Friday, July 13, 2018

The Devil's Justice


The Devil's Justice is my best selling book. It is not my favorite, but who am I to argue with my readers. It is a fairly short book, but I think that has added to the appeal. I had originally intended the book for a British publisher and wrote it to dictated specifications as to length, design, plot and pace. Perhaps, the publisher knew best what would appeal to the market rather than my own personal likes and dislikes. Anyways, it did become my most successful effort even though I preferred some of my other longer more superior works such as The Wildcat Kitty and the Cyclone Kid series and the stand alone Apache Gun Hawk.
When i first stared writing, I was using my grandfather's name, CHAD CULL as a pseudonym. The Devil's Justice was written using this name. A long time successful writer, who had made a living writing works for hire and using many house names and aliases, told me that you should always use your own name wherever possible, so people would know who you are and could locate all your works. I think this was good advice, but I had already written several books using the Chad Cull monicker.
I then, released my Frontier G-Man series under my own name as well as several others. My newer works carried the Franklin D. Lincoln label. This included The Wildcat Kitty series as well as The Whispering Bandit.
I am now re-releasing all of my books with Amazon Kindle in e-book format as well as affordable paperback versions with new covers featuring pulp style themes. They are also being offered on Kindle unlimited. This is an outstanding feature offered by Kindle for avid readers who would like the opportunity for unlimited reading for a single price.

The Devil's Justice is a story about the price paid for revenge. A popular theme in westerns currently is the avenger tracking down the baddies who killed his family or someone close to him. It is becoming cliche. This story takes a little different approach in that the main character wreaks all of his vengeance  in the first chapter of the book. With that out of the way, he must learn to live out the remainder of his life haunted by the consequences; thus vengeance has become the Devil's Justice.

This book can be found on my Amazon Author page at;
Franklin D. Lincoln Author Page

Hope you take a look.

Thanks for riding the trail


Friday, June 29, 2018

Forgotten Western Heroes ---Straight Arrow

  Straight Arrow was a radio show on the Mutual Radio Network from 1949-1951 I was born in 1941 so i was very young at the time, but I listened faithfully and was thrilled at the amazing adventures of of an Indian version of the Lone Ranger. He used gold arrow heads as the Lone Ranger used silver bullets.This time the hero was a full blooded Comanche Indian, raised by white people and passed for white. In adulthood he would pose as the young owner of the Broken Bow Ranch. His white man name was Steve Adams. Note the initials are the same as Straight Arrow. His friend and sidekick was a Gabby Hayes type older man, named Packy McLeod. When trouble arose, Steve would don the garb and and identity of Straight Arrow and bring evildoers to justice. This was exciting fair for a little boy experiencing the fantastic world of imagination as old time radio provided in its day. This is something, I fear current generations could not and would not accept.        The show aired at 5:00 pm every Tuesday and Thursday. Howard Culver starred as Steve and Straight Arrow. Years later he would portray Howie, the hotel keeper on Gunsmole. He was a little man and looked nothing like the way Straight Arrow was portrayed in a later comic book version as shown above. Much can be said about talented voice actors of the time who were great for radio and could personify leading and heroic parts in an audience's imagination, but did not have the physical looks for such parts in visual mediums.
  The show was sponsored by Nabisco Shredded Wheat. It came in a different shaped cereal box, which was  squarish all the way around, including depth-wise; not tall like most cereal boxes. There was a picture of Niagara Fall on the package and proclaimed it came direct from there, as their plant was in Buffalo, NY. The biscuits were not sealed in paper as they are today, but packed open in layers separated by a cardboard divider. These dividers were printed with the likeness of Straight Arrow. These were called Injun-Nuity Cards. They would have  pictures, descriptions and instructions to make Indian item such as bows, arrows, lances, moccasins, traps etc Also there would be first aid tips and instructions for horsemanship. These cards were also meant to be colored with crayon. This meant that hours of fun could be had from these free premiums. You could collect them all. I believe there were 32 in all.
   My favorite part of the show was when Steve rode off to his secret cave and turned into Straight Arrow. It was the same exact words by the announcer every time. To this day I remember it well, perhaps with a few mistakes along the way, but this is how I remember it:

  A short distance from the Broken Bow Ranch House, lies Sundown Valley and through it, a secret entrance known only to Steve Adams and Packy; a subteranean cave. The walls of the cave glitter with the sparkle of gold and the illumination of light from an unknown source. Comanche bow, Comanche arrows and Comanche garb hang on the wall and in the shimmering light stands the great golden stallion, Fury.

                    "Steady Fury"

    In a moment Steve Adams, rancher, is gone, and in his place...........

                 "Yes, Fury. It is I; STRAIGHT ARROW!"

   A clatter of hooves in the vast vaulted cave and out into the sunlight, riding bareback and clad in Indian garb from head to toe; STRAIGHT ARROW ON THE TRAIL OF JUSTICE!

                                      "KAN-NEE-WAY, FURY"

Such were the days!

Thanks for riding the trail.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

A.Leslie Scott- Jackson Cole-Pulps

  Pulp magazines were extremely popular in the days before TV. Pulp was the name given to low cost publications of the 20's, 30's, 40's and partially int to 1950's because they were printed on cheap paper. The quality of this paper was so low that the life of these publications was extremely limited. Time has turned many of them into dry, crumbling, rubble. Fortunately, what is left of these pubs is now being saved and in some cases digitized to a new life.
  Action, Adventure, Mystery, Crime, Sci-Fi, and Fantasy were the staples of these magazines. My favorites, of course, were the westerns.
  Among the many western magazine titles was Texas Rangers. This was a long running series that started in the 30's and ended in 1957. The stories were about Jim Hatfield and his horse Goldy.  They were written almost exclusively by A. Leslie Scott under the house name Jackson Cole. Theses were outstanding stories of action and adventure. The earlier stories contained much faux cowboy language and periods of long talks with the hero's horse as a way of moving the story forward. I found theses things annoying. Nonetheless the adventures were full of action and I enjoyed them. Late in the series Scott no longer wrote the series. A stable of ghost writers continued under the Jackson Cole name. Among these writers was Walker A. Tompkins, who was my favorite. The language became more readable. The stories were shorter but still retained rapid fire pacing.
  Scott went on to pen another Texas ranger series for Thrilling Western Magazine under the pen name Bradford Scott. This time the ranger was named Walt Slade. He was almost a clone of Jim Hatfield except he rode a black horse instead of a gold one. Also, he was a singing cowboy which would have worked in the movies, but i didn't think it did in print. In the earlier episodes, he rode into action with a guitar strapped across his back. Oh well, nonetheless these were action filled adventures. Unfortunately, in later years Scott's stories slipped into a sameness and all stories were essentially the same.
  Nonetheless, A. Leslie Scott was still a great talent that produced a huge volume of westerns.
  One of the all time greats.

The above pictured title Apache Guns is restored andavailable in kindle Ebook and Amazon paperback. Note only the Apache Guns title is here. The rest of the magazine is not.

Free pdfs of Texas Rangers are available at monogrampress.com.

Thanks for riding the trail

Friday, May 11, 2018

Texas Lawman--Ray Hogan

 
Texas Lawman is one of the Ray Hogan westerns currently republished by Prologue Books. This is a typical exciting yarn by this prolific writer. Again his hero is stalwart, honest, and courageous.
  Hogan does not tell us much about Dan Ricker and his past. He is just a typical wandering hero, much like Cheyenne of the 1950's. I am sure Hogan was very much influenced by the standard TV oaters of the time.
  Ricker is neither a Texan or Lawman as the title suggests, but he demonstrates that essence in the progression of this action adventure.
  Running from Comanches, he meets up with marshal Ben Burke who is transporting a prisoner to Canyon City for hanging before the prisoner's family can catch up with the marshal and free their kin.
  Ricker, the marshal and prisoner are once again attacked by Comanches. They are captured and taken to the Indian stronghold to be sold to Comancheros.
  Here they meet up with a young girl, Marfa Talbot who is also a prisoner and slated for sale to the Comancheros.
  They all escape and are pursued by both Comanches and Comancheros. They meet up with friends of the prisoner, who kill the marshal and let the prisoner get away.
  Ricker pins the marshal's badge on, taking on the duties of a Lawman and continues with the girl in pursuit with the outlaws friends and family on their trail.
  Comanches and Comancheros are not to be forgotten here, as they are still in pursuit of their previously escaped inventory.
  The rest of the story is full of exciting  scenes and adventures that results in a thrilling climax.
  Once again Ray Hogan delivers his usual fare of an outstanding western tale.

Thanks for riding the trail,
The Rangewriter

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Ray Hogan and the traditional western

  Ray Hogan was born in 1908 but he didn't publish his first western until 1956. Fortunately, he lived to be 90 years old and published many thrilling western yarns in his lifetime. I never considered him a great writer, but he never failed to deliver a fast paced, satisfying western. He was a craftsman and his books were constructed in a methodical building block manner. Each chapter was lean and spare. The story moved along at a natural progression. Each chapter built solidly into achieving a satisfying ending to the book.
  His heroes and bad guys were of traditional nature. Black and white. Good and bad. His heroes held values of truth, justice, integrity, honor and responsibility. These are values held in high esteem and seemed to have lost their luster in our current modern day society. It is refreshing to read these older works and relive the values of a simpler time.
  Ray Hogan's Shawn Starbuck series, which was originally a paperback original series, is currently being re released by Piccadilly Publishing: an outstanding endeavor to bring back western classics from the past. I will discuss more about this fine publisher in future posts.
Shawn Starbuck is a hero in the classic western mold. He is honest, noble, and his integrity is beyond reproach. He is the prime example of Ray Hogan's stalwart heroes. The books were short. The plots were straightforward and right won out against the bad guys. The stories were very much like the tv western in the 50's. A lone hero drifting from town to town, becoming involved in other people's problems, helping them out, bringing bad guys to justice in a tale that would have easily fitted in the TV hour long show, much like Cheyenne or Bronco. The difference was that instead of wandering aimlessly throughout the west, Starbuck has a purpose. He is looking for his long lost brother. This is a familiar vehicle for moving a story that has been used over and over as in The Guns of Will Sonnett, Desperado, and The Fugitive.
  It is good to see these books back in print. As i said, the Starbucks are being published by Piccadilly Publishing. Some of Ray Hogan's stand alone books are currently being published by Prologue Books. I will highlight this publisher in another post also.
  Hogan's other most notable series was about John Rye known as The Doomsday Marshal. There were only a few installments and were published in hard cover by Doubleday as their Double D Western series. These were short hardcover books of about 150 pages. Included in this series were authors such as Lewis B. Patten and Lauren Paine. I will discuss this series in another post.
  Hopefully these books will be issued again soon.

Thanks for riding the Trail
The Rangewriter

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Dickie Jones Range Rider's Pal



Dickie Jones was a famous child actor. He was the voice of Pinnochio in the Disney movie in 1940. He performed with most of the notable screen actors of the day.
He was an accomplished trick rider and trick roper at the  age of 4 AS he grew to manhood he was hired by Gene Autry to star in many of his movies. After television came along, Gene Autry formed his own television company, Flying A Productions. Dickie appeared in several Gene Autry TV shows before being cast as Dick West in The Range Rider TV series as reviewed in a previous blog.
   He was extremely athletic and he did his own stunts and horsework. With Jock Mahoney, they made a fantastic duo with their outstanding action performances.
  After The Range Rider Series, he starred in his own series, Buffalo Bill,Jr. This was another outstanding action series that highlighted his athletic and horsemanship abilities. This was also produced by Gene Autry. 
  He retired from acting in the late 1950's. In later years, he became a banker.
  During my time with the Buck Jones Rangers, we approached Dickie for a possible appearance at our annual Buck Jones Film Festival. He was very gracious, but he very tactfully informed us that he was DICK JONES, not Dickie. So Noted. He deserved the dignity.
  Dick passed away in 2014 from a fall at the age of 87.
  A man of great talent and class. He is sorely missed.

Thanks for riding the trail.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Luke Short Again

  I always appreciate it when a reader takes the time to respond to this blog.  Here is what one reader had to add about Luke Short. 
  
 Western writer Frederick Dilley Glidden(1908-1975), was better known as Luke Short.  He was a good storyteller and he developed his characters so they weren't one dimensional, but were complex, which makes for better reading.  Yes, his women characters were more realistic frontier types, probably because he had a good role model in his mother, who after her husband's death raised her sons as a single working mother.  She was an English teacher who became the dean of women at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois.                                            

     Luke Short's stories were outstanding and his plots contained great characters. Often the stories were much closer to noir. His novel Ramrod was very much so.It was made into a movie in 1947 Starring Joel McRea and Veronica lake.  The movie followed the book very closely and was a big success in its day. It is still popular on classic movie channels today. Many of Short's other other works were made into movies as well. Vengeance Valley is a good example of the adult themes that permeated his works.

  As for Joel McCrea, he was the epitome of the western man. He fitted the role perfectly as he almost always did in all his other roles. He was so much entrenched in westerns that later on in his career, he decided he would only perform in westerns.
  In real life, Joel was really a cowboy. He had a ranch and he worked it as such. He never claimed to be an actor.  When ever asked his occupation, he would say rancher. His tax returns always displayed rancher as occupation.
  He retired from movies in 1962 with a final western movie Ride the High Country in which he starred with Randolph Scott. This was a classic western and served as a retirement vehicle for both outstanding western stars.

Thanks for riding the trail.