Friday, December 15, 2017

Luke Short (Frederick Glidden) The before Louis L'amour

I don'r want to get into the ranking of authors; who is better than whom? There have been many great western authors who were great in their own right. Some were similar to others and some were a little more unique, but quality was still there. The overall success of any author is marketing. The author's work needs to be exposed. Some received more exposure than others. Some had great recommendations by influential personalities. Some had works made into great motion pictures.
    Luke Short was the pen name of Frederick Glidden. His publisher assigned him that name. He did not know at the time that Luke Short was a famous gunman in the old west. He wrote outstanding rugged western stories with well developed characters  including strong women roles, as well as complex and often times convoluted plot lines.He was very prolific and many of his works were adapted into successful motion pictures and often in comic book form.
      In his latter years he was contracted by Bantam books to supply two or three books a year. Whether it was his health or other reasons, he often failed to deliver on the designated deadlines for publication. He was replaced by a newcomer named Louis L'Amour. Bantam initiated a new marketing policy of having all L'Amour books in print all the time.
     I am not saying that L'Amour was not as good as Luke Short for I hold L'Amour in high esteem and I have read all of his books and are favorites. With the aggressive marketing  by Bantam Books as well as the purchase of the short story "Gift of Cochise" by John Wayne and turned into the very successful movie, "Hondo," Louis became a household name and discovered by millions of readers. I sometimes wonder if Luke Short or many of the other great writers of our time would have achieved as much success and notoriety.


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