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Published on Wednesday, September 18, 2013

An Interview With

Larry Payne


Larry Payne is the author of the traditional Western novella Ride the Savage Land and he recently granted an interview to The Western Online.

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

Larry Payne: Jake Hollister has been on a relentless quest for six years to find his wife, Suzanne, who's been abducted by a Comanche raiding party. But, when the same fate befalls his good friend, John Henry Parker, they enlist the aid of ex-buffalo soldier, Zachariah Benson and follow a trail of death and destruction in their pursuit to rescue Sarah Parker. But, will they be ready for what they find?

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

Larry: It is a story of adventure and survival in the old west.

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

Larry: Jake Hollister is driven by the obsession to find his wife, totally oblivious to the obstacles or the final reality that she may be lost forever.

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

Larry: My feelings about what is or isn't a western are well documented across the many writer's sites I belong to. I am a Traditionalist and I believe the "true" western time frame is from the end of the Civil War to the turn of the century, west of the Mississippi River. But, now you are seeing the sub genres of Western Horror, Paranormal Westerns, Space Westerns, Contemporary Westerns, Modern Westerns, etc., that make me tighten my jaws. But, it is what it is. I will just continue to read, write and watch the westerns I've grown to know and love.


TWO: What draws you to writing Westerns?

Larry: I was introduced to the western at a very young age by my Dad, who was an avid fan of western movies and novels. He would always take me to see the latest John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart, Gary Cooper movie and I would also get his latest, hand me down, western novels. I was hooked! So, when I started to take my writing seriously, westerns were a no brainer.

TWO: What writers have influenced you the most?

Larry: Louis L'Amour and Elmore Leonard. L'Amour's novels were the ones I cut my teeth on, but in the early stages of my writing career, a critique group member told me I wrote dialogue similar to Leonard's style. Whether or not that's true is not for me to say. It was one reader's opinion, but it was enough motivation for me to continue writing and it made Elmore Leonard an idol to me. I have since read every western he wrote.

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

Larry: It's hard to pick a favorite novel, but of the movies, I have two. The Searchers and The Magnificent Seven. The Searchers, to me, was John Wayne's finest role and I thought here is where his Oscar should have come from. As for, The Magnificent Seven, although most of them were early in their careers, I've always felt this was the best cast ever put together for a western.

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

Larry: Doc Holliday. He has always been a favorite of mine and finding out what's true about him and what's not would be priceless. Plus, I would really like to know what happened at the OK Corral.

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

Larry: I will continue to write traditional westerns and a sequel to Ride The Savage Land, Guns Of The Range Land, is also Book 2 in the Savage Land Series and is presently in the hands the publisher. I am also contemplating a recommendation by some readers of my short stories to turn a couple of them into novels. I have talked to the publisher of the shorts and he is receptive to it, so that's something that's on my agenda also.

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

Larry: To all the writers, young and old, out there I say, Keep Writing! It took me 10 years to get my first story published and it's been well worth the wait. In the last couple of years I've had 4 short stories and a novella published, so don't give up!


Larry Payne grew up in East Chicago, Indiana and now resides in Chandler, Arizona with his wife, Susan, and their two cats, Molly and Emily. He is a US Navy veteran where he served as a Hospital Corpsman.

His western fiction novella, RIDE THE SAVAGE LAND, is available from Wild Child Publishing or on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Larry can be contacted via his website, on his blog or on Twitter. Find his Author Page on Facebook


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