Westerns are dead - killed by the romance reader who doesn't buy them. That's the response I've received from agents and editors about my western, Loved by You.
The tale of Melissa and Calder came to me and became such an infatuation that I had to put fingertips to keyboard. For about three years, I've worked, tweaked, and polished my manuscript. When I mailed it out, either by snail mail or electronically, the replies were great story but the market for this genre isn't there. Then this past week, numerous blogs- Misadventures of Super Librarian, Petticoats & Pistols, Ramblings on Romance and The Good, the Bad and the Unread, banded together and started the Great Western Drive.
I cheered when I read their posts. I was ready to hitch up my wagon and join the drive. (Forgive the "hitching up" remark, I just had to make it.) I love Westerns. The rugged often emotionally scarred hero with an unwavering code of ethics, the strong heroine who can work the land as good as any man, the raw settings and the conflict and danger that can ride in with the stagecoach. That combination is the reason why I love the sub-genre and why I lay down my dollars for it.
I must not be the only person (my friend and fellow western writer Patt Mihailoff pens them still) since The Bridegroom by Linda Lael Miller is #26 on New York Times best seller's list. I sure didn't buy all those copies. I wonder if my fellow readers are waiting for more westerns. Are you? Have you ever read a western? Do you consider yourself a fan of the sub-genre? If so, which one is your fav? And if not, would you try one out?