Sunday, December 28, 2014


Welcome to Western Fictioneers
An organization of professional authors of western novels and short stories.

What sort of person becomes a writer and meets the requirements to join Western Fictioneers?  I would have to start with age, most of us are old.  The majority of us have a long life experience to draw upon to write what we write.  Many of us are senior citizens and those who are not, are not far from becoming one.  In analyzing the biographies of the members of this organization, it is clear most have accomplished various careers of merit before turning to writing.  Some are scholarly in their backgrounds, others come from the military, some were journalists, policeman, teachers, ranchers, etc., etc.  From all walks of life our members have carried out various occupations to raise families and meet their needs.  The point being most of us have attained a modicum of success and to some extent stand out as hardworking individuals in our society---all of whom have written and published a Western book.  And, of course, some have distinguished themselves as professional full-time writers with extraordinary output of novels and stories published by New York houses and other venues.  It was those very same professional full-time writers who graciously extended their expertise to start this organization.  That core group consists of Robert Randisi, James Reasoner, Livia J. Washburn (Reasoner), and Frank Roderus.

Robert Randisi is a prolific writer of unparalleled output, crafting over six hundred books to date, millions of words, a lifetime of daily focused effort, carefully written for the reader to enjoy.  He writes Mysteries and Westerns and is responsible for creation of at least two writing organizations including Western Fictioneers and The Private Eye Writers of America.

James Reasoner, New York Times bestselling author has penned over three hundred books, a phenomenal output.   Humble about his 35 years of writing successes, he pays tribute to his life partner, his wife, Livia J. Washburn/Reasoner, for her assistance and support.  His Civil War Series has huge critical acclaim.

Livia J. Washburn/Reasoner has penned dozens of books.  She has written Westerns, Romance, Historical Fiction, and her famous culinary Mystery novels.  Livia has been the secretary of Western Fictioneers and is the premier orchestrator behind the scenes that helped launch this writing organization and made it what it is today.  She helped set up the Yahoo Western Fictioneers web site, the biography section for its members, and a Western Fictioneers internal writing forum where individuals can daily express ideas to each other.  She has worked hard to promote writers, written book reviews, set up a Western Fictioneers Blog to reach the public, and most importantly published and promoted a plethora of books for other authors under the Western Fictioneers label.  Among these are THE WEST OF THE BIG RIVER series, an idea offered by Kit Prate.  They are iconic stories of real life characters presented in a fictional format---books Livia edited along with Kit Prate and James Reasoner, She designed the cover for, completed the layout, and published the series.  She is undoubtedly the one single individual who has been the workhorse of Western Fictioneers and should be commended and recognized for her inexhaustible accomplishments in making the organization the success it is today.  Livia J. Washburn/Reasoner has also entered the publishing business with her partner Cheryl Pierson and formed Prairie Rose Publications for women Romance Writers along with a number of offshoot publishing houses, promoting Westerns and Children’s Stories.

Frank Roderus is a professional Western writer with a lifetime of work accomplished and over three hundred books published.  In 2014, he was awarded the Life Achievement Peacemaker award, the highest award offered by Western Fictioneers.  His novels are currently and daily on the best selling Western Authors list.

In addition to the founders, these other prominent members have joined this organization.

Jory Sherman, is a multi-award winning author who is recently deceased.  In 2012, Western Fictioneers also awarded this noted writer the Life Achievement Peacemaker award.  Jory Sherman has published more than 400 books since 1965, more than 100 articles, and 500 short stories.  In 1995, he was inducted into the National Writer’s Hall of Fame.

Robert E. Vardeman is a nuclear physicist and an award-winning writer in the field of Science Fiction and has written hundreds of Westerns under various pseudonyms. He is a one man writing force (having published over 350 plus books) and cannot go unrecognized among this organization.

Robert Vaughn is a distinguished writer with over 350 books published and his past involves three tours in Vietnam as a helicopter pilot and decorated soldier.  In 2013, he was awarded the Life Achievement Peacemaker Award.

Another prominent member is Dusty Richards, a double Spur Award winner.  He is a well-known author with nearly a hundred books published.  He recently started a Western publishing house and an on-line Western Magazine.

This list would certainly not be complete without mentioning former Western Fictioneers President, Dr. Troy Smith.  A full college professor of Indian Studies at Tennessee University, Dr. Smith is both a Spur and Peacemaker Award winning author.  He is the creator of the well known Wolf Creek Series and developed the idea of multiple writers contributing to a single book about a growing town in the Wild West.  Recently, Dr. Smith, along with his wife, has branched out taking over the publishing company, Western Trail Blazers.

Cheryl Pierson, the current Western Fictioneers President is a Western writer and has written more than sixty books.  She has been instrumental in helping others set up a writing schedule for W F Blog and in promoting members of Western Fictioneers.

Among others who stand out in the organization is marketing promoter and book reviewer, Kathleen Rice Adams, who is not only a writer but a prolific wordsmith who has helped promote Western Fictioneers’ writers.  Her daily output of promotional material for writers is indeed impressive.

Mr. Tom Rizzo has been a journalist his entire adult life and continues to write and post well researched historical articles about the west on his blog nearly every day.  He has worked in radio, news, and as a correspondent.  This vast experience gives him the skills to research and write his pieces which reach the World Wide Web through his blog and Google+.  His STORYTELLER7 series of interviews of writers is a vastly important legacy documenting the lives and careers of Western authors.

Another prominent hard-working member is Western writer and publisher, L. J. Martin, who has created Wolfpack Publishing.  As a marketing guru extraordinaire, he has managed to push Frank Roderus, Robert Vaughn, and himself, L. J. Martin, into best selling Western Authors status on

We even have among us Hollywood actor, Ken Farmer; a practicing medical doctor, Dr. Keith Souter (current vice president, writing under the name Clay More); and screenwriter/director of twenty-five movies, Courtney Joyner.

To be more specific, currently there are eighty-four members listed publicly on WESTERN FICTIONEERS’ web site.  Going over the bio’s of those willing to reveal information, there are eight writers from California, seven from Texas, with the rest coming from nearly every state in the union.  There are two writers from England and one each from Canada, Spain, Germany, and Japan.  Many are writers with various major awards including the Peacemaker and Spur Awards.

Those writers and members of Western Fictioneers not mentioned (because of limited space) are a mature and skilled group, working hard every day to produce a work of excellence in the many avenues of Western writing and their publishing success shows this.

Why was Western Fictioneers started in the first place, given that another Western writer’s organization existed?  Cheryl Pierson, current president, pins the following on WESTERN FICTIONEERS HOME PAGE:  “Western Fictioneers is a professional writing group that encourages and promotes the Traditional Western.”  Vice President Dr. Keith Souter writes on Western Fictioneers ABOUT page:  “The members of Western Fictioneers are doing their best to satisfy the reading public’s almost insatiable appetite for Westerns. Through Western Fictioneers Library we are producing a steady flow of novels and anthologies. And with the increasingly popular Wolf Creek series of novels we are seeing a virtual Western town become a place that seems as real as Dodge City or Deadwood.”  Dr. Souter goes on to state:  “It is the friendliest writers’ organization that I have ever belonged to and I consider it a privilege and an honor to serve a term as vice-president.”  This gets to the core of what WESTERN FICTIONEERS organization is about for its members.  To reemphasize, it promotes writers, it offers publishing opportunities within the organization and by members of the organization, it has a membership list allowing writers to submit a bio, and what is crucial and extraordinary is that it is interactive, promoting communication among its members.  This site allows the unique opportunity to explore ideas, expound on Western history and many other subjects, thus increasing and expanding the creativity of the members of the organization.  There is also other communication going on by extending access to each writer’s private email.  In addition there is a Western Fictioneers Blog written by Western Fictioneers members exploring Western subjects for each other and the public on-line.

WESTERN FICTIONEERS recognizes outstanding writing each year with the prestigious PEACEMAKER AWARDS.  With the prolific output of books by its members, Western Fictioneers has become a force to reckon with.  For these reasons it can be said the fresh blood of this new organization has done more to promote Western writing and Western authors, than any extant organization existing today.   This is categorically an active writing group, challenging its membership to write and publish quality Western manuscripts.

Clearly, members of Western Fictioneers are hardworking and determined people.  It takes effort, skill, and fortitude to sit down and craft a story and our members, all of them, do it well.  Of course, as is in the case with competitiveness, some write, market, and sell their manuscripts better than others.  In this way we are all in competition with each other.  Even while in competition, such remarkable members as Dr. Troy Smith, made a call for writers and exhaustively worked on developing a western town and created the incomparable series WOLF CREEK---each with multiple members contributing chapters.  He also single-handedly orchestrated several WOLF CREEK ANTHOLOGIES to go along with the series, which very shortly will include 14 books.  Livia J. Washburn/Reasoner has published for Western Fictioneers members THE WEST OF THE BIG RIVER SERIES and has published or republished a large number of Western books for members of the organization.  To date, the enormous output of its members has already created notice and best sellers.  As the membership increases and as publishing opportunities morph and change, it is believed future success can only increase.

What I have stated here, in part, can be backed up by the number of books this group has published on behalf of its writers.  WESTERN FICTIONEERS is one of the finest writing organizations on the WORLD WIDE WEB and in the ENTIRE WORLD.

Charlie Steel


  1. Charlie, thanks for such an extensive peek behind the curtain of Western FIctioneers to showcase an organization that offers readers a broad scope of storytelling experience.

  2. Many thanks for the kind words- not just about me, but about the organization I love!

  3. Dr. Steel,

    Thanks for the great profile on our gang. I'm continually impressed with the level of writing expertise and professionalism found among the Fictioneers. I'm not exactly sure how I got to be a member! (Thanks for having me.)

    I would point out one tiny error: I consider myself (and a few other members) QUITE a few years away from being senior citizens. That could well be delusion on my part. :D

  4. Thanks, Charlie, for including Japan in the geographical breadth of our membership. My goal for 2015 is to start translating westerns into Japanese (beginning with my own, of course). There are more printed books in this country than the rest of the world put together, I think. Bookstores are still going strong, and digital books have yet a long way to go to catch up. Again, from Japan, thanks loads.


  5. Charlie, I am just amazed at the work you put in on this piece. Such a labor of love--and I think that's the one thing I am so excited about more than any other in this organization--the depth of feeling that we all have for it and for our fellow writers.

    Thanks so much for writing this. This is definitely a Halloween TREAT!


  6. For someone who looks to the posting on this blog, the peek behind the scenes was illuminating. This organization fulfills a void in many ways that readers of and students of the West are craving. Many, many years and books later, we will still be talking about what you all have done. Doris

  7. Charlie, this is one fine presentation. The founders and officers of Western Fictioneers deserve all the recognition they can get. Since becoming a member, I was offered and advantaged to write stories that I had never dreamed would see print. Encouragement and the camaraderie within the group is tops. All I can say is that I am proud to be a member and thank you for your presentation.
    Jerry Guin

  8. Charlie, thank you for writing this superb post. It captures the passion that we all have for this great genre. It is written with your usual panache.


  9. Western Fictioneers is a superb organization and I simply pointed that out. I thank each one of you for your present and future comments.

    Charlie Steel

  10. Charlie, you did a wonderful job putting this all together. I'm very proud to be a member.

  11. It was truly an honor when Western Fictioneers accepted my membership. Thanks for writing this article, Charlie--you did great. WF is now my primary writing organization and the generosity of the members who are willing to share their knowledge is truly amazing. I'm very grateful.

  12. I enjoyed reading this post about Western Fictioneers and the magnificent work all of its members produce. I wish all of you continued success.