I’ve been on a western kick lately, devouring books by Elmer Kelton, Frederick Manfred and Larry McMurtry among others… and gobbling up western movies and TV shows, too. Tonight, I went to a book signing/reading of western authors at Dutton’s in Brentwood. Virtually all the authors who showed up (45 minutes late, by the way) were wearing cowboy hats and western garb. I thought it was a little silly… and they looked terribly out of place.
I’m a crime writer… I don’t show up at signings in a cop’s uniform… or dressed as a crime scene tech… or wearing in a trenchcoat and Fedora. Why do western writers feel they have to dress the part? If they don’t, will readers think their work isn’t authentic?