“Line Shack Winter” submitted for Spur Award from Western Writers of America

I had several short stories published in 2011 that were eligible for the Spur Award from the Western Writers of America (it’s like the Oscar for western fiction), but I decided to concentrate strictly on the one I personally liked best. Thanks to Carolyn and Jennifer at BooksToGoNow for publishing it! It’s available for download at Barnes & Noble and Amazon, and a few other online outlets, and is nicely priced for a quick and inexpensive visit to the lively frontier past.

Wings ePress Interview With D.L. Chance re: Miss Rosalie And The Primrose Fool


Interview with D.L. CHANCE


Katherine Pym

1)     As someone in the entertainment business, you must travel.  Is there a place your heart calls home?

Because it is the first place I knew, the lush Deep South countryside will always hold a very special place in my makeup. But for now, and the foreseeable future, I’m content to live and work mainly in North Texas.


2)     Tell us more about D L Chance.

D.L. Chance is the brash, ambitious, determined, hard-headed extrovert who takes the natural God-given talents, potential and goals of the more introverted Don Chance and brings them to life.


3)     How long have you been writing? 

I’ve enjoyed writing ever since I learned how to line up words in correct rows as a small child. But, even though I wrote hundreds of songs and poems before, I didn’t get serious about writing until 1996, when I wrote my first short Western novel (61,000 words) from start to finish. It took off from there.


4)    How do you develop your characters? 

I just use people I’ve known over the years and in the various places I’ve lived and worked. I might tweak a few individual characteristics here and there for more flavor, but they’re basically just real folks I’ve taken and put into situations with other folks I’ve come across in my time.


5)     What is your genre or genres?  If you have more than one, which do you prefer?

My favorites are Westerns and Science Fiction. I’m equally okay with either the past or the future; anything that takes me away from the relentless present for awhile.


6)     Looking at your title, it sounds like a song.  I almost want to sing.  How does your background in music influence your writings?

Good songs have a certain flow, a certain internal consistency; and I like to get those aspects in my prose. And I want to entertain readers through my novels and short stories the same way I entertain audiences with a song. If I can take them somewhere else, out of their ordinary lives, for awhile – whether it’s with a song or a story – then I’m content that I’ve done my job.


7)     Tell us a little about your new novel Miss Rosalie And The Primrose Fool.

The story is set in the tiny ranching village of Melrose, New Mexico, where my dad was a church pastor for a year when I was a kid, and it includes several actual events that happened there that year. But the relationship between the principal characters is more like the decades-long courtship between my Aunt Patsy and Bill (who was as much family as anyone else officially married into the Chance clan), the man she finally married a few years before she passed away.


8)     Where do you write your stories?  Are you tucked away in a quiet nook, or elsewhere?

My wife, Sharon (Sharon Galligar Chance, also a writer and prolific book reviewer), and I have desks sitting face-to-face in our home office, and it’s nice to occasionally catch each other’s eye over the top of our monitors while we’re working. We can also bounce ideas and phrases off each other that way, which makes our writing better.


9)     From all your experiences, have you found any certain truths that guide you through life?  Do you try to impart any wisdom in your stories?

The only truth I live by is the idea that my ultimate success or failure, no matter what I’m involved in, is entirely up to me. Failing is a lot easier than succeeding, but succeeding is a lot more fun – and I’m all about having fun! The only wisdom I pass along in my stories is whatever wisdom my characters impart from their point of view. It’s their story, after all, and I’m just the guy putting it down in words.


10)  Tell us something about your next project.

HENRY 401 is about a legendary gun from the Civil War – number 401 from a lot of 400 special-order Henry rifles – and how two modern-day antiquities experts are hired to search through history for it and maybe solve the mystery of its unlikely serial number; if they can survive the search. It’s tentatively scheduled for release on December 6.


Hannah’s Miracles: A Christmas Fable

Hannah’s Miracles: A Christmas Fable

Having lived many years in the Colorado high country, where there wouldn’t be any towns – or ghost towns – if it weren’t for the gold and silver mining booms of the late 1800s, I’ve always been fascinated by the hardships people endured in those remote places in the hope that they could realize just part of their gold and silver dreams.

Not all women who followed the miners to the various temporary diggings camps and boom towns were prostitutes, and not all prostitutes had hard lives. But when life was hard for the “soiled doves,” it was incredibly hard; and the miracles it took to lessen the hardships came few and far between.

But miracles did happen, even in the sad red light cribs where so many prostitutes plied their demeaning trade. They just might not look like miracles at first.

Hannah’s Miracles: A Christmas Fable is about how miracles don’t always turn out as expected.

Miss Rosalie and the Primrose Fool

As a voracious lifelong reader (except for the few years before my older brother taught me to read a year or two prior to when I started first grade), I’ve read just about every kind of fiction there is. Classics, literary, science fiction, historical, horror, suspense, military, westerns, on and on. But I admit it: I never read a romance novel in my life. That’s why it was so strange to me when my novel Miss Rosalie And The Primrose Fool was published in the romance category.

To me, it is clearly Americana Fiction. But since the term is completely unknown in the publishing world – even though almost every novel on the general fiction shelves these would fit in such a category – and since it didn’t fit neatly into any other classification, it went into the romance category by default simply because one aspect of it is the fifteen-year relationship between Rosalie Leonard Dolan and Deke Sadler, of no middle name.

It’s set in the tiny ranching village of Melrose, New Mexico, and much of its plot points are based on my memories of the place and its people from when I lived there for a year as a child. The enduring romance between Miss Rosalie and Deke, though, is more like the long relationship between my Aunt Patsy and the man she finally married a few years before she passed away (a gentleman who was considered as much a part of the Chance clan as anyone who had officially married into it).

Miss Rosalie is about many things – sorrow, joy, hardship, uncontrolled nature, daily life, early tragic death, the relentless passage of time – in a place where change has always come slow.

Oh yeah, and there’s some implied sex, too.

But . . . romance?

Naw. The romance is secondary to the glorious American experience the people of Primrose share on the vast high plains of New Mexico, and that’s why it’s one of my favorite projects.

Gold for Lily Dale

I’ve always enjoyed science fiction. After discovering Heinlein in the Mesa High School library as a teenager, I spent the next couple decades reading nothing but the great speculative authors. Some I liked – Heinlein, Niven, Pournelle, Farmer, Haldeman, Asimov, Pohl, Resnick, so on – and some I didn’t care for (such as Ray Bradbury and Pohl Anderson, but I won’t dwell on them because they do have so many fans).

And when I felt the time was right to try my own hand at a little science fiction, I went with Hubbard’s idea of keeping the science secondary to the characters in order to tell a story about people, instead of droning on about possible new breakthroughs in science and technology.

My short story Gold For Lily Dale is about the unusual situation two independent asteroid belt miners, owners of the PMV Lily Dale, find themselves in when they have to make the hard choice between something ordinarily rare and something ordinarily common.