From the Author
This story was built from bits and pieces from what I learned in the museum, my friend's great aunt's stories, and from my own family. I have relatives who spent time in a children's home in Tulsa, OK in the 40s. The more dramatic scenes in the foundlings home are based on the stories my family told me about their time in the children's home.
The story is not the only thing inspired by my friends and family. Many of the character names I use come straight from them, with their permission of course. If you read the acknowledgments in the front of the books it will tell you from whom my characters take their names.
I had the first novella, Into the West: The Orphan Train, released on what would have been my grandmother's 100th birthday. We lost her in May at 99 and a half. She loved reading westerns. When I was younger and worked in a bookstore, I would take her bags of westerns to read. It was amazing how many she could go through in a month. I like to think she would have loved my story.
I never would have even been able to write this book series if it weren't for the efforts of two people: my mother and my better half, P.R.. My mother has always encouraged (sometimes nagged and even threatened) me to write. Something I needed. P.R. made it possible for me to take the time to do it. I wouldn't be where I am if it weren't for the two of them.
So much of me and my life is tied up in these stories. It's like I'm giving small parts of myself to each character and sharing it with my readers. If they are well received, liked, hated, pitied, loved, it's all welcomed. My greatest desire is to make my readers care about these characters, to evoke an emotional response. To move another person with my creation is the best feeling in the world.
About the Author
After earning a degree in journalism from Wichita State University, Stephen spent years writing for various publications and eventually worked as a ghostwriter. One of his early assignments was writing a western for Luis Antwoord titled, Western: In the Company of Thieves. It was after this project, Stephen developed an insatiable desire to continue writing westerns under his own name.
To reach a wider market, Stephen decided to write his books as serial novellas instead of full novels. Each saga is divided into 5-6 novellas. When the saga is complete, all novellas will be released in a single volume collection with bonus material. The prices for the collection volumes will vary depending on the number of novellas included.
Stephen also holds a degree in forensic criminology and has studied business at Wichita State University. He was working on a third degree in nutrition when his life took a turn he never saw coming. In 2013, Stephen met and married the love of his life, P.R. Burckhardt, whom he truly considers to be his "better half."
The couple was married at The Old Cowtown Museum in Wichita, KS. The ceremony was held in the First Presbyterian Church and the reception was in the museums saloon. The reception was even disrupted by a gunfight in the street performed by some of the museums reenactors.
The couple hopes to one day return to ranch living where they can raise a small personal menagerie of animals. They currently live with their rescue dog, Shaggy.