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The Mythos Of The American West

Kendall Roberts Author Interview

Gunslingers follows a young man living on a ranch who, after witnessing his family’s murder and cousin’s kidnapping, sets out to right the wrongs that have been committed. What was the inspiration for your unique story?

Since Gunslingers is a western, I was certainly inspired by the movies I watched growing up like Clint Eastwood westerns, the Young Guns series, and both versions of 3:10 to Yuma. While I was writing, I had the soundtrack to Paint Your Wagon playing in the background fairly often, but I don’t know if any of those songs bled into Gunslingers or not. I read much more in the science fiction and fantasy realm, and had just re-read Stephen King’s Dark Tower series when the germ of the idea for Gunslingers started to take hold, but it took another five years or more to blossom.

The mythos of the American west is all about independence, learning to rely on yourself, and standing up to those unsavory forces that are drawn to those areas where the traditional law cannot reach. Gunslingers is a classic coming of age story or heroes journey set in the backdrop of our collective imagination of what it means to be a cowboy on the frontier.

Will wants revenge but learns he can have more in life than rage and hate. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

Will starts out living a fairly sheltered but typical life on a ranch in the old West, but his genealogy includes the original settlers and heroes who conquered the West, so when that comfortable life is snatched away from him, he falls back on that heritage of strength and resilience to buoy him and fuel that need for revenge. If we live off of anger and revenge, though, we are looking back on what we lost, and not forward to what we could still have or build. Along his journey, Will starts to see that there are more possibilities for his life than shoot-outs, bloodshed, and an early grave.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

Gunslingers touches on a host of different themes including the gap between our myths of the past and the actual history of that past, the treatment of women and indigenous people, and individual pain versus the societal gains in the name of progress. The overarching theme though for all of the main characters relates to our struggle to escape the obligations, burdens, and sins of our own past and the inherited past we receive from our families.

What is the next book that you are working on, and when will it be available?

My next book is called Janie and focuses on one of the other main characters from Gunslingers, Janie De Casas. As readers of Gunslingers will agree, Janie is too powerful a character to leave her where we did. Janie is currently in the editorial process and should come out later this year with the possibility of more to come after that.

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When Governor Hogg’s Agents arrive in the Tranquility Valley, Will Covington and his cousin, Finn, find themselves cast out from their home and fleeing the powers that control the state of Jefferson.

Will and Finn’s flight lands them under the protective wing of former Territory Ranger David McPhail who schools the young men in the lore and training of those fabled Rangers. With the addition of Janie De Casas, the daughter of one of Hogg’s Agents, the quartet of gunslingers set out to right the wrongs Governor Hogg and his Agents have inflicted on Jefferson.

Is revenge the solace Will seeks? Can burgeoning love save him from a path of destruction? Or will betrayal doom them all? Follow the quartet as they seek to outrun their legacies of pain, deliver justice to those who wronged them, and hope to discover a well-deserved peace. Find out if they are successful in Gunslingers by Kendall Roberts!


Gunslingers is Kendall Roberts debut novel. This classic western follows the tragic story of Will Covington, a young ranch hand raised by his aunt and uncle. Will’s life is turned upside down when the local governor, Alastair Hoggs, has his fearsome agents burn down the family farm. If this isn’t bad enough, Will’s beloved family members are murdered, and his cousin, Kalirose, is abducted.

The story unfolds like a classic, old-style western story of revenge, where Will, the only known survivor who barely made it out alive, sets out to find those responsible for his family’s murder and rescue Kalirose. Throughout his journey, he is trained by a former territory ranger, David McPhail, who has his own axe to grind. Janie De Casas becomes involved in the story as the three roam the countryside, devising a plan to best seek vengeance.

I really enjoyed this classic western, which offers a rich storyline with romance, action, and tragedy. On the one hand, Will’s quest for revenge can seem like justice, but not without the risk of dire consequences. The author does an incredible job of shaking up the usual plot with a few unique plot twists, solid and adaptable characters, and a nail-biting journey that can lead to several outcomes. Will is a likable lead character from the start, and despite his tragic origin, he is never angsty and never loses sight of his goal.

While the book takes on a familiar classic western style, Gunslingers by Kendall Roberts is a promising start for a new author. It does a fantastic job of keeping the reader interested. Whether you’re a fan of western or classic action stories about revenge, you’ll enjoy this novel and its fascinating characters. It’s a unique twist from original western stories and well worth the read!

Pages: 316 | ASIN : 1639886842

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