*All images and information from the author’s website*


~Reid Lance Rosenthal–#1 Best-Selling Author of the Threads West An American Saga series


Great to be here, April. Thanks for the invite, and howdy to you and your readers!


MBA&M: What do you think makes the “Old West” so alluring to readers?


REID: The American West has a special mystique—a romantic aura that is known worldwide. Some of this magic flows from its violent evolution, part emanates from the image of the cowboy, and a portion from the perception of values the historical west embodies. But underlying all those tugs to the hearts of many is the power of its wild lands and open spaces, and the courage of its settlers.


The pull of western imagery is known around the globe–the land of the West, its special energy, solitude, space, and soul succor are at the core of this attraction. People everywhere imagine the whispers of canyon breezes playin’ oh so gentle ’cross their cheeks, and the smell of earth, sage, leaves and horse sweat. It is cleansing, inspiring, and real, this time machine of western earth energy. It brings us back full circle to our very roots as a human beings, and that truth is universal.


 I’m fourth-generation land and cattle. I own interests in a number of ranches. That gives me an advantage when it comes to setting, and setting is the essence of a story of the Old West. Being a rancher and a cowboy affords me great familiarity with the varying landscapes of the West, many of which I’ve walked or ridden across. The setting, the physical environment and specific era, of a western is all-important. I would equate a western landscape photo to the initial setting of a chapter. That peculiar angle of the sun, sky prisms following rain, shadows creeping with the ever-changing angle of light  the vivid, mesmerizing power of the land. These are the scenes, and never to be repeated moments, that provide the visual underpinning to the draw and writing of the Old West and the backdrop to the passionate interaction of the characters. The pen becomes merely the shutter, and the paper the film.


The essence of the land is the catalyst of western personalities, and the anvil upon which the strength of the people who settled the Old West was forged. Their values were and are revered:

  • Say what you mean—mean what you say.
  • Want a hand? Look at the end of your arm. The sanctity of individual choice, responsibility, empowerment, incentive and motivation.
  • Neighbor to neighbor—the more local the more accountable.
  • Be secure in your convictions, proud of your beliefs—Stand up, Speak out, do the right thing.


MBA&M: Give our readers some insight into the research required when writing in this genre and the authenticity of “Threads West”?



 REID: Phew! When in the throes of one of my novels there is not enough space to set down a dinner plate amongst the papers, stacks and research books that occupy every square inch of horizontal (and some vertical) space in the ranch house!


Research is fascinating and tedious, exhilarating and surprising, mandatory and time-consuming. It is far bigger task than I anticipated. I did virtually all the research on the first novel, Threads West – which proved, much to my delighted surprise, to be a multiple #1 Bestseller and winner of eight national awards for Western, Romance and Historical Fiction. I was pleasantly stunned with all, but perhaps most delighted with the Best Historical Fiction in 2011. That’s a big “attaboy” for all those hundreds of hours of research.


I had important help on Book One from several researchers on details of dress, circumstances and some great historical tidbits and gave them credit in Book One. But I want to learn what was entailed. Now, the publishers have provided two research assistants—though the delicious tidbits of history I still research myself.


I thought I was familiar with this magical moment in American history, I was mistaken. 1855 may be one of the watershed years of foundational U.S. History. The great westward migration was in its infancy. Cherry Creek—later Denver—was just several hundred hardy souls. The later turmoil between the northern and southern states, is beginning to darken the rhetoric of both sides. Native Americans had rightfully lost trust in the promises of the white man, the broken treaties of the years prior. Violence flared in the Kansas Territories from the breach of Missouri Compromise Compact of 1854 between the states. 1855 was just several years after to the invention of the Singer sewing machine—the harbinger of the industrial revolution–revolvers were only a few years old, and the repeating rifle was still just a few years out. The discovery of gold in Colorado, the real precipitator of the tidal wave of migration to the Rockies that began 1858, was eminent.


It was this point in time that the world – and America – breathed in, held their collective breath, and readied to exhale with a rush toward the Great Plains and the Rockies.


My research sources are many and varied. They include print, web, nonfiction and memoir historical works of the specific time, interviews, and many times travel to specific geographic locations which my wandering feet have for some reason not yet visited. I have found that in the nuggets of details oftentimes lies the best of the historical story.


MBA&M: What are some of the lessons learned as an author?


REID: A western novelist, like any author, needs to be a storyteller, but, in my opinion, they must also be a landscape writer. The land is an enduring character in my books. Its moods, contours and dangers are all an integral part of the conflicts, ambitions, loves, and enmities of the human characters.


I believe any writer needs “mentors”—some of mine are long deceased. They are the men and women who have penned words that speak to me—their style, syntax, way of getting a message across. I have been influenced by many great authors. Crane and Hemingway, whose detailed descriptions of scenes and circumstances have always enthralled me. Leon Uris, whose brilliant schemes of converging life threads has had a major effect on the presentation in my novels, the gritty west of McMurtry, and Max McCoy’s dazzling dedication to historical context.


I don’t write detailed outlines. I am convinced, after many discussions, that book organization is unique to every author. I merely hunker down on the stage of the setting, and listen to the characters as they tell me their stories. I am the simple scribe.


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Thanks,Reid for spending time with us and our readers today. What an exciting Old West Saga!



About the series(Threads of West)

The Threads West series begins in 1855. It is the tale of disparate threads of lives, from many locations around the globe, different social origins, ethnicity, religions, cultures, and creeds that weave together into the tapestry of an emerging nation; a country on the cusp of greatness.


The last book of the series will be set in the real-time, contemporary West. That is a one hundred and seventy year story arc—four generations of conflicted, strong men and independent women. I intended it to be our story.  The fictional series is, in essence, a historical anthology through the eyes of fictional characters. If the series evokes every imaginable emotion, inspires passions, and delights readers, I am delighted—and if by chance, the tale reacquaints folks with the basic principles that form the foundation of this enthralling experiment we call the United States of America, then I will be truly satisfied.


I’m astounded by the success of the series. Book Two, released April 17, 2012, was an immediate #1 best seller, and begins the examination of slavery, from the viewpoint of an older slave couple setting their life sails for freedom. So, too, does Maps of Fate commence the tale–through the eyes of an Oglala Sioux family–of the sad, dark blotch on the pages of American History which is the treatment of the Indians.


Maps of Fate follows the evolving life threads, passions, loves, disappointments, tragedies, romances, and in some cases the pathos filled, lethal experience of the characters which the readers of Book One seem to thoroughly enjoy. Their life threads hurtle through American history towards the cloth of their destinies and still subsequent generations of the series. Book Three, Uncompaghre—where water turns red, will release in late 2012.


My first narrative non-fiction work, Volume I of the three volume Land for Love and Money series releases June 26th, everywhere. It is written for owners and wannabe owners of land—any type, size or location. It will be controversial. These are eye opening secrets of sales, acquisitions, management, tax and government the banks and attorneys don’t share, told in the form of sometimes humorous, sometimes serious true stories based on my extensive forty year land related career (there’s that land thing again!).







In the spring of 1855, America is on the cusp of her great westward expansion, reluctantly on the threshold of becoming a world power. St. Louis, gateway to the frontier, booms with an eight-fold population expansion from just a decade prior.

Fifteen hundred miles to the west is the lawless, untamed spine of the continent, the Rocky Mountains. The power of their jagged peaks, rugged territories and vast resources beckon the souls of a few adventurous men and women, destined to love and struggle in the vibrant but unforgiving landscape of the West.

America draws individuals and families from all corners of the earth with the promise of land, freedom, self-determination and economic opportunity. Immigrants exchange the lives they know for the hope and romance of a country embarked on the course of greatness.

The revolt of Texas against Mexico, with the surreptitious aid of the United States, has resulted in vast new American terrain—unexplored western lands stretching from the Rio Grande to the Pacific, and north to the areas later to become the Kansas Territories and eventually, Colorado and Utah—magnetic draws for the restless and ambitious, and those in search of freedom and future.

The brave, passion-filled characters of Maps of Fate set forth on a dangerous journey as they try to establish life in this unknown wilderness, swept unknowingly into the tumultuous vortex of momentous changes shaping the United States and the West between 1855 and 1875, the years ensconced in the Maps of Fate Era. Secret maps, hidden ambitions, and magnetic attractions inherent in lives forged by the conflicting fires of love and loss, hope and sorrow, life and death, shape their futures and the destinies of their lineage.

America is in transition, the lives of the characters have been shaken by events they cannot foresee. Spurred by a lust for gold, land, and the conquest of Mexican territory, a massive westward migration begins. Railroads and telegraphs will soon pierce this wild land. The first newspapers in the west roll off the presses in Leavenworth and Lawrence, Kansas, and Platte Valley, Nebraska. Opposing stands on slavery ignite deadly hatred throughout the Kansas Territories. The budding enmity between North and South flares into the winds of war, and the remote fringe of the frontier falls into virtual anarchy as most of the meager army troops assigned to protect this area withdraw to the East.

On the front range of the Rockies, newly spawned Denver City, built on the banks of Cherry Creek, booms with the impact of gold discovered in the Pikes Peak area and the Ouray, San Juan and Uncompahgre mountain ranges. The Civil War erupts, and the fires of deadly tumult sweep west. Some of those manacled by the chains of slavery set their life sails to the winds of freedom. A Confederate Army mustered in Texas is repulsed by the Denver Militia. The broken treaties between the white man and Native Americans spread into bitter and contagious conflicts throughout the West. The “resolution” of the “Indian Problem” leaves families and hearts broken, forever staining the pages of American history.

Momentous change continues, igniting further greed and compassion, courage and treachery, rugged independence, torrid passions and fierce loyalties. The discovery of gold in California and the meeting of the tracks of the Burlington Northern Railroad from the east and Union Pacific from the west in 1869, underpin the rise of the robber-barons, cattle empires and commerce, drawing hundreds of thousands to the Rockies and beyond.

A tidal wave of hopeful souls follows on the trail of the strong men and women of Maps of Fate. Throngs of those displaced by the devastation of the Civil War add to the torrent of humanity flowing west. In the second, third, and fourth novels of the Maps of Fate Era: Uncompahgre, Track of the Moccasin, and The Footsteps), the first Thread’s West generation born in the remote and sparsely settled west begins to mature and contend with this cauldron of events, their lives unsettled by personal tragedies, triumphs, loves and loss. Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and Montana evolve into separate and distinct territories, and then achieve statehood. Law and order struggles as outlaws linger on the outer edges and range wars erupt between the landowners and the landless, sheep herders, cattlemen and sod busters. The clash of cultures, creeds and beliefs, and bitter rivalries over the control of scarce water resources, fuels further violence and cruelty.

The decades of the Maps of Fate era novels of Threads West book series become the crucible of the American spirit. This violent but magical period in American history will affect forever the souls of generations, the building of the heart of the nation, destiny of a people, and the relentless energy and beauty of the western landscape. This is our story.



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We are offering 1 lucky commenter a signed, printed copy of both Book One, Threads West”, and Book Two, “Maps of Fate” by Reid Lance Rosenthal. Open to U.S. residents only! No P.O. Boxes,please! Giveaway will run from today May 24 until May 31,2012.

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Check out our “Thoughts” on “Maps of Fate” by Reid Lance Rosenthal!


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