesa's boss lady/slave driver called me back to fix the edits so we can get this show on the road. Good to be back in Arizona though...I'm enjoying the warm fall weather.

Haven't started on the next book yet other than a hint at the first chapter. I want to spend some time in the canyons this spring to say what I want to say and say it correctly...

Meanwhile, it looks like I have some signings and book events coming up for Saving Tom Black. The publisher told me she's already sold advance copies of Apache because people are liking Saving Tom Black so much. I'm honored and proud both. Hope to see you at a signing real soon.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Riding for the Brand

I'm not really the emotional type, so I'm only going to say this one more time, and I hope to make it really clear this time.

Am I changing publishers when I fulfill my commitment to Moonlight Mesa Associates? HELL NO!

I have to be honest and admit I don't really know how many more books I have in me. I know for certain I have one more: Canyon of Death. If I have more after that, my place is with Moonlight Mesa. It's called "Riding for the Brand." Even though that publisher keeps me running my ass off, there's a lot of fringe benefits around that office.

For starters, I get to empty trash, make copies and sometimes run errands. Then, there's always coffee and that good hazelnut creamer on hand. The real thing...not that crap stuff. Becky (the publisher) makes great creme brulee, and if there's any around I eat it for breakfast first thing.

Besides these heavy office duties and creme brulee, sometimes I help out by scooping horse poop and helping with the training of her rescue mare. She even makes me go out riding with her sometimes...other times I "get" to answer the phone while she's out galavanting around buying Western clothes. I tell her she can borrow mine, but she declines.

It gets worse when her husband's gone, because then I get all his godawful duties too.

Anyway, all I'm saying is that when a guy's treated this good, how can he consider taking off?

Sometimes I even spend time WRITING. Right now the editor is hacking away at my manuscript, Apache, but she sure makes it read nicer when she's finished! Vin, the cover designer is wrapping up the cover. Life's good at this publishing house.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Two Books Down - One to Go

That sounds like a prison sentence, doesn't it? But out of a three book deal, I have managed to write two damn good books. Got one more to go. My publisher said there's no rush. That's good, cause I got news for her...I need a break.

Saving Tom Black, my first book, is just about ready to be released for general publication. Apache, my second book, is still in the editing stages. How many times must I write, rewrite, and rewrite.

The third book, Canyon of Death, is just now beginning to get into my head. But I'm still taking six months...OR

A few people have asked me if I'm going to stay with Moonlight Mesa or try to get another publisher...Not sure yet. I like Moonlight Mesa, but I probably do have to work harder than I would with another publisher...but the publisher works her ass off, so I feel guilty if I'm not in there with her. My hunch is I'll stay - or maybe I'll stop writing altogether. I probably won't look around since most of those folks already rejected me. Moonlight Mesa believed in me when no one else did. I'm guessing that if I keep writing, I'll stick with Moonlight Mesa as long as they'll have me.

I've gotten some fantastic reviews on Saving Tom Black, which is very gratifying, I have to admit. Really strokes the old ego. But it is truly rewarding to see people enjoy my work and I am deeply appreciative of the kind words they say about my writing and my books.

So...that's it for this time. Looks like my publisher is dragging me to Payson with her for the Zane Grey Days...see, this is what I mean. The woman is WORK WORK WORK.

Friday, September 11, 2009


Pretty soon I'll be working for Apple, or Dell I'll be such a wizard. Ha ha.

Well, I finally succumbed to the pressure and got a one page website. My publisher twisted my arm by paying for it for one year for me. I spent all day at this site, but I put one together and it looks darn good...for a beginner.

Check it out at

It wasn't as hard as I thought, just time-consuming and kind of slow what with my dial-up connection and all.

Now I'm wondering what's next? Here I am blogging and putting up a website. I suppose I'm going to have to tweet or twat here eventually. I'm holding out on that one!


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Saving Tom Black Gets Test-Marketed

Well, my first Western book, Saving Tom Black, got test-marketed this past weekend for the first time. My publisher, Becky, at Moonlight Mesa Associates, assures me it "sold like pancakes." I'll be getting my FIRST royalty check too.

But she got a bit perturbed too. Seems like she could only sell "her" books, but she was determined to test the waters with Tom Black this weekend, so she ended up having to tell a few people who questioned her that she was Jere D. James in order to keep the book displayed. Crazy. Those people never bought the book either. Said all but one was an official at this function just checking on vendors, but one turned out to be a cousin to a guy who's going to review the book. Small world. Hope he doesn't find out. None of this bothers me one whit...I don't really care to do these public appearances. Suppose I'm gonna have to, but it's not me, and Becky knew that from the get-go. Discussed it plenty of times with her. Maybe I should give the royalty check to her. My goal in all of this is not to make money so much, as it is to see a dream of mine come true. She's all in a tizzy though.

I just find all the attention kind of embarrassing, like I did something that changed the world, and all I really did was tell a story that's been kicking around in my head for a long, long time.

Well, that's all I've got to say about this. I added my cover here. Pretty nifty how this works. I'm not a computer person either.

Thank you to the people who bought my book. I truly am appreciative. Hope you like it and much as I enjoyed writing it.

Jere D. James

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Publisher's News Release

Well, I get a break from my duties here...Here is the latest from my publisher:

For Immediate Release…

Moonlight Mesa Associates’ Release and Contest Announcements

Moonlight Mesa Associates, Inc. is extremely proud and excited to announce the publication of the company’s first two Western books: Saving Tom Black, by Jere D. James and Reflections from the Wilderness, by cowboy poet Stoney Greywolf Bowers. Both books have received early, glowing reviews from Shirley Johnson, Senior Reviewer for MidWest Book Review.

Both titles will officially debut this fall at Old West Days Festival in Mesa, Arizona. All of Moonlight Mesa’s authors will be present throughout the weekend long festivities to sign books and talk with visitors. Stoney Greywolf Bowers may also be doing some readings.

Advanced Reader Copies of the books have been sent to a number of Western periodicals for reviews, and the publisher has released advance copies to both authors for their personal sales. In addition, Coffield will be test-marketing various venues for Saving Tom Black over the next two months. The books are currently only available from the publisher’s website, or from the authors. After release, the books will be distributed by Ingram.

Coffield wants to remind writers of the First Annual Cowboy Up Short Story Contest currently underway. There are three months remaining in the contest, which closes December 1, 2009. Entries fees are $15 per entry, which pays for judging fees and winner awards. Guidelines for the contest can be located on the company’s website: Cash awards are $250, $125, and $75. Also, certificates will be issued to cash winners and finalists.

Moonlight Mesa Associates, Inc. is a small, independent publishing house in Wickenburg, AZ., specializing in Western genre only, both fiction and nonfiction. Besides the current releases, Coffield is in negotiations with Rusty Richards, former Sons of the Pioneer singer for his rollicking biography of rodeo superstar, Casey Tibbs. Also under consideration is The Giving Season, a Western Romance by freelance writer, Paula Silici. The publisher will be issuing Jere D. James’ second novel, Apache, and Bowers’ second book, Native American Reflections, in late spring of 2010.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Publisher Orders a Blog

It may seem like I'm doing this blog under duress, and the fact is my publisher, Moonlight Mesa Associates, has been prodding me more and more to start communicating with the reading public...the publisher would like to see me with a website, a blog, and at signings, events, twittering, facebooking and all that and on the road with my forthcoming book. That's a lot of technology for a guy like me.

I'm a reclusive kind of guy. Should'a been a cowboy, I expect. I could live for months on end in the wilderness. In fact, I have lived alone a great part of my life. Enjoyed it, but then one day a guy gets to a point where it's time to let go and move on, and that's what I did. Things changed for some reason I don't understand.

So, I've written a book. Saving Tom Black. Had a lot of fun and a lot of laughs writing that. It just kind of spilled out. Same way with my second book, Apache, but it won't be out for a few months yet. Anyway, my publisher wants me to write about Tom Black, and myself I suppose.

Despite my reluctance to do this, for I can't see any reason why anyone would be interested in reading my blog, I suppose I could cooperate with the fine publishing house that has given my words a new life. You see, I got rejected by more publishers than I can name. Most never even read my first chapter. Then, I did some homework and found Moonlight Mesa Associates, a tiny unpretentious little publisher that had a big belief in publishing good Western works that the mainstream just ignores.

I signed up for three books with Moonlight Mesa Associates. I'm not sure after that if I'm going to keep writing or what. I just got some stories in me that need to be told, and my publisher is making it possible for me to do that. So, I suppose if I keep writing, I'm just going to stay with the publisher I have...if she'll keep me on.

I'll write about Saving Tom Black next blog. Each of those characters is a part of me, I'll admit. So, until next time...