Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Honey, This Ain’t My First Rodeo - Murray Pura and "Silver City"!

Honey, This Ain’t My First Rodeo

When I set out to write the series SILVER CITY I wanted to make it unique in several ways.

One was the border. Usually a western, old or new, set in America, if it needs to cross a border, that border is the southern border, the Mexican border. In SILVER CITY, when the lawman Grayden St. Cyr pursues a fugitive across a border, that border is the northern border. The hunts, the gunfights, and the showdowns all take place in Alberta and Canada, places full of the old west and the new west, places I know well and can write about well.

Another unique angle in SILVER CITY is the importance of the Clint Eastwood film Unforgiven. It was primarily shot on locations in Alberta. The fugitive in SILVER CITY has a fixation with the film and one of the ways the lawman tracks him is by finding out where those locations are. However the fugitive is also living out aspects of Unforgiven and other Eastwood westerns adding several extra twists to the series.

Then there are the titles to each volume in the SILVER CITY story. They are taken from country and western songs. For instance, Volume 1, This is Where the Cowboy Rides Away, is a George Strait tune. And Volume 2 is entitled This Ain’t My First Rodeo, another C&W hit. Someone might say, That isn’t a C&W tune. You just used an everyday expression for your title. It is an everyday expression now but that expression only came out on the street after the song was released in 1990. Country western star Vern Gosdin had complimented the carpenters on the work they’d done on an addition to his house and one had replied, “This ain’t our first rodeo.” Gosdin wrote the phrase down and later built a song around it:

This ain't the first time this old cowboy's been throwed
This ain't the first I've seen this dog and pony show
Honey, This ain't my first rodeo

And it’s entirely appropriate to give Vol. 2 in SILVER CITY that title because it takes place during a rodeo and it’s one of the most action-packed volumes in the entire series. I enjoy writing SILVER CITY in part because of the unique takes I’m able to bring to the story, a few of which I’ve shared in this blogpost. I hope you give SILVER CITY a shot and if you do I think you’ll find yourself having a great ride.

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  1. Excellent comments and blogpost. I really like this series, especially the character of Grayden St. Cyr. Unique and interesting!