I grew up on a ranch in Idaho and have been close to the land and animals all my life. Wildlife, their habitats and their well-being have been passions of mine since I was a young boy. I spent much of my adult life working as a wildlife biologist and wildland fire fighter for the Bureau of Land Management. It was a rewarding career and one that I feel privileged to have had. But now in retirement, when I’m not hiking in the mountains or fishing or hunting, I’m writing. I find it very fulfilling as I need only to create characters and put them in a setting and they seem to tell the story – seriously.
I’ve wanted to be a writer ever since I was about nine or ten. It was just something that appealed to me, maybe because I have always been a voracious reader. My desire to write westerns I suppose is due in part to my fascination with western history. I’ve published several non-fiction western articles dealing with historical characters. The west and its turbulent times have been part of my family heritage, so to speak. My great grandmother single handedly captured three bank robbers who came to her ranch wanting food. My great grandfather, who was away with the posse looking for the robbers, returned to find them locked in the root cellar.
I’ve also had a couple of short stories published that were set in the west but were more contemporary. The novel that I’m currently writing is set in 1898 and deals with a young man’s decision to join the Rough Riders and fight in the Spanish-American War. So, while I’ve written a couple of novels, i.e., A BAD PLACE TO BE and CHASING DEMONS that could be categorized as westerns or action/adventure, my current writing could possibly fit in the general fiction category. I have little doubt that I will write another western but for now I’m still slogging through the jungles of Cuba with the Rough Riders.
(John Hansen, August 2016)
A Bad Place to Be