“A writer, like a sheriff, is the embodiment of a group of people and without their support both are in a tight spot.”
― Craig Johnson, "Another Man's Moccasins"
Hey Ann, thanks for the quote! I actually got it from the previous sheriff of Johnson County, Wyoming who once said to me, "You've got to understand, I'm the last thing that stands between my people and real law-enforcement..."
HiEagle 130, it's filmed in and around Santa Fe in New Mexico, but they use locations from all over the area. We sent them 3,000 photographs from the area in and around the Bighorns and Powder River Country, and I think they've done a marvelous job.
Hey Colt, yep... Walt is what I tend to refer to as 'over'--over age, over weight, overly depressed... But he still gets up every morning and does the job, and to me that makes him heroic.
Thank you so much for this chat. Today is the release date of your new book. Would you tell us about it?
Hi Herman. I think the toughest part is watching them try and get a story down to 42 minutes... That's tough! I really don't worry about too much when I'm writing the books and the TV part doesn't interfere much since I was writing the books years before the A&E show.
Hi Ann. A Serpent's Tooth is about a 'Lost Boy' from a polygamy compound that gets thrown out on his ow... Heart breaking, really. I'd read a few newspaper articles on this situation and just thought it would make for an interesting situation for Walt.
Most of the Walt books tend to come from newspaper articles... It keeps the stories grounded and more realistic, with Walt dealing with the situations that real sheriff's deal with.
I know you've spent some time in Tucson. Any possible connection for Walt in Tucson in the future — criminal for Tucson? Walt has to visit for some reason?
Like most of the books, A serpent's Tooth starts out as one thing, but rapidly develops into something else. One good thing is that Walt's Undersheriff, Victoria Moretti is back, so there's lots of humor.
Oh, you never can tell where Walt might end up. I use an awful lot of my own life for fodder, so anybody that talks with me for more than a minute during a signing is taking their literary life in their hands...
Tucson is such a wonderful place, and so different from the majority of Wyoming... You never can tell.
Hi Herman. I don't know... The Walt books keep me hopping, and I leave the format and sales to Viking/Penguin. Then again, I had a short story that was over 80 pages after four days and will be coming out in October as a novella... Spirit of Steamboat.
Why was Santa Fe picked for the "Longmire" set? Also, I find the TV series visually dark...I've always felt more brightness, for lack of a better work, in your books. Do I just need a new TV?
Spirit of Steamboat was selected as the very first One Wyoming, One Read... Which is a wonderful thing to have happen.
No, they actually wanted it filmed more darkly, like a film, rather than the bright, clear stuff that dominates the TV channels these days. The Director and producers wanted a more painterly look to the show.
Santa Fe was picked because it could double for Wyoming, but the weather is more stable, the crews and sound stages and financial incentives are here.
I love Vic and Walt's daughter. Do you find it more difficult (or different) to create and write your female characters?
No, female characters are easy for me because that's the half of humanity I've kind of made a life-long study of... My wife says I fall in love with all my female charters, and she's probably right...
This is silly. But... I know you you wear a hat to every signing. Are you wearing one now? How many do you travel with? Is this a trademark by intent and design or did it just happen?
Sure, it's actually a collection of all my short stories concerning Walt. I had one that won the Tony Hillerman Award and was in Cowboys & Indians magazine. Well, around Christmas, I just decided to give it away to everyone signed up for my newsletter list at craigallenjohnson.com Well, by November the next year, everyone was writing wanting to know when the next one would be out... Well, I hadn't written any others, so I got busy. I've sent a free one out now for seven years, and the title you mentioned is the collection.
I once didn't wear it on a European tour, and I thought there was going to be a riot!
I'm a rancher from Ucross, WY so I wear one every day.
And yep, I'm wearing one now, right here on the set of Longmire.
Are there any new, recurring characters in the new book? Have you considered a series based on another character?
Robert Taylor just walked by and he's a big guy--about 6'4" and he wears a size 8 cowboy hat...
He's just, well, just so.... perfect in the role. Does he speak Aussie when not being filmed?
I've always got new and quirky characters in each book. The American West is a great place to find characters; people who just aren't anywhere else. As to stand-alines, probably, but probably not spin-offs of the Longmire books.
Robert's great, and no he sounds like an American on set and in interviews. He only sounds like an Australian when he's telling New Zealander jokes...
People keep referring to me as Walt... That's a little scary. I keep reminding them that the books aren't documentaries...
I think Robert Taylor's got that job, now. One side note, we both bought identical '96 Bronco trucks... Something weird about that.
I think the first-person lends itself to folks calling you Walt.
The Broncos are a coincidence? Not by intent?
I love Philly. We've got two daughters and a granddaughter there... And the more you find out about my personal life the scarier this is going to get.
Oh yep, 1st person doesn't allow you to push the character very far away... And yep, the Bronco purchases were by accident.