From the Author
The Ogre in the Basement was the most fun I ever had writing.
I started writing about five years ago, and let me tell; it has been more therapeutic than five years on a psychiatrist's couch. Most of my books offer short, easy to read solutions to life's everyday problems. My bestsellers focus on e-commerce- How to sell on eBay, Amazon, Fiverr, and Etsy. Most recently, I have recently transitioned from writing about e-commerce to one of my real passions - History.
Hands down, Shot All to Hell is my favorite of all the books I have written, so far.
As a kid, I spent every free moment reading western magazines. RealWest. Westerner. Frontier West. Treasure Times. You name a magazine that carried stories about the old west, badmen, lawmen, and gunfighters, and I read it.
My life's dream was to write for those magazines. I never did. Instead, I wrote one of the go-to books on the topic.How cool is that?
Like everything else in my life, I have developed some crazy writing habits.
I write best when I am laid back in the recliner watching TV and sipping on Diet Coke. Just to put it out there - Psych, Family Guy, American Dad, and the Simpson's set the backdrop for my writing. Sometimes Islip in an occasional episode of Monk or Two and a Half Men.
I am a firm believer in that old saying: Laughter is the best medicine.If you cannot laugh at yourself, you are probably a grumpy old man or on your way to becoming one.
Shame on you!
If you are feeling down, my prescription is to grab a Diet Coke, a dose of your favorite dessert, sit back, and watch a couple of hours of FOX cartoons. Those shows will reboot your funny bone, and get you to see life as it is - one crazy ride.
My favorite books are the historical novels of Kenneth Roberts written back in the thirties and forties - Arundel, Northwest Passage, Boon Island, and Lydia Bailey. His stories are historically accurate, and totally absorbing no matter how many times you read them.
Special thanks go out to my friend Mike, for introducing me to J. R. R. Tolkien and the Lord of the Rings trilogy way back in my college days.I recommend this series to everyone.
Right now my focus is history.
I have got so many ideas rolling around in my head. 1861: Prelude to CivilWar. We Might Have Been Kings: George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and the American Revolution. And, so many more.
The problem is deciding which book to write first.
People often ask me for advice on how they can get started writing.
I tell them to read everything you can get your hands on. Write as much as you can, and don't limit yourself to one subject or genre. More importantly, don't be afraid to fail. Not every book is going to be a success. Some of them are going to sit there for six months, or a year before they take off and start selling. Some are going to emerge stillborn.
It is the nature of the beast.
That is a little bit about me, what books and authors have influenced me, and which direction I am headed with my new material.
As always, it has been a pleasure.
From the Inside Flap
What followed was an interesting look at some of the big-name gunfighters, their physical prowess, and how they fired so fast.
He said, "nerve was the quality that marked the great gunfighters." One example he gave was a man named Charlie Harrison. He was "the most brilliant performer with a pistol." He could "shoot faster and straighter than many of the great fighters." However, when the shit hit the fan, and it was time for the real thing, he could not muster up the nerve.Harrison got in a gunfight with Jim Levy, someone he should have easily bested, but "he missed him with all six shots at close range before Levy could reach for his weapon."
"Harrison was brave, but he had no nerve." As a result, he lay dead in the street while Jim Levy walked away.
Masterson admired Wild Bill. Bill "made the average heavyweight prize fighter look like fun. There wasn't a man in the west that could have touched him in a physical encounter." He was as good with his guns as he was with his fists. The same was true for Wyatt Earp. He could handle himself with, or without, a gun.
Perhaps more telling is what Masterson suggested was the "secret sauce" that made the big-name gunfighters so fast.
"We used to file the notch of the hammer till the trigger would pull 'sweet' which is another way of saying that the blame gun would pretty near go off if you looked at it." However, "the real gunfighters did not file the notches off." They carried one gun in their hip-holster, and another "swung under the armpit." It let them "draw on an adversary while he was waiting for the familiar motion toward the hip."
An article published in the Seattle Post Intelligencer on July 22, 1900, took things a step further. They said the gunfighters "all filed the sights from their guns and shot by instinct rather than by aim. Triggers were a superfluous piece of mechanism, and all were addicted to the process in a fight, technically known as fanning their guns. By this means a man with a brace of Colt's six-shooters becomes for the moment and animated machine gun," or in the terms of another early reporter "a walking Gatling Gun."