In his early forties, Richard Wheeler had never given a thought to writing fiction. By his early seventies, he had written sixty novels. And these were being published while he was climbing the masts of a sinking ship. This late-in-life novelist didn’t tackle high literature, but the sweaty world of genre fiction, where the publishers’ advances barely paid the rent. He wrote western fiction, and when that genre began to ship water, he leapt over to historical novels, and finally biographical novels, where he found himself in an odd literary corner, without competition. This is a memoir of literary struggle, of agents and editors, of jackets and publicity and book tours. This is also a story about the astonishing help he received along the way from friends, best-selling novelists, agents, editors, and publishers. Writing may be a lonely profession, but Wheeler discovered that the world of genre fiction writers is populated with caring and wise colleagues. Here, Wheeler evokes his early struggles, which somehow prepared him for a life as a successful novelist. He discusses shattered dreams and sudden joys. And running through his narrative is his passion to write about the West in new ways. RICHARD S. WHEELER is the author of sixty novels of the West, the winner of five Spur Awards, and the recipient of the Owen Wister Award for lifetime achievement in the literature of the American West. Many of his novels are now in trade paperback editions from Sunstone Press.