Friday, May 29, 2015

More About the New Cover for Lancer; The Los Angeles Affair

In our last entry we discussed the reasons for the cover of the soon to be released "Lancer; Hero of the West - The Los Angeles Affair." We laid out what nearly all the symbols meant in putting the cover together. Now I'll finish the project by telling about the rest of the cover which you can see below.
The three remaining symbols in the cover photo are the boots, the holster and the hall tree itself. Let me start with the simplest and that is of course the holster. If you remember the cover of "The Prescott Affair," you will remember it was a lone holster with bullets but NO gun. This was meant to convey the fact, Lancer is a peaceful man. He will only resort to the gun when it is absolutely necessary.

He uses his wits first, his fists second and then and only then will he resort to the gun and he will not miss or be beaten. The warnings are obvious.

Now the boots. The boots are well worn and set below the rest of the outerwear on the hall tree. This signifies several things. First, well worn shows Lancer has traveled very much and he's learned from his experiences. Not everyone does, but Lancer is a good and fast learner. The fact the boots are in a relaxed state in a comfortable position relays the fact Lancer feels comfortable no matter where he lays his head for the night. He is a peaceful, learned, well traveled and educated man.

The hall tree itself is something we searched all over for. I did not want something we could just "find" on the Internet.www, I decided to seek out the item around the western United States. I searched many places in Los Angeles but when I had to make a trip to Dallas for a family matter, I thought of McKinney, Texas. McKinney is a Dallas suburb and is known for it's western atmosphere and old town western shops.

Julia and I along with my wife began our search. We went to several antique stores and talked to lots of people and found some items which were not quite suitable. Then, at the suggestion of a shop owner, we went to the antique mall. A hundred or so shops under one roof and we had almost exhausted our search when i stumbled upon it. The very hall tree you see on the cover was being used to display items for sale in one of the booths.

Knowing this was the item we wanted, we asked for permission to photograph it and it was happily granted. We removed everything, pulled it out into the open and began taking pictures. When we were done, we put it back where we found it along with the items on display. What a marvelous find and it worked just perfectly.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Cover Photo Lancer: Los Angeles Affair

Would you like to see the cover of the new, soon to be released, second book in the "Lancer; Hero of the West" series? Well here it is. We thought you might like to see it and we'll give you an explanation as to the intricacies of what it means.

The significance of the cover is very much a multiple experience. Designed by my daughter, Julia from an idea I had, here is the explanation. "Lancer: Hero of the West - The Los Angeles Affair" takes place in Los Angeles of the 1880's. While a bustling and expanding city one of the key parts of L-A of course, is the Pacific Ocean. In the distance is the very same body of water, but because the ocean only plays a small part in the story, we didn't want it to dominate the landscape.

The landscape is dominated by the place in greater Los Angeles where the bulk of the story takes place; the San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valley's. The central part of the story focuses on a Rancho in the area of what is now the City of San Fernando. Some of the story, a very important part, takes place in the Newhall Pass and into what is currently Sylmar, California. Sylmar is at the Northeastern part of the valley. It is the gateway to the Santa Clarita Valley and the Newhall Pass is what divides the two.

The fact cattle are shown links the Rancho to the cattle trade since one of the key economic forces on the property is beef cattle and the incoming new railroad. You will learn in the story (book) what significant part cattle plays in the overall tale. 

If you look at the three hats on the hall tree there are specific reasons for them. The story is basically about international players and their impact on the overall story. Without revealing anything more; I will tell you several of the key players are either Russian or Mexican. Thus the Mexican sombrero and the Russian Fur Hat, or ushanka. 

The interesting thing about the other hat is simple. Lancer wears a black hat. This you will know from the first book, "The Prescott Affair." Then why, you might ask, is the hat a white hat? It's a contrast in good and evil. Lancer in this story is the good guy (usually signified in westerns as the guy with the white hat), and the others involved from other countries are the bad guys (signified by the black ushanka and the black sombrero).

In the next blog we'll detail why the boots are in the picture and where we actually got the photo of the hall tree. You might be surprised where this really cool and perfect piece of furniture currently lies in the great southwest. And of course the meaning of the now famous empty holster.

Enjoy and remember the new book is due out soon as is the song. We expect they will come out at about the same time. Stay tuned.

Monday, May 11, 2015

On to Publish "Lancer"!

Well it's finally packed up and on it's way. The publisher, Cane Hollow Press, has the manuscript for "Lancer; Hero of the West - The Los Angeles Affair," and is formatting it now. My daughter, Julia, is working on the cover and I'm planning the next book. Wow.

Julia and I recently toured the small city of McKinney, Texas, in search of cover material. McKinney has a great old west section and lots of antique stores as well as historical places. The cover we planned needed some unique aspects to it and we went looking for those things to photograph. We found them in an antique mall!

No, I'm not going to describe the cover to you. You'll have to wait until "Lancer; Hero of the West - The Los Angeles Affair" comes out. I think you'll like the news twists Lancer deals with in the Los Angeles area.

The Los Angeles Affair takes Lancer to the bustling and growing metropolis of Los Angeles long before Hollywood came to pass. Most of the story takes place in the northeast San Fernando Valley and the southern Santa Clarita Valley as well as what is now the city of San Fernando. I grew up in this area and know it well enough to make it a personal best.

It is a story of love, family, history and international intrigue. It is probably the most comprehensive of any book this author has written to date. I think you will like it.

The next book after this one? "The Santa Fe Affair."

Stay tuned.