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Published on Monday, August 6, 2012.

An Interview

with Shotgun Bo Rivers


Western writer Shotgun Bo Rivers, author of Laramie's Code and Rodeo Dayz granted an interview to The Western Online.

The Western Online: Can you describe your story for our readers?

    Bo Rivers: I have two books to talk about today Laramie's Code and Rodeo Dayz. The first, Laramie's Code is a short young adult Western Fiction Ebook that is part of a Mini-series which is going to tell Laramie Taylor's story prior to my upcoming novel, Laramie's Thunder. It begins with Laramie just twelve years old, he is taught the Cowboy's Code, ethics his father raised him with, but when he begins school in the fall of 1856 he is faced with a challenge. His new friend Bartholomew is being taunted by three boys because he is the only black boy in school. Charles Younger's father Henry Younger joins his son, and the other two boys and attack Bartholomew. However, Laramie just twelve years old, defends his new friend, and teaches forty-year-old Henry Younger a lesson. That lesson being to have respect for others, regardless of color, or race.

    The second book, Rodeo Dayz is a book of short stories that nine friends and I wrote together. The book isn't what you would call a perfect book, and we didn't want it to be. I have had a few reviews, that grammar, and style was very lacking, however the whole reason it is lacking those things is because we wanted it that way. The cowboys and cowgirls that helped write Rodeo Dayz wanted the reader to read the stories as if you were sitting at a coffee shop having a cup of coffee with us, as we rambled on about our rodeo stories, the way real cowboy's do. We wanted it this way because we wanted it raw, truthful, and exact to how we would tell those stories. I don't think I have ever met an English scholar to ride bulls, at least not yet anyway.

TWO: How is your story one that would interest the readers of The Western Online?

    Bo: The Story takes place in St. Joseph, MO during the mid-1850's the stopping point for the Oregon Trail, and later home to the famous Jesse James. St. Joseph, was booming with business, and if you were headed to the untamed west, you stopped here for that last bit of food, and supplies. Laramie's code, is a fast paced story, using historical facts and fictional characters the story in its entirty, is an unforgettable western.


TWO: What motivates the protagonist in your story? What is he trying to prove?

    Bo: In Laramie's Code, Laramie Taylor isn't really trying prove anything, he is just simply living by the code, and ethics his father taught him, however when you are a grown man and you strike a boy just because he is black, Laramie becomes defensive, because in his mind only a coward would do such a thing.

    In Rodeo Dayz it is based on fact, which tells each rodeo cowboy, or cowgirl's story raw, and on the cutting edge, as they chase one dream, a gold buckle for a prize of honor, hard work, and champion.

TWO: How would you define the term "Western" and what does it mean to you?

    Bo: Western to me is about a way of life, most say that the "western genre" has died out, but it hasn't the cowboy still exists across the whole nation. Ranchers still herd cattle, Farmers still harvest their crops, and in there somewhere is still a rustler or two, a lawmen and an outlaw, no matter how modern we get we still are cowboy's, living by our code. Each one that I have ever met has always impacted me in some, way, and it is mostly just in their character, and how they carry themselves as a person.

TWO: What draws you to writing Westerns?

    Bo: For whatever reason interested settlers of all kinds to make the voyage across the Mississippi River, and into a place only traveled by Native Americans at the time interests me the same. The cowboy's way of life, traveling from boom town to boom town, across the vast open lands, is probably my favorite part. As a rodeo cowboy, I traveled the U.S. myself looking for a freedom you can't find, and looking for a reason to carry on. As Paul Bogart wrote in "The Cowboy Way" I don't trade stock on Wall Street that ain't where I invest, I know my treasure lies over that next ride, Just keep on riding west.

TWO:What writers have influenced you the most??

    Bo: I would have to say the authors that have influenced me the most are Elmer Kelton, and Louis L 'Amour. But I can't forget Zane Grey either. In recent years I have to say the writers that inspire me to write are the ones I have a friendship with, without the guidance and the help when I need it, I wouldn't be where I am today with three books already published. So I have to thank them all for helping me in my writing when I needed it.

TWO: What is your favorite Western, either novel or movie? Why?

    Bo: My favorite western Book is The Good Ole' Boys by Elmer Kelton, because of what it is about one cowboy sticking to his ways, with no thought of changing just because the world around him is. I have always felt as if I were Hewey Calloway, because of how the world changes so much today. Yes I can manage a computer pretty well, but it doesn't change the fact of who, or what I am. Being a cowboy to me is my way of life, and it always has been.

    My favorite Western Movie is Tombstone, The quote "Behold the pale horse, for he rides upon him is death and hell follows with him." Is brought from the book of revelations in the beginning, and becomes the centerpiece of the whole film, and I love it. One part of the movie I will never forget, is the gunfight at the O.K. Corral not because of its legend, or because of its popularity, but because in this particular film, Val Kilmer fires a double barrel shotgun three times, before reloading. My grandfather hated that part, "You don't get three shots out of two barrels." He would always mutter, every time we watched it together.

TWO:The Western has seen a bit of a resurgence in recent times and is returning to both the box office and television. Why do you think that is?

    Bo: Our nation has always struggled, much more now than possibly we ever have. Greed and power has overcome our center core, everything is based on wallstreet and government, and we need a hero to bring us out of that. In the early years we had John Wayne, in the 1970's it was Clint Eastwood, and in the 90's it was Kurt Russel, or Kevin Costner. We need another hero now more than ever, someone that can saddle up take the reins, and ride as far as west as he can, teaching those in power that we have to have a set of standards to live by, not more laws that make no sense at all. We strive on things that are not important, and forget about those things that are the most important, and I think Hollywood has come to realize this. I found a new liking to True Grit with Jeff Bridges in the lead, maybe, just maybe he is our new Hero.

TWO:What are you plans for the future? Are you working on a sequel?

    Bo: My future as a writer has been pretty much laid itself out for me. There are several sequels coming to the Laramie Taylor series including four, or six more short stories that will continue telling his life story prior to my Novella series Laramie's Thunder. I also plan to write at least three Novella's for the Laramie's Thunder series, and a western military fiction novel as well.

TWO:Is there anything else you'd like to add?

    Bo: I want to give it to you straight, if you like a good western, then I strongly suggest checking out the Laramie Taylor series, it is been a pleasure to write them, and I hope my readers enjoy them.

    I also want to add that if you want to know how life is for a modern day cowboy, I suggest you read Rodeo Dayz. It may be raw, but we are telling it like it is. The book also includes a short Biography of each author, and has a short history of NY, that dates back to the early 1950's when rodeos were held in Madison Square Garden.



    Shotgun Bo Rivers is an author, writer, bull rider, bronc rider, guitar player, poet, and country boy. Besides writing, he also loves to hunt and fish. Bo grew up in a little town called Danby, VT. At 22 years old, he became a full time Professional Bull rider and amateur Bareback Bronc rider. He found very much love and passion in the sport of rodeo and learned to respect and passionately love the animals of the sport of rodeo as well.

To purchase Laramie's Code, or Rodeo Dayz this month visit his website, where you can find it in any Ebook Format needed. You can also get an autographed paperback copy of Rodeo Dayz there this month as well, limited quantities available.


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