Today I’m at Wild Wild West Con at Old Tucson Studios, just outside Tucson, Arizona. If you’re in the area, I hope you’ll drop by. This is a fun convention! Aside from getting ready for the convention this past week, I’ve been hard at work revising my wild west steampunk adventure novel Lightning Wolves based on my editor’s notes. The new revision is almost finished and about ready to turn in. In some cases I’ve slapped my head when my editor pointed out something I forgot. In other cases, I’ve grumbled and complained to myself, made a revision, and grudgingly admitted I liked it better. No matter what, though, I have learned a lot from my editor on this book and I’m grateful for her thorough job.
Part of the action in Lightning Wolves is set in the Dragoon Mountains of Southern Arizona. As it turns out, I drive through the Dragoons just about every week on my commute to and from work. A little over a week ago, I took some time and wandered through the area, reminding myself of some of the settings from the novel.
The Dragoons are very dramatic and rocky mountains. They were also the source of real-life wild west drama. The Apache Warrior Cochise defeated a company of Confederate dragoons there in 1862 and stole their cattle. Hence the name of the mountains. The Confederates and the Apaches clashed again just a few days later and the soldiers reclaimed their livestock. Twenty years later, during Wyatt Earp’s famous Vendetta Ride, Earp’s posse captured and killed “Indian Charlie” Cruz in the Dragoons.
Lightning Wolves is set between these two historical events. In the novel, many of the soldiers who would normally have been in the area have been called to fight a Russian invasion in the Pacific Northwest and the Apache Warrior Geronimo has set up a stronghold in the Dragoons. Needless to say, this makes some of the remaining settlers, such as Newman Clanton and his sons very nervous. In the middle of all this is exiled Mexican inventor M.K. Maravilla and the bounty hunter Larissa Crimson, who appear on the book’s cover. What happens makes the Gunfight at OK Corral look like a petty squabble. I really am looking forward to sharing this novel with you!