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Saturday, 30 January 2010

What is it with Black Horse Westerns?

PREVIOUSLY POSTED 2009

ROBERT HALE LTD, the publishers behind the Black Horse imprint have been champions of the western genre for longer than most people care to remember. They were founded in 1936 and although the Black Horse imprint didn't come about until much later, they have always published western fiction.

Indeed when the genre vanished from British bookshops during the mid-Eighties, Robert Hale continued to publish classic westerns as well as publishing scores of newcomers. Some of these new voices have gone on and become masters of the genre. Indeed it was during the Eighties, a decade when the western truly seemed dead, that the Black Horse imprint was launched.

Black Horse Western are no nonsense, all action western novels - usually around 40,000 - 45,000 words but the writers don't skimp on that all important characterisation and indeed the best Black Horse titles can stand up alongside the best the genre has to offer.

AMERICA IS SECOND TO LONDON'S ROBERT HALE LTD, WHICH LEADS THE GLOBAL RACE IN PUBLISHING NEW WESTERN FICTION - TRUE WEST MAGAZINE AUGUST 2009

Without the Black Horse imprint we would have no Lance Howard, Chap O'Keefe, Jack Giles, Ben Bridges or Ross Morton- all legendary names with western fans.


You won't find many Black Horse titles in the shops because the primary market has always been the libraries. However with the Internet and on-line book selling, the imprint is enjoying a new level of success and today the books are much more visible than they have ever been. Many of the titles ride high in online retailers books charts.

So what can new readers expect from a Black Horse title?

Well take a look at the covers on this page -none of them would be out of place as a poster for any 1950's western but don't let that lead you into the impression that the books are old fashioned. Whilst it is true that the books firmly model themselves on the Golden Age of the genre (and is there a better period to draw from??) the themes and issues woven into the plots are as up to date as, tomorrow's newspaper.


Find links to several interviews with some of the bigger Black Horse Western authors Here


There are no pretensions with a Black Horse western. You know what you are going to get and the book's deliver with each and every title - James Thain.


O
lder titles are always turning up on Ebay and sites such as Amazon and the Book Depository regularly offer good deals on current and forthcoming titles. Black Horse are quite unique in that the name of the publishing house is every bit as important to that of the author. Readers know that any book with the Black Horse logo is going to provide a good, fast paced and thoughtful read.Black Horse westerns are fun to read and surely reading should first and foremost be fun.

I myself am proud to be a small part of the Black Horse range - as a lifelong western fan it's amazing to see my own books and my pseudonym, Jack Martin on the shelves alongside some of my favourite western writers.



NOTABLE WEBSITES:
BLACK HORSE EXPRESS
BLACK HORSE EXTRA
BLACK HORSE COMMUNITY
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2 comments:

Joanne Walpole said...

Totally agree. Having tried a few 'other' westerns recently I've decided, for the most part, to stick with BHW. Some people complain that the violence is low key, the sex non-existent. So what? I've just read a book (from a popular series) recently and I skipped about twenty pages of sex and there was NO violence or action which led to a very bland read. As for violence. For me (graphic) violence is far less important than real edge of the seat action that makes you shout out loud and root for the hero. Long live the BHW. :-)

ARCHAVIST said...

Just wait till you hear the specially composed Black Horse song that ends the weekend - Woody Guthrie eat your heart out.