His mother was against it, but he grew up to be a cowboy anyway. Zane Grey was a corn-fed mid-westerner who ended up an unhappy dentist in New York City. After a journey to Arizona and Utah in 1907, he decided he would rather wear chaps and a Stetson than return to a mundane life pulling teeth in Manhattan.
Thus began his career as a writer. Zane Grey faced mountains of rejection and disappointment in publishing his early novels, but when Riders of the Purple Sage was published in 1912, and it set in motion the entire Western genre in books, movies, and eventually country western music. It was and remains an epic, colorful novel, filled with action, romance, and vivid descriptions of the Old West. Drawing on his letters, diaries, and personal papers, the story of his growth as a writer and of the creation of this book is a rags-to-riches saga sure to appeal to writers of any age, history buffs, motion picture fans, and lovers of music. Plus, it is a story set against the grandeur and sublimity of the American West.