With a blend of photography, ranching heritage, and real cowboy food, I pitched my brilliant idea for a book to an editor at the Western Writers of America Conference several years ago. She told me the book would never sell because bookstores could not determine where to shelve it. Coffeetable book? I’m not a professional photographer. Cookbook? It has nonfiction text about cowboy work and cattle ranching. The Texas special interest section? Except for the recipes and food pictures.

I thanked her for her time and as I stood to leave, she asked if I might be interested in writing a book about chuck wagons. It so happened that I had toured the ranch headquarters of the man who invented the chuck wagon, Charles Goodnight. It was only an hour from my home. So yes, I would be glad to do more research and send her a proposal.

Here’s the thing Wordsmith Six friends, sometimes NO isn’t exactly a NO. I could have rejected her twist on my idea and self-published my vision. But she was right, it would have never made it into bookstores. It had no specific theme. Sometimes you need to think outside of your vision and allow your ideas to morph into a thing that might be totally different. Be open to new ideas. Consider opportunities that might challenge your talents. Long story short, after a year of research, I give you the end results, which is up for pre-order now!

KEEP ‘EM FULL AND KEEP ‘EM ROLLIN’; The All-American Chuck Wagon Cookbook.

It has history, it has recipes and I got to use my ranch photographs. All the things I had envisioned except ten times better and guided by a savvy editor who wasn’t afraid to give me an honest opinion. Keep writing and keep believing in yourself. The opportunities are out there.

Publishing Possibilities

Wordsmith Six members have been writing and critiquing together for many years now, and we are continually exploring opportunities for our work. It’s very exciting to move into new creative venues, and with that I’m happy to announce that two of our members have started their own publishing companies!

Yesterday’s Dream – Today’s Reality!

Rory C. Keel is now accepting clients for Carpe Diem Publishers, offering complete services for authors. Rory will take your book wide, in print and eBook, and offers a variety of services to help you realize your dream of holding that book in your hand.

Carpe Diem Publishers will be publishing our Route 66 collection of novellas soon. Stay tuned. We will let you know as work progresses.


Always Keep Moving Forward

If you read this blog on a regular basis, you know my books did not find a home through traditional publishing route, and that’s why I started NKB BOOKS, LLC. I write stories set in the West about the days of horse drawn wagons, cowboys, and the wild Texas frontier. Definitely not something that would appeal to a mainstream audience, but hopefully there is are readers out there who appreciate a good western story as much as I do.  I’m working to release my body of work, and that means hiring cover designers, finding formatters, and planning promotional events.  I am also working with several people on a few co-authoring projects that I will be publishing through my new LLC. I like the control so far, but it is a lot of work. I am not taking on any new clients at this time.


Keep writing and always be on the lookout for new opportunities. You never know where this crazy journey will take you!

Sunday Writings

The best of a book is not the thought which it contains, but the thought which it suggests; just as the charm of music dwells not in the tones but in the echoes of our hearts.

                                                                   OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES

Sunday Writings

All the best stories in the world are but one story in reality – the story of escape. It is the only thing which interests us all and at all times, how to escape.    



Sunday Writings – 2016 WILLA Competition Open

2016 WILLA Competition Open

The WILLA Literary Awards honors the best in literature,
featuring women’s or girls’ stories set in the West that are
published each year. Women Writing the West (WWW), a
non-profit association of writers and other professionals
writing and promoting the Women’s West, underwrites
and presents the nationally recognized award annually at
the WWW Fall Conference. The award is named in honor
of Pulitzer Prize winner Willa Cather, one of the country’s foremost novelists.
Entries are now being accepted in seven categories for the 2016 WILLA
Awards. Books must have a 2015 publication date, feature a girl or woman and be set in the West.

Entry fee: $50. Details and application at

Anne Schroeder
2016 WILLA Chair

Sunday Writings – Texas High Plains Writers

Texas High Plains Writers

Writers living in and around the Texas Panhandle gather in Amarillo, Texas on the third Saturday, bi-monthly in the odd numbered months to network and talk writing.

After lunching with the Program Chair this past week, I have to pass along information about upcoming speakers. What a great line-up! I hope you’ll mark your calendar and pass along the information.

November 21—Author Joan Sikes will talk about how she incorporated her life with a professional musician into an award winning fiction novel.

In 2016:

January 16Chimp Robertson is a poet, author, rodeo contestant, auctioneer, private pilot, rancher, song writer (songs recorded by Chris LeDoux) Texas and Oklahoma Real Estate Broker, skydiver, and U.S. Army veteran.

March 19—Dusty Richards, author, WWA Spur award winner and past president. I’ve heard him speak several times about the craft of writing. This man is an excellent teacher.

For more details on meeting times, location and to RSVP, check out their website: