Candy Moulton: Reading the West 12-5-11 |

Candy Moulton: Reading the West 12-5-11

My writing life is about to take a major turn. I am now the  Executive Director of Western Writers of America, taking over from Paul Andrew Hutton, who left the position on Dec. 1.

For the past 19 years I have been involved with publication of the WWA Roundup magazine, serving as associate editor for two years and as editor for the past 17 years. With my move to executive director, Johnny D. Boggs will become Roundup editor. Since May he has been working for the publication as managing editor.

The executive change means the office of Western Writers of America will move from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque to my office near Encampment, Wyo. I have worked in the publishing industry since I was a teenager, first reporting for the Saratoga Sun newspaper. I worked at the paper through college and then spent five years as editor of the Sun before becoming a full-time freelance writer in 1982.

As those of you who have been reading this column for the last dozen years already know, I have written 15 nonfiction Western history books including “Chief Joseph: Guardian of the People,” published by Forge Books, which won a Spur Award as Best Biography in 2006. Other titles include “Writer’s Guide to Everyday Life in the Wild West” and “Writer’s Guide to Everyday Life Among American Indians,” both published by Writer’s Digest Books, and “Valentine T. McGillycuddy: Army Surgeon, Agent to the Sioux,” published by the Arthur H. Clark Company this year. With James A. Crutchfield and Terry A. Del Bene, I co-edited “Settlement of America: Encyclopedia of Westward Expansion,” released this year from M. E. Sharpe.

In addition to other work, I am involved in media production for museums and visitors’ centers and wrote and produced the documentary film, “In Pursuit of a Dream,” developed by Boston Productions Inc., for the Oregon-California Trails Association, which won a Spur Award as Best Documentary in 2010.

I received the Branding Iron Award from WWA in 2008 for outstanding service to the organization. My magazine and newspaper articles have appeared in many publications, including True West, Wild West, Persimmon Hill, American Cowboy, Time Magazine, Sunset, The Chicago Tribune, New York Times, Denver Post, and the Casper Star-Tribune. Plus of course the Fence Post!

Johnny D. Boggs has a deep resume that includes dozens of novels and nonfiction books, and hundreds of articles that have appeared in more than 50 magazines and newspapers. He is a frequent contributor to True West, New Mexico Magazine, Persimmon Hill, Western & English Today, Western Art & Architecture, Wild West and Boys’ Life. He is a former newspaper copy editor for the Dallas Times Herald and Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Currently completing his final year as a member of the WWA board in the role of past president, he has been involved with leadership of the organization for many years.

Boggs has four Spur Awards and won a Wrangler Award for his novel “Spark on the Prairie: The Trial of the Kiowa Chiefs.” His Spur Awards came for his novels “Camp Ford” (Five Star), Juvenile Fiction “Doubtful Canon” (Five Star) and “Hard Winter” (Five Star), and a Short Fiction Story, “A Piano at Dead Man’s Crossing” (Forge). His novels “Killstraight,” “Northfield,” “The Hart Brand” and “Ten and Me,” and his short story “The Cody War” were Spur finalists. Active as a Little League coach, he and wife Lisa Smith have one son, Jack. They make their home in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

It is exciting to move into this new role for Western Writers of America. Although I will no longer be editing the organization’s Roundup magazine, I will continue to have day-to-day contact with the finest writers of the American West and I look forward to continuing to write about their books for the Fence Post.

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