The cover image looks stunning on the glossy boards used for the binding. Robert Hale use stock images for their western novels, which can often result in the cover image having little to do with the actual novel, but for this book this is not the case and the scene on the cover comes from within the book - right down to the colour of shirt old Wild Bill wears, and the time of day even. The scene within the book that so closely resembles the cover image occurs at sunset - and look at those saturated colours in the cover image! I'm one happy chappy and grateful for the work my publisher's have done in ensuring the book comes to market as the best possible product.
Anyway I do hope many of you will go get the book, even those who have never tried a western - it is first and foremost a western, a genre I love above all others, but at the heart of the story is a character study of an often hilarious but always deadly Welshman. I had a great deal of fun writing this fish out of water story, and found that the Welsh humour didn't have to be forced into the western setting, but was perfectly at home on the wild frontier.
‘Die, me?’ for a moment Bill seemed to be considering the question but then he smiled. ‘I don’t think I’m quite ready to die yet. There’s still so many drinks I have not drunk and pleasant thoughts I have not thunk. The world is a wondrous place, full of possibilities so no, I do not wish to die.’
The book this time around is dedicated to the memory of my late mother, for it was she who taught me to read in the first place and opened up a wonderful world of adventure and romance. And I hope I've captured a certain spirit of adventure, of optimism in Wild Bill Williams.
The initial idea for Wild Bill Williams came from a book review by fellow Black Horse author, Nik Morton. The book in question was Welsh Cowboys and Outlaws by Dafydd Meirion and published by Ylofa Books. Now being Welsh and a western nerd, not to mention a writer of breezy little westerns, I had to get the book. I'd just completed work on The Ballad of Delta Rose and had no clear idea what my next western would be, but as soon as I read the Welsh Cowboys book I knew that the main character would be, like myself, a Welshman and also, like myself, he would hail from the small village of Gilfach Goch - a fitting birthplace for a Welsh cowboy since the name translates to Red Valley.
As soon as I had that idea the story came to me quickly - especially the character of William Williams AKA Wild Bill Williams. I found old Bill to be a quirky sort of fellow, and as I started writing of his visit to the town of Stanton he revealed much about himself to me - for instance Bill loves to knit (claims it improves his trigger finger) and carries several balls of wool and knitting needles in his saddlebags, he dislikes and distrusts authority and understands that quite often law and justice are not quite the same thing.
The fastest stitch in the West.
I figured that the likes of Dodge City and Tombstone wouldn't offer too much of a shock for a man used to the Rhondda Valleys of a Saturday night. The point was how would the Americans find the Welsh cowboy with a bell in every tooth, a penchant for knitting and a deadly fast draw?
There was nary a frown when Wild Bill Williams was in town. He had a way about his manner that enabled most folks to forget all their troubles and become positively festive. It was said that Bill could start off a dance at a funeral and carve a grin out of the most granite of faces.
I'd always thought of Wild Bill as a standalone novel, and it is,but lately I've been thinking that Wild Bill could return again one day, because a character with a heart as big as his perhaps deserves a few more wild stories spun about him. Ahh well, that's another story and one I may tell one day but for now go get your hands on a copy of Wild Bill Williams.
Visit Wild Bill's Facebook page and give him a big old Like - HERE