Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The Lone Ranger Unmasked (Men in WWW) PART 2

by Joyce B. Lohse
(Editor's Note: Part 1 of this series ran last week. The article was originally published in a 2010 WWW newsletter. This is also a tribute to Bob Foard, who passed away recently.)

Another member of our group is Bob Foard, a retired teacher, and husband of a WWW past president, Sheila Foard. The Foards live in Van Buren, Missouri. Michael Farmer, who met the Foards through Western Writers of America, says, “They’re a delightful couple. Bob has serious writing talent to go with his droll sense of humor.”

Claiming his title as Sheila’s “driver and lugger”, Bob Foard said, A few years ago I asked Sheila what I could do to help support her WWW organization.  ‘Why don't you join?’ she suggested.  So I did and I have gotten more than my money's worth, including member discounts at the conferences. The conference panels, workshops, and expert speakers always stimulate my thinking and make my life more interesting.  Books and writers are special in my life.  Plus I got to horseback ride in the Sonoran Desert during this year's conference (the horse was named Will James).

“I am in the process of reliving and redoing my boyhood since moving back to the Ozarks. My projects list is a long one.  I volunteer for the Texas County, Missouri Historical Society and am researching my home county for a book project.  Reenacting with the Ozark Mountain Longrifleman's Mountain Man Club got me interested in frontier history in our area. 

“Being a male member of a women's writing group wasn't in my bucket list.  On the other hand, I have always enjoyed doing discrepant and divergent things.  It makes me unique and sometimes I get attention and it allows me to brag.  Sheila says I need an audience.  She is right about that.  My hope is to be able to write a story or two for that audience.”
WWW member Bill J. Scott lives in Nipomo, California. According to his web site, his Angel of the Gold Rush series contains, “HARD TIMES------STRONG WOMEN------GREAT ADVENTURE. My books feature what I like to call formidable females: hotheaded, impulsive, and emotional, but very strong and possessed of great integrity and determination. Cross them and you may not live to tell the tale.”

When asked about his writing, Bill says, “My new book is titled Light on a Distant Hill.  It tells the story of Ellen O'Hara, a sixteen-year-old mail-order bride who departs Salina, Kansas in 1876 to join her husband-to-be, a cavalry officer stationed at Fort Walla Walla in Washington Territory.  But a victim of a massacre by Indians at Elko Nevada on the way, she does not reach her intended.  Badly wounded, she wanders off into the wilderness and disappears.  Is she alive or dead?  Read the book, due out in late December 2010.

“I hold Bachelors degrees from Washington State University and Brooks Institute of Photography.  I am a former professional photographer and college instructor.  I am interested in the Native American experience is America, and can claim a small amount of Cherokee blood.”

Male members, partners, family, and friends often work in partnership with us to support WWW. Sometimes, they pitch in to help the organization through their participation, assistance, and attendance. Others are silent helpers behind the scenes, leaving us to gratefully wonder, “Who was that masked man?”
Joyce B. Lohse, WWW administrator, writes historic biographies for Filter Press. Her books have won several awards, including two silver WILLA Awards from WWW.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Lone Ranger Unmasked (Men in WWW) PART 1

by Joyce B. Lohse

(Editor’s Note: This article was first published in the 2010 WWW newsletter).

Those who watched the Lone Ranger on television a half century ago might remember clusters of ranchers or townsfolk, pondering the identity of their idol as he rode off into the sunset, stopping near the horizon to turn and wave from his rearing white horse, yelling, “Hi-yo, Silver, away!” Staring in amazement, they said, “Who was that masked man?” Their hero remained nameless, anonymous, and forever masked.

As administrator for Women Writing the West, people often ask me questions about our group. One common question is, “What if a man wants to join WWW?” This question is sometimes delivered in a challenging tone. The answer is simple. Women Writing the West is open to all persons worldwide with a common interest in women’s stories in the American West. I then hand them a membership brochure.

The following profiles provide a glimpse at three male writers—W. Michael Farmer, Bob Foard, and Bill J. Scott—who are currently members of WWW. Who are they? What do you know about them?

W. Michael Farmer lives in Suffolk, Virginia. When asked how his affiliation with our group came about, Michael said, “I had finished the manuscript for my first novel, Hombrecito's War, when I attended the first Tony Hillerman Writer's Conference in Nov 2004. Jann Arrington Wolcott, a sweet lady and very personable, gave one of the better talks about writing. She grew up in the Las Cruces, NM area and knew the history I used as the basis of my story. She generously agreed to read the manuscript and give me a few pointers about how to improve it. 

"A few months later she sent me an e-mail that started: Wow! Wow! Wow! She was effusive in her praise, insightful in her comments and pointers, and set [this] Ph.D. physicist on the road to finding truth through fiction. Unable to find an agent, I published Hombrecito's War through a POD publisher and in 2006 it was named a finalist for Best First Novel by the Western Writers of America and was a New Mexico Book Award Finalist for Best Historical Fiction in 2007.

“My third novel, Conspiracy, Trial of Oliver Lee and James Gililland was published by Treble Heart Books, a real publisher, (in 2009) and I've just finished my fourth novel, a story about Pancho Villa, Tiger, Tiger Burning Bright. Jann, who was one of the founding mothers of WWW, suggested I join WWW because I'd find lots of useful writing nuggets on the list serve and meet some class acts in the writing business. And, I have.

"I support WWW because Jann Wolcott originally suggested it was a good place for any western writer - she was right, and because the organization is a class act of the best of writers keeping faith with the myths and memories of times and places that uniquely transcend the American soul.”

Join us next week for bios on our other WWW men, Bob Foard and Bill J. Scott.
Joyce B. Lohse, WWW administrator, writes historic biographies for Filter Press. Her books have won several awards, including two silver WILLA Awards from WWW.