Posted by Literary Titan
Modern Day Cowboy follows the story of Mattie, a young girl who’s training to become a gunfighter. What made you write a story about gun fighting? Was there anything you pulled from your life experiences?
The things I write usually come from my over active imagination. None of these things I wrote in Modern Day Cowboy came from personal experience. Truthfully, I’m not even much of a gun person even though I do think people have a right to bear arms, to a certain extent. I just think we are living in a moment where we rehash things instead of using our creativity to create new things.
The writing in your story is very artful and creative. Was it a conscious effort to create a story in this fashion or is this style of writing reflective of your writing style in general?
I tried to read up on what I could and just did the best I could. I started writing Modern Day Cowboy in 2004 after a break-up with a girlfriend. Actually I was writing The Beast Within at the time when this story just came in my head. So, I decided to do both. At this time I didn’t have a computer, so I wrote everything by hand. Pages and pages of notes. About three years later I got my first computer, my own personal Univac. I tried paying somebody to type it, that was a disaster. So I just eventually made myself learn a few keys, then I discovered Dragon software and Open Office. Yeah, that took awhile. Now many rejections later, here I am.
David and Mattie are complex and interesting characters. What were some of the trials that you felt were important to highlight the characters development?
My writing does shifts, elegant or plain. Sometimes my heart is there, sometimes my head. The character of David allows me an open love letter. That’s my void, my desire, things never had but wished for. I have a lot of things written along these lines, but I’m not quite sure people like that sort of stuff these days. So yes, bits and pieces of David are me. Real life people popped in my mind when I wrote this story. Ellen Page for Mattie. Christina Ricci for Carolyn, Morgan Freeman for Hustis, Catherine Keener for Madeline, Clint Eastwood for Rusty and Dakota Fanning for Addison Bell. This made the process easier since I’ve always had a vivid imagination. This story played in my head like a movie, I didn’t sit down to write out cue cards, or plot points. I just go with what I feel is right and revise when needed.
What is the next book that you’re writing and when will that be available? Will there be a second part to Modern Day Cowboy?
Part two is already written, has been for a while. It’s just not edited, about the same length as the first and explains what everything was really about. But there are new elements, and a surprise for Carolyn. I’ll be more than happy to answer any other questions you have.
Author Links: Website
After both opponents turn over three shot glasses of Hennessy, the Lincoln girl challenges Mattie to a game of Russian roulette. A mistake, at this moment Mattie is maniacal, she clicks her trigger two times in a row.
Modern Day Cowboy is about the angry romance of a young girl not long out of high school. The experience of first love in the internet age of availability. Trying to figure out the rest of her life is hard enough, now tragedy strikes. Someone set up a row of domino’s and by accident Mattie touched the first one. Now all she can do is watch. Some kind of declaration of war from some unseen enemy. The ensuing conflicts redistributes her morality as the paradigm between right and wrong shifts. Secrets from her mothers past may hold the key.
Posted in Interviews
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Posted by Literary Titan
The novel Modern Day Cowboy: The Making of a Gunfighter depicts the life of Mattie, a young woman living in the middle of nowhere, Canada. Mattie struggles to recover from a painful incident which took the life of a mentally disabled boy that she cared for, and as a result, Mattie takes up employment at the local gun shop in town. It isn’t long before the owner senses Mattie’s need for revenge, and sends her to a boot camp in Arizona to train to become a gunfighter. She quickly becomes proficient at her newly acquired trade. But being rising talent comes with many disadvantages, as other female gunfighters come out to challenge Mattie. When she’s not off to a fight, she is conflicted with feelings for her contract and love interest, David. When his safety is threatened, unlikely friends come to Mattie’s defense, and old histories begin to reveal themselves.
What’s most interesting about this story is the idea of real life gun-fighting. The concept is very unique and Nathaniel Sheft really brings this hobby to life with his novel. The possibility of the organization, a multi-billion-dollar underground business, where women are trained for months at a time to go out and kill each other in a few brief seconds is fascinating. It’s even more empowering that the novel focuses on the sport as it is played by women. Sheft really challenges gender roles and introduces us to some of the most conniving, evil, clever, and entertaining female characters throughout this book, and it’s nice to read through a novel where the protagonist is a strong female character. Mattie’s transformation from depressed, isolated girl, to confident a, in your face, woman is what gives the story it’s flavor. She shows readers that you don’t have to be drop down beautiful or have any sort of history in etiquette. As long as you’re determined to accomplish your goals, you’ll be alright in the end.
The drawbacks to this novel however was that the writing style fluctuates between being great and just okay, especially when it came to dialogue or the inner monologue of characters. When any of the characters were joking or angry, their dialogue came through as more aggressive, however, the language was more colloquial – some slang words here, mispronunciations there, which is fine. However, it was unbelievable for every character to speak in that manner when they were angry. Also, throughout the book, we get a lot of David and Mattie’s inner monologues. These are so elegant, almost philosophical, especially with David. It’s such a strong contrast to the average, or less than polite language found throughout the rest of the novel. It seems that many characters in the novel have the same sort of inner monologue, so it doesn’t leave room for much originality in the words and thoughts of the characters. The language used to describe a scene was jumbled or vague at times which made it difficult to figure out the setting, who was talking, what action was going on, and what point in time the story was actually taking place.
Overall, the idea behind Modern Day Cowboy is intriguing and leads to fascinating possibilities.
Pages: 487 | ASIN: B01LXC2GTL
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