Just after he’d written his first western, “Gunsight Justice,” Mike Hundley wasn’t sure he had another novel in him. As it turns out, he was wrong.
Since his initial release more than two years ago, Hundley has written three additional westerns with another one in the works. His books include “Guns of the Lost Canyon,” a follow-up to “Gunsight Justice,” which are part of the Peacemaker Trail series, and “Texas Lawman – Will Justice” and “Gunfights at the Boomtown Saloon” are part of the Texas Lawman Series.
Hundley, a Franklin County native and Vietnam veteran, insists it’s not him doing the writing. “The characters are the ones writing the story,” he said.
Before “Gunsight Justice,” the former telecommunications sales executive had never written anything other than letters and business correspondence. His friend, Galen Pedersen, urged him to try his hand at fiction writing. Recently, when he spoke with Pedersen by phone, Hundley jokingly said, “I said to him ‘This is all your damn fault.’”
“Gunsight Justice” is currently ranked in the top 100 westerns on Amazon, and for a week, Hundley was listed as the No. 1 best-selling author in Australia. Since its release in August 2016, the book continues to receive positive ratings and comments.
“This was a really good story that holds all the action and adventure that you can get in one story,” John Shearer wrote on Amazon in early April. “The story is about what to do to make things right and to what end some will go.”
Set in the post-Civil War era, the story centers around the Garrison family as they make their way from Virginia to Colorado.
In “Guns of the Lost Canyon,” patriarch and Colorado rancher Will Garrison is faced with an enormous bill for current and back taxes on the property he acquired. Strapped for cash, the solution of building a silver mine leads to other challenges and hardships.
Good Reads reviewer Dick Rowland gave the sequel five out of five stars. “You will be pleased with the story of the west, silver mine, horses and the people who help shape the west,” Rowland wrote. “Mike, please continue to write these stories and share your insight of the west.”
As of now, Hundley has no plans to stop. “It’s an awesome experience when I’m writing,” he said.
While some writers create outlines and flowcharts to find out what happens next in their plots, Hundley’s methodology is different. “I’m going fishing to see what the hell’s going to happen next,” he said with a laugh. “I pride myself on being untrained as a writer and instead have a ‘let-it-happen’ attitude that allows me to write in a free and unhinged passion.”
Hundley also credits his upbringing on a tobacco farm in Snow Creek for the courage to start writing novels late in life. “I’m not afraid to write it, and readers obviously like it,” he said. “I think it’s the passion and the stories written from the heart.”
Looking forward, Hundley, who turns 77 this month, is planning his third western in the Peacemaker Trail Series and also hopes to host some book signings similar to one he held in the Snow Creek community where he donated the proceeds of his book sales to the local rescue squad.
When asked what Hundley’s advice would be to budding authors, he didn’t hesitate to offer an answer. “Don’t wait until you’re 74 to write your first book,” he said. “Flip the laptop open and let the characters go.”