One of the best writers in our genre, Ron Hansen, is getting set to come out with "The Kid." And he sent me a preview and it totally rocks.
Of course it was Ron's previous stellar book, "The Assassination of Jesse James by The Coward Robert Ford" which was the basis for the movie of the same name, starring Brad Pitt as Jesse. The movie uses much of Ron's poetry, I mean narrative, in a voice-over that is pure music to history nuts like me. Here is a thoughtful note I got from Ron last summer:
"I want to compliment you and offer my gratitude both on your very fine Illustrated Life and Times of Billy the Kid, which I have read and reread many times, and for your most recent article on John Tunstall's murder on the Ham Mills trail. I learned a lot that will be going into my rewrite of that chapter."
And, by the way, here is Ron's answer to my question about the two different titles to van Gogh's iconic painting, "Wheatfield With Crows" or "Crows Over A Cornfield." I was puzzled by the weird difference:
"The confusion comes from the American sense of corn as maize only, while in Great Britain, and possibly throughout Europe, corn can refer to oats, wheat, or anything else that can be ground into flour."