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Published on Friday, May 5, 2014

An Interview with

J. W. Throgmorton


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

J. W. Throgmorton: First of all, is the title, 'KILCHII'. If my research is correct, it's an Apache word meaning, 'Red Boy'. It's a coming of age story about a Scott/Irish infant whose family is massacred. He's found by an Apache clan chieftain, who takes him back to his clan, where he and his wife, who are childless, adopt and raise him as their own. When Kilchii is sixteen, his Apache father takes him to live with Jesuit monks, where he receives a formal Jesuit education, including Latin and all the sciences. When Kilchii is around age twenty, he sets out on a trip with his friend and mentor. There's trouble, Kilchii is wounded and left for dead. It's then that he meets the last of his teachers, E. B. Parker, a Civil War veteran and bounty hunter.

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

JWT: It's a classic western saga written in the traditions of Zane Grey, Max Brand, and Elmore Leonard. I've tried to be factual with my references to equipment and the historical timeline.

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

JWT: Having been raised by the Apaches and schooled by the Jesuits, Kilchii has a highly-developed sense of right and wrong. He seeks justice for a friend and mentor. During his quest, he at first believes any means will justify his goals, but as the story unfolds he changes; for the better, I hope.

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

JWT: For me, the term 'Western' is the time period in our country between 1840 and the 1920s. It was a time when a man's word was his bond, and his woman was proud of him. I feel it is also interchangeable with the word 'Frontier'. By that, I mean it defines a time and place where a man could face the challenges of carving a life for him and his family from the uncharted places of the world. Learn to live independent of civilizations, and cumbersome governments. It is a place and time where a man can define his own laws.


TWO: What draws you to writing Westerns?

JWT: That's a good question. I would have to say it has a lot to do with what the 'Old West' means to me; romantically speaking. It was a time of simple rights and wrongs, where living was more about survival than fitting in.

TWO: What writers have influenced you the most?

JWT: The western writers who most influenced me were Louis Lamoure, Zane Grey, and Elmore Leonard. My dad read Lamoure and Grey when I was a kid. So, I started reading them also, later, when I was an executive and traveled a lot, I read everything Lamoure wrote. They were quick, easy, and fun. In the 70s when they were readily available at the airport bookstores, the publisher would re-release Lamoure's book with new covers. I bought them on impulse and would get half way through the book before I realized I'd already read it.

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

JWT: When I first read this question, my mind began to spin with all the possibilities. However, if I have to choose, it would be a movie based on a Leonard short story character, Bob Valdez. To capitalize on the motion picture, he turned the short story into a book before the movie was released; 'Valdez is Coming.'

The why is easy, the story epitomizes my favorite action story theme; western or otherwise. A quiet man trying to live a peaceful life is thrust into a situation by circumstances caused by his doing the right thing. His adversaries mistake his desire for peace and quiet as weakness and do him harm.

But... unknown to his adversaries, our hero has a past of violence and destruction, and he extracts his justice.

TWO: If you could go back in time and meet one famous person in the Old West, who would it be and why?

JWT: Now, this is a really tough question, but I think the answer is Charles Goodnight. McMurtry's 'Lonesome Dove' character Woodrow Call was loosely based on Goodnight. As for the why? By all accounts, he was a tenacious individual, who when he believed in an idea stayed with it to the end. There didn't seem to be much back up in the man; I like that. Had I the chance, I would like to have interviewed him after he reached his 70s and learned some patience.

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

JWT: I write most every day in some form, or another and will continue. Kilchii is a stand-alone novel. I've written two books of three with my Duncan series. I've found that I don't much care for it-sequels, I mean. I dread writing the third; it seems too much like work. At present, I'm adapting a short story of mine, 'Talon's Debt' into a screenplay.

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

JWT: Only that I wished I'd started writing sooner. I have more story ideas than time. My work can be found at



Jim Throgmorton is the husband of one beautiful wife, the dad of two wonderful boys, and the papa of three brilliant grandsons. He is a Marine Corps Vietnam veteran. Now a retired general contracting executive who during his career has constructed projects in various parts of the United States, which included everything from a small retail tenant space to a 7 million barrel brewery. In 2008, he decided to pursue his lifelong passion and became a western genre novelist. Duncan at Green River, his first published book, although set in the future, is, in essence, is still a cowboy shoot 'em up. Now living on the west coast of Florida, Jim writes 4-5 hours each weekday. He and his lovely bride enjoy motorcycling, travel and entertaining their friends and family.


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