An Interview With Dusty Saddle Publishing Bestseller Robert Hanlon

Western Interviews

Robert Hanlon– that’s a name many Western readers are familiar with. Why? Because he’s one of the biggest names in the Western book business. His first novel “Texas Bounty Hunter” was number one for weeks– since then he’s tied up the charts with a number of big hits… and… he has a new one. “Pecos Bounty Hunter” is the name of the book. It’s currently climbing the charts… This interview is with the man who makes the magic happen. What a man! What an interview! Let’s meet him.

Robert Hanlon—what a pleasure!

What the hell? I thought I was meeting with Johnny Carson.

Carson couldn’t make it, so you’re stuck with me.

Well, how you doing?

Not bad—how is San Antonio?

Don’t know! I haven’t been there since 1965.

Where are you currently located?

Omaha. Need I say more?

Ha! So where do you fit into this crazy world?

I’m from New York City—worked in a few different industries—record industry, car industry. Now I’m working in the book industry. Always working.

How did you go from the record industry to the book industry?

I wasn’t anything special in the record industry. Just a session producer many, many years ago. I’ve always wanted to write books, Westerns in particular, and this was my opportunity. The problem I faced was that the book industry is so disorganized compared to the record industry. There’s little or no reward for authors. It wasn’t until I signed with Dusty Saddle Publishing that I realized the book industry could be fun— and profitable.

Do you consider profit important?

Ha! Trick question. I consider return on my time important.

Do you feel you’ve received that?

Yes. A thousand times over.

Why Dusty Saddle Publishing?

I looked at a ton of outfits—none of them could give me what I wanted. You either pay for everything up front,  or you sign with some literary brain and find yourself selling two copies a month. Then you can sign with a big company after a huge struggle with an agent or you find yourself a publishing company that is run like a record company—profit, profit, profit. Dusty Saddle was different and none of the above.

Is Robert Hanlon your real name?

How rude! Ha! No. I’m a kid from New York. I got named Robert Hanlon by the advertising heads over at Dusty Saddle Publishing. My real name is not American Western at all. However– I will say that I have fired a gun, ridden a horse, hunted, fished and lived like a cowboy for sometime.

“Texas Bounty Hunter” was one of the biggest selling Western novels of the Christmas period. How do you account for success like that?

I don’t. Readers across the country purchased that book—from New Orleans, Detroit, Dallas, Pittsburgh, New York City, Atlanta, Texas and Los Angeles. It was one of the big Westerns of the year, and I think that’s wonderful. But how do I account for a success like that? I just write Westerns and take all the boring bits out of my books. All that drivel that people skip over—I cut it out. I try to write entertaining stories that readers want to read. “Texas Bounty Hunter” was one of the most successful—but let’s not forget that “Pecos Bounty Hunter,” “Hangman’s Noose” and “The Texan Gold Renegades” were also huge hits. My publishing company, “Dusty Saddle Publishing,” call me—they want a new book—I knock one out. I live in a hard-working world, and I work to sell a lot of books. What more can I say?

You take all the boring bits out? What does that mean?

Well, my last editor and I discussed this. Why waste pages and pages on description? I lead with dialogue, I lead with action. Description, in my opinion, should be kept to a minimum—books are like dreams. We do with them what we wish.

I see—so how are your books produced?

I write them—then I meet with the cover designer and get a feel for the cover I want. Then the marketing department over at Dusty Saddle Publishing takes over and finds a way to make the books sell. I’m already working on the next book by the time the previous book hits the shelf. I like to keep up a steady release schedule. I am contracted to turn in a certain number of manuscripts per year, so I have to keep rolling.

How do you feel about Dusty Saddle Publishing?

I think they’ve got the right idea. They really control the content they sign, and they keep a strict release schedule—they promote well and keep on track when it comes to building an author. When I was working in the record industry as a session producer, I worked in much the same way. Dusty Saddle Publishing works like a record company, not like a publishing company. Content is created, edited, released, promoted and then the next release is readied, released, promoted and on it goes. I signed with them five months ago, and they’ve grown quickly—so quickly I signed a twenty-five-year contract with them. Why? Because it’s the place to be.

What do you think about editing?

I don’t. The girl over at Dusty Saddle Publishing thinks about it. I just smile, nod my head and wonder what the hell a semi-colon is. I write books—editors edit. What more do I have to say?

If you could write a book on any subject what would it be?

I’d love to write something about the Rosenbergs, H-Bombs, Brando, The King and I, The Catcher in the Rye, Liberace, Santayana and James Dean. What would I be writing about?

The 1950s?

Bingo. Give the kid a bone.

Isn’t that a bit of a stretch from the Westerns you’ve been writing?

Hey! You asked me what I would want to write about if I could write about anything. I told you. I never said it would happen—just that I’d like to pen something about the era of my youth.

What is your latest release called?

“Bounty For The Preacher”—it’s a really good book, and it’s rolling up the hit parade already. It might be the best book I’ve ever written. The story came to me in a dream. I woke up in the middle of the night and started it. Hey—before I knew it I had a Western story that even the hard-nosed editorial types liked. I reckon it’ll be the one I’ll be remembered for.

Thank you for your time, Bobby. It’s been a blast.

Thank you, Clyde. Did I get the job?

An Interview with Bestselling Western Author Paul L. Thompson

Uncategorized, Western Interviews

Do you love a good Western novel? If so, you need to hunker down with a taste of Paul Thompson. His book “Revenge of the Bullet” has been setting the Western charts alight. It takes a touch of Thompson to really make your Western party swing… let’s view the man!

Paul, it’s great to meet you!

Likewise.

I know you’ve written a ton of books– but what is your latest called? 

“Revenge of the Bullet” is my latest release. It’s one of the best books I’ve ever written, and readers seem to be really enjoying it.

Who is your intended audience and why should they read your books?

All ages are welcome to read my books. I’ve never put age limits on reading habits. I think they should read my books if they want Westerns that entertain them. You know a lot people denounce the Western as dead—but all I ever hear from my readership is that they want more dang Westerns! I love it!

How did you come to be a writer, anyway?

I was inspired by my father and great-grandfather. They were huge influences on my decision to become a writer.

Tell us a little bit about your cover art. Who designed it? Why did you go with that particular style?

I leave that up to Outlaws Publishing. They show me the covers; if I like what they’ve come up with, I accept it. They know if I write back and say “that’s great” that it’s a go! If I don’t, I send them back to the workshop and make them work harder to get the right cover made.

Who is your favorite character from your books and why?

M D (Shorty) Thompson is by far my personal favorite. If you’ve read the stories, then you’ll know why.

How about your least favorite character?  What makes them less appealing to you?

I don’t really have a least favorite. How can anyone dislike any character that they’ve created! They’re all like my children.

If you could change ONE thing about your novel, what would it be?  Why?

In hindsight, and this something we are working on currently, I’d actually have my books printed in large print. I think it’s important for authors to remember that a large percentage of readers, especially Western readers, are older, and we need to make sure that our books are accessible to those wonderful folks.

What other books are similar to your own?  What makes them alike?

Louis L’Amour, of course. I am proud of the fact that every location in my book is a real location. I like everything about my Westerns to ring true.

Do you have any unique talents or hobbies?

Writing Western novels is, some would say, my talent. More importantly, it’s my hobby, and it keeps me busy for hours. I can’t get enough of it.

How can we contact you or find out more about your books?

You are very welcome to check out my official website (OLDWESTNOVELS.COM). You can also email Outlaws Publishing, and don’t forget to check out Amazon. You can see my books there, read my reviews, and find out all about me.

What can we expect from you in the future?

More wonderful novels! Seriously! I will be writing more books, promoting those books, making interview appearances, releasing audiobooks and keeping busy.

What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?

Tell the next person what a wonderful novel you just read. Review the book on Amazon. Review it on Goodreads. Share it on your Facebook wall. Do whatever you can to spread the word that you liked the book. I’d be mighty grateful for your help!

Do you have any tips for readers or advice for other writers trying to get published?

Do your research! That’s the most important piece of advice I can give. Always do your research.

Is there anything else you’d like to say?

There’s a lot I’d like to say—but one thing that I really do want to get across to people is that the Westerns are coming back in a big way. More Westerns are sold every day, and if you have a Western in your head, rolling around… work on it and turn it into a story. Then publish it. You won’t be disappointed. Writing Westerns is fun, it’s healthy and it’s gratifying.