Last year I wrote a book that I call a “Modern Day Western”. It is sort of my tribute to Louis L’Amour who I loved as a teen.
I always hoped I could write a riveting western and here it is.
Lone Wolf Canyon is a larger than life story that sucks you in and forces you to read clear through to the end. Most of the reviews have been glowing, but there’s bound to be a hiccup when you go public with anything and I thought sharing it might be good for me, perhaps cathartic.
Lone Wolf Canyon was reviewed by an honest man who works for an Eastern Iowa paper, the Cedar Rapids Gazette. Since I live in Eastern Iowa this is a local review for me. My friends read this one! Ouch!
I know the reviewer, Adam Sullivan and respect him. However, I’m pretty sure he hated the story or maybe just all the characters and everything they said.
He may have missed the part where this is a fiction novel. Nonetheless, here are some of his best jabs!
“Underground terrorists in rural Idaho plotting to destroy Cowboys Stadium.
Sound far-fetched? It is.”
Is it really? Who thinks that the idea of real terrorists training inside America is far-fetched? I’m not sure, because it already happened. Remember those Twin Towers? Remember those whacky jihadis learning to fly in Florida? There’s more.
“Sherman’s prose is engaging and flows so easily that occasional editing oversights are forgivable. However, several elements of the story are so unbelievable they cross the line of adventure fiction and tread into the fantasy.”
“Engaging”! Nice. Maybe I judged too soon. Could he actually like parts of the book? Oh snap, “editing oversights”? Hmm…at least they were “forgivable”.
Unbelievable elements? See definition of fiction. Lone Wolf Canyon is a fiction novel. Therefore, in my opinion, parts of it may be rather unbelievable yet entertaining. I have written fantasy before and don’t see much difference between western fantasy and true fantasy with dragons and magic…but oh well.
Adam really seems to want to like the book but just can’t get past the fact that my bad guys are Islamic terrorists and my good guys hate everything about that! My characters hate jihadis so much that they “speak insensitively”.
They use stereotypical derogatory language. This is the kind of rough and sometimes vulgar language you don’t find in literary circles or coffee houses full of elites. It is however, the kind of language that men on job sites use regularly. It is perhaps the type of language a squad of men on the ground in Middle East might use.
Adam continues his lovefest:
“The characters were almost endearing, until I learned they are raging Islamophobes. Even as a white guy and radical free speech advocate, I frequently cringed at the book’s racially insensitive language.”
“That makes the most redeeming character in the book the one who doesn’t openly deride Muslims at every opportunity — Betsy, the old cowboy’s loyal canine companion.”
Well, at least the characters were “almost endearing”. Almost. He did show a soft spot for the dog. Her lines were limited, so we don’t know if she was an Islamaphobe.
It wasn’t just me or my novel that came under fire. Oh no, my publisher took a shot or two as well.
“Lone Wolf Canyon” seems to trumpet political incorrectness for its own sake, not because it adds to the story in a meaningful way. One gets the same vibe from several other Post Hill Press titles, including “Confessions of an Islamophobe” and “Liberalism or How to Turn Good Men Into Whiners, Weenies and Wimps.”
This review reminds me of a warning issued by my good friend, Jason Mattera, as he gave a promotional blurb for Lone Wolf Canyon. Apparently, Jason, nailed this on the head.
“If you are one of those delicate snowflakes who are easily offended…this book is not for you. Sherman does a great job of telling a tale that can only be called a modern day western. Unlike anything you have ever read!” -Jason Mattera
Thanks Jason. This book is like nothing else, that is sure, and definitely not for the easily offended.
Adam fires one last round and I take a direct shot with this final nail in the coffin of my literary career!
“Edgy can be powerful, but only when it’s done right. Pure shock value, by contrast, can be a lazy tactic for authors. It is the literary equivalent of flying a confederate flag in a black neighborhood, just because you know you can get a rise out of people. Sure, you’re allowed to do it, but it’s not clever of creative.”
Shock value? Lazy writing? Flying a confederate flag in a black neighborhood? Not clever or creative?
Dang! That hurts. I guess I should open a vein and never write again!
Or you should buy my book and give it a go. Perhaps a positive word from you might salvage my self-esteem and encourage me to write once again. (Insert thick sarcasm)
Lone Wolf Canyon, is a book a man’s man would read. It’s a book a woman would read and wish she could be right there in the middle of it.
Buy it, read it, and let me know what you think. I really want to hear from you after you read it. Think of it as saving me from depression. Please help!
Here is the back-page blurb to give you a picture of what you’re getting into here:
Lance “Ham” Hamilton said goodbye to his life as an Army Ranger. He walked out of Fort Benning heading west. He’d made a promise to his best friend that he intended to keep. The kind of promise sealed in blood as his friend breathed his last breath. They’d meant to do it together. After the Army, they were gonna go out west and be cowboys for a while, like days gone by. With Mac gone, he was alone now, but a promise made like that, had to be kept.
Ham was looking forward to it. A lonely job in a lost place, sounded like heaven. No roadside bombs and nobody shooting at you. He’d had his fill of blood, sand, rocks, and following orders. He had a job waiting at The Lost Circus Ranch on the River of No Return, Idaho. Smack-dab in the middle of millions of acres of nowhere. It was as good a place as any to disappear, play cowboy, and forget the past.
Sometimes the past won’t stay put. It seems no matter how far Ham goes, the wars of the middle-east follow along. When Ham finds out his neighbors at Lone Wolf Canyon ranch aren’t running a summer camp, but rather a secret terrorist training camp, he knows what has to be done and there will be blood.
If you buy Lone Wolf Canyon after reading this coverage and you hate it…you can’t say you weren’t warned and I may call you a snowflake.