The following interview is with one of the great up-and-coming Western hitmakers. Paul Bedford has been slowly gaining a reputation with DS readers over the last few months, and with plenty of new stories on the way, he looks likely to be one of the great success stories of 2021. We present to you our interview with an author you will meet soon in fiction and now in fact.
KT: When did you realize you wanted to be an author?
I am currently sixty-five. Forty-eight years ago, at the tender age of seventeen, I wrote a Western short story entitled “The Forgotten Land.” Although I now cringe at its sheer awfulness, it was nevertheless a beginning. It was therefore very satisfying, a few years ago, to get a full length, reworked version published and into the UK libraries.
KT: How long did it take you to come up with an idea for your first novel?
I began writing seriously some sixteen years ago, when work and family commitments had reduced sufficiently to allow it. As usual with me, the idea for “Blood On The Land” came in a flash, although I had no idea, again as usual, until well into it how it would finish.
KT: How long did your first novel take to write?
Because I went over the top with research, even going so far as to contact the Leeds Armouries for technical info, it took about six months, which is a long time for a short, sharp read.
KT: What advice would you give to new authors?
From my experience, you need to write for enjoyment and achievement, rather than money, because few people make much of the latter unless they write a bestseller.
KT: What does a typical day when you are writing look like for you? Is there anyone who influenced your writing style?
Being semi-retired, no day is the same. To be honest, if the weather is good I would rather be cycling or otherwise enjoying the outdoors. BUT I always, without fail, like to progress my current book every day, because it helps to maintain the flow.
KT: Where did the idea come from for your latest series?
I realized that I hadn’t adequately covered the Pony Express and its “swing stations” before. In “Devil’s Gate Station,” published by DSP, I also thought it would be good for the main character to have a dark past so that he would be able to handle anything that came at him.
KT: How would you approach it differently if you were to repeat it today?
Although I am constantly honing my craft, my writing style essentially remains the same.
KT: What got you interested in writing Westerns?
I grew up with TV Westerns in the sixties and so have always had a great fondness for them. If I was to write anything, it therefore had to be a Western. Out of twenty-six published books, only one has been on a different subject (“The Race For Khartoum,” published by DSP).
KT: What do you think makes for the perfect Western?
A good example of my perfect Western movie is “Open Range” with Kevin Costner and Robert Duvall. It’s filled with great characters, a marvelous story (including a touching love affair) and excellent action scenes. The same has to be true with a good read.
KT: What can we look forward to from you next?
I am currently finishing off the sequel to “Devil’s Gate Station,” which will hopefully be published as “Fort Bridger’s War” by DSP early next year.
Katrina Turner resides in Pennsylvania with her fiancé and child where she works as the Social Media Manager for Dusty Saddle Publishing. Katrina enjoys reading, writing, painting and playing her guitar—anything that lets her express her creative freedom. When she’s not working, you can find her curled up on the couch with a good book or having a fun game night with her loved ones. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org