Bookmark and Share

Published on Saturday, September 22, 2012.

An Interview

with James Rollo


Western writer James Rollo, author of Sons of Thunder granted an interview to The Western Online.

The Western Online: Can you describe your story for our readers?

    James Rollo: Set in the lush grasslands of Montana's high plains at the height of man's intrusion of the West, 'Sons of Thunder' it is the story of a lawless breed that lived outside the law, wreaking havoc and mayhem throughout the state.

    A time when the love of family and brotherly bonds meant far more than the law of the land ever could. At this time in history, more so than any other, the term "Blood is thicker than water", had meaning. It wasn't merely a saying... it was a way of life. An action packed account of an extraordinary pursuit that ultimately ends in triumph and tragedy.

TWO: How is your story one that would interest the readers of The Western Online?

    James: My story may be of interest to your readers in that the plot has a twist from the norm. The Antagonists are prominently projected throughout the story till the moment of truth when right prevails over wrong.


TWO: What motivates the protagonist in your story? What is he trying to prove?

    James: The story opens with Ramrod Luke Maynard heading up a herd of Longhorns. Sporadic night raids by 'ghost riders' depletes his manpower and he is forced to ride to the nearest town for additional help. On his return, he finds his men dead and the herd lying at the bottom of a canyon in a grotesque pile of bovine carnage. From that moment he is driven by an insatiable desire to bring the perpetrators to justice and remove the overpowering guilt that welled inside him. Unfortunately, the vigilante's blind pursuit clouds his judgment and his quest for justice gives way to revenge with tragic results.

TWO: How would you define the term "Western" and what does it mean to you?

    James: A story or movie about life in the American West in the late 19th century; for me personally it means a depiction of the cowboy and a way of life that still attracts us to that period when the West was really wild.

TWO: What draws you to writing Westerns?

    James: I have always enjoyed reading Westerns and viewing Western movies. To me, they depict a timeless era of our pioneering past. As a writer of Westerns, I feel I can contribute in a small way to the preservation of an exciting chapter of American history.

TWO: What writers have influenced you the most?

    James: Zane Grey, Louis L'Amour & Max Brand

TWO: What is your favorite Western, either novel or movie? Why?

    James: I have enjoyed the movies of John Wayne and Clint Eastwood but the one that stands out for me is 'Once Upon a Time in the West'. Sergio Leone's epic starring Charles Bronson, Henry Fonda, Jason Robards & Claudia Cardinale. With its classic ingredients of lost love, greed, revenge and the civilization of the west by the arrival of the railroad, it imbues a sense of reality that existed in those pioneering days. Regarded as the best film ever made, it was named to the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress in 2009 for being culturally, historically and aesthetically significant and will be preserved for all time.

TWO: The Western has seen a bit of a resurgence in recent times and is returning to both the box office and television. Why do you think that is?

    James: I think viewers are becoming more selective in what they view. Most of today's market is inundated with sex and violence with little regard for family entertainment. I think as we mature we tend to reminisce more and the Western takes as back to a time we can identify with, the taming and civilizing of the West. An exciting and adventuress part of History.

TWO: What are you plans for the future? Are you working on a sequel?

    James: Yes I am. I also have two unpublished novels completed. 'The Franciscan' and 'Wave the Bloody Shirt'


    CJames Rollo was born (1937) in the coastal village of Buckhaven on the North shore of the Firth of Forth in the kingdom of Fife, Scotland, He moved to Canada in 1971 with his wife Margaret and four sons, Tony, Brian, Stuart & notable horror author Gord. He is a retired firefighter and Royal Air Force vet and presently lives in Port Colborne, Ontario. His first love was poetry where he had a number of poems published in numerous anthologies. An ardent lover of Western novels and movies, Sons of Thunder is his first novel.


Back to   Top of Page   |   Fiction  |  Artwork  |  Historical Articles   |   Book Reviews   |   Site Information   |   Submission Guidelines