It's hard for me to believe that I've been publishing magazine articles for 20 years. But when editor Will McKay approached me with the idea of collecting them, I had two realizations. First, I had plenty of material to make a book. (After collecting it all, I ended up cutting almost 25 percent.) Second, the book isn't just a random ego assortment -- it actually has a theme.
It turns out that when I propose topics to magazine editors (or, less frequently, when they assign topics to me), I gravitate toward a certain time period, type of character, and historical impulse. I'm fascinated by the moment when Montana ran out of frontier. It's a "moment," of course, that takes place at various times in various places across the state. And it can play out very differently. But Montana's relationship to its frontier past is strong, immediate, and really fun to explore.
There's more information on the book at http://www.johnclaytonbooks.com/EnduringFrontier.htm. You can also follow its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/MontanasEnduringFrontier.
I'm always interested in feedback, via info at johnclaytonbooks dot com
Labels: Montana's Enduring Frontier