BY Celia Yeary
Western author of the Border Trilogy:
Guns Across the Rio
Return of the Texas Ranger
Revenge of the Texas Ranger.
He also wrote Escape from the Alamo.
Today my good friend Dac Crossley from Georgia--by way of South Texas--visits in a return engagement to Sweethearts of the West. Although Dac claims he writes romance stories, I think he stretches this a bit because in my opinion he is a romantic at heart. He's a great author of Westerns set in Texas, and his stories do feature strong women.
He says, "I write of forgotten trails and fast trains, good horses and old autos, sheriffs and bandits, Anglos and Tejanos, Buffalo Gals and Señoritas, Mexican hombres and Mexican bandits.
And Texas Rangers and the Law of the Six-gun.
Come along with me, to a time when life was lean and linear, and the modern world meets the resistance of traditions older than the brush country. Where trees and men have thorns, and the climate will get you if the varmints don’t."
Q. Good morning, Dac. We're all pleased you're here, and you'll recognize some authors but probably will meet a few new ones. All of us love Westerns and Western Romance. Introduce yourself, please?
~~I’m D. A. Crossley, Jr., a retired professor at the University of Georgia. My nickname is “Dac.” I’m an emeritus professor of ecology and a curator emeritus of ticks and mites in the Georgia Museum of Natural History.
And I write fiction.
Q: WELCOME! That's from everyone.
Tell us about a favorite Character from one of your books.
~~I introduced Nacho Ybarra in my first novel, Guns Across the Rio. He keeps showing up in other novels and tries to take over. Nacho is based on a childhood friend, a perpetually old, peripatetic Tejano philosopher. My south Texas stories involve culture clash. Nacho brings the best of his Hispanic heritage into play.
Q. I know your background and education revolves around ecology. So, how did you start your writing career? What was your inspiration?
~~I wrote stories in grade school and sometimes was editor of the high school newspaper. My mother was a marvelous story-teller. When I retired from the university I took a continuing-education course on writing murder mysteries. Tried that, but really hit my stride with westerns.
Q. What will you write now since your Border Trilogy is finished? Will you begin another trilogy?
~~Some of my readers are shouting, “Encore!” Should I take the Border characters to another decade? I’ve got a woman’s story under construction. And a tale that follows the characters from Escape from the Alamo. South Texas, ever evolving and always dynamic, is an infinite source of stories.
Q. When reading for pleasure, what is your favorite genre or author?
~~I can’t stay away from Amazon. I order more books than I can find time to read. My favorite genre is historical fiction. And there is another generation of south Texas historians just beginning to be heard. It’s a fascinating time to be a Texan.
Q. What is your most distinct childhood memory?
~~When I was a little boy we lived on the outskirts of Kingsville in a little four-room shack. Sitting on the steps and watching clouds scurry across me is a memory that sustains me in tense times.
Q. What do you think makes a good story?
~~A good story? I’m a 50-pager. I’ll give a book fifty pages to catch my interest. If I don’t care what happens next, that’s it! I want to read about characters pushed way out of their comfort zone. I like to follow plot threads that come to a smashing conclusion. Know what I mean?
Q. Yes, I do know what you mean, Dac. I delete more books from my Kindle than I read. See? I can't stay away from Amazon either.
Thanks so much for visiting us. Hang around and comment if you can. Celia
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Growing up in South Texas, I roamed the brush country and enjoyed the seasonal changes in scrub and animals, horned toads and red ants. Learned to hunt and fish with friends from the King Ranch, where I enjoyed Hispanic culture. Steeped in Texas history and traditions by my old pioneer family. My genre is historic fiction set in South Texas, where the old west persisted into the 1920s with undeclared border wars and Mexican bandits. My grandfather fought bandits, his father fought Indians. I grew up with sons of Texas Rangers and spent hours listening to their fathers. I am well versed in South Texas history and culture. I enjoy bringing that history and background to life in my fiction. My settings are real and my characters drawn from experience.
Dac's Western Website Daccrossley.com
Dac's Western Blog Daccrossley.typepad.com
Dac's Amazon Pages http://tinyurl.com/lubafba
NOTE From Celia:
Sweethearts of the West author, Kathleen Rice Adams, recently wrote a blog post about the Nueces Strip. To learn even more about this area of South Texas that Dac writes about, open this link to the blog for the publisher Prairie Rose Publications: