Born a century too late is what the author, Larry Layman contends.
Instead of forking his blaze sorrel and heading down the trail, Layman for three decades seated himself in his police cruiser and rode the inner city streets of Peoria, Illinois.
Over the years his co-workers switched to newer semi-automatic pistols, Layman stayed with his trusty old six-shooter. “That is what the Duke wore,” he shrugged.
Most of Layman’s Western characters longed for and built ranches or homesteads, not unlike the spread the author carved out on 80 acres just west of Peoria. His “diggings” affords him the opportunity to experience real cattle ranching first hand. He learned quickly to appreciate the hard physical labor, sweat, and sacrifice those early pioneers endured. Layman contended that baling hay and digging fence posts helped build character. His four sons and two daughters felt they had character aplenty.
Night shifts at the city were generally a call to call endeavor for three seasons of the year, but then would come the winter snows. Many of the bad guys hibernated and the crime load dropped accordingly, affording opportunities to daydream and write stories on legal pads until the radio crackled to life.
Over the course of several years eight novels were penned. Layman with considerable trepidation showed them to a few western readers and was taken back by their enthusiastic response. It took several more years to get his skeptical and reluctant best friend, Tim Harper, to lead him through the publication process.
The result lies herein. As they say, the proof is in the pudding. Enjoy.