Nothing comes easy for me, and certainly the selling of book ideas has not been an exception. It took many outlines, drafts, and pitches before I sold my first book, which surprisingly happened during a casual conversation in a Portland, Oregon, hotel in 1990. So casual that I walked away from a late-night meeting with my agent and editor Jackie Johnson without realizing that Jackie was interested in buying the story. A month later my agent called to ask if I had written a few sample chapters. Oops! The Final Showdown is a novel about race relations in 1867 Kansas, and although unknown at the time race relations has played a key role in almost everything I have since written.
I had a totally different meeting with an editor the first time I tried to sell a book on Ned Wynkoop. It went something like the following.
Editor: “How many Indians did he kill?”
Editor: “Did he go out in a blaze of glory?”
Editor: “I’m sorry son, your story idea isn’t sellable.”
Live and learn, … and keep pitching ideas. Sooner or later someone is going to say “yes.”
As I had done with article writing, I decided to concentrate on interlinking subjects, and by so-doing become an expert on the people I wrote about. The result has been books on George Armstrong Custer, Charles Gatewood, Ned Wynkoop (all who have proved to be tolerant during a time of extreme racial prejudice on the western frontier), and the Cheyenne and Apache Indians in their lives. A book on Sand Creek is next, as is a book on film actors Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland (actually there’ll be three books on Flynn). I haven’t written a novel in years, but have returned to fiction and am working on a story about a Navajo warrior, his granddaughter, and Kit Carson.
Use the specific tabs to view pages that deal with my published books, for they provide links to amazon.com, the publishers (if the book is still in print), and other locations where you can purchase the books.
Kraft online interviews
“Interview with Author-Playwright Louis Kraft” by Johnny D. Boggs
Wild West magazine (posted online 7aug2009)
This interview deals with major portions of Kraft’s writing world to this date in time: Lt. Charles Gatewood, Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer, Indian agent Ned Wynkoop, actors Errol Flynn & Olivia de Havilland, and Kraft’s views on these subjects & his acting.
There are others, but at the moment I can’t find them.
For the record
Once Sand Creek and the Tragic End of a Lifeway is published, this tab of Kraft books will be split into two tabs: