Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Good Guys and Outlaws

Let's face it. Life was hard in the Old Western American Frontier. Nobody had it easy. That didn't always bring out the best in people. If a person already had a mean streak, things could get dicey.

At the time, the newspaper headlines from the old west were a big deal in the big cities back east. Civilized and cultured people longed for news that was full of adventure - something they knew nothing about. The news was embellished and there was a thirsty audience just waiting for details of the most recent train robbery or bank hold up.

Though their crimes were horrible and often included murder, they were interesting to those who led stuffy and boring lives. Many of the outlaws became famous. Those legends live on today. The robberies, shootouts, and cattle rustling have been romanticized in fiction, movies, and maybe even in our minds.

Portrait of Outlaw Jesse James
While most of us would never endorse or approve of the actions of the outlaws of the past, many of us are still fascinated by the history. I visited the home of Jesse James in St. Joseph, Missouri and it was an amazing experience. I saw the hole in the wall made from the bullet that killed him. I toured his childhood home where there once was a shootout. If I'm ever in the area again, I'd be happy to do the whole tour again.

For all the famous outlaws in history, there are many more who weren't famous. There were even some who tried to be an outlaw and failed. Some research I did recently uncovered a lawman who got tired of being a good guy and turned to robbing and killing. So, then as now, it took all kinds.

To take that thought a bit further, the good guys usually didn't make the news. They were the ones who were dependable, honest, and hard-working. They took care of their families and made the best living they could. There were lawmen who honored their oath to uphold the law.

Those are the heroes we read about in the western historical romance stories we love. But every now and then, we need a villain. That's where I found myself as I wrote Family Ties.

Maggie Anderson meets the man of her dreams - Thomas Smith, a handsome and much-loved sheriff. The story was going much too well for the couple. Obviously, that had to stop. So, Maggie's outlaw father shows up in town. I had a great time researching to find the right persona for him and it reminded me just how dangerous it truly was in the American Frontier when the west was being settled. Outlaws - well known, one and done, and bumbling fools - all were part of the tapestry of the west.

If you want to find out what happened when Maggie met her outlaw father for the first time, Family Ties is available on Amazon.


Annie Boone writes sweet western historical romance with a happy ending guaranteed in every single story. Take a look at Annie's latest contribution to the beloved Cutter's Creek series - Perfect Timing.

To connect with Annie, find her on Facebook, Twitter, or her website.

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  1. Hi Annie,
    Enjoyed your post. Kind of crazy how people are fascinated by outlaws and villains. Their back-stories always interest me. Why and how did they chose such a life? Then of course, there are the sociopaths. Now THEY scare me.

  2. It always seems to be the bad boy who gets the press. Great job highlighting both side. Enjoyed the post. Doris

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