Thursday, November 1, 2012

Moonlight Mesa Publishing News and Views


Moonlight Mesa's popular Cowboy Up Short Story Contest may have come to a close after four years. Certificates and prize moneys have been awarded, and the publisher has announced that there will be NO Cowboy Up Contest in 2013. Whether the contest will resume in 2014 is anybody's guess right now.

"I'd like to sponsor a contest in 2014," publisher Becky Coffield said, "but I'd like to change it up a bit. I've been thinking about a novella contest, but so far it's still just a thought. We'll let people know just as soon as we decide."

This year, taking first place and winning $250 was Michael Madigan from Arvada, CO. with "Colton's Panics." Second place and $150 went to Kathleen Ewing of Prescott Valley, AZ. for "A Time to Heal." $75 was awarded to Drew Davis of Martinez, GA. for "Desert Flowers."


Two of Moonlight Mesa's titles have been named finalists in the 2012 New Mexico Book Awards Contest.
Rusty Richard's Casey Tibbs - Born to Ride is a finalist in the Biography Category, and J.R. Sanders' The Littlest Wrangler is a finalist in the Young Reader Category.

"We've been entering authors' books in contests for several years now and have had some great results," the publisher said. "However, due to the mounting costs, these were the last two we ever entered! I'm glad they at least both made it to this level."

Moonlight Mesa has a number of award-winning titles in its line-up. Northern Escape, Life Was A Cabaret, The Littlest Wrangler, and A Way in the Wilderness have all garnered award recognition. In fact, this is the second trip to the award stage for The Littlest Wrangler.

Awards will be given out later this month in Albuquerque, New Mexico.


For whatever reason, the last two events Moonlight Mesa has attended have been dreadful. "I'm not sure what's happening," publisher Coffield said. "It's very strange. They keep saying the economy is rebounding, yet sales are not indicating that - at least not book sales."

Despite how well organized and run the Wild Western Festival was, people just weren't buying. "We made some money," Coffield commented, "but it was nothing to get excited about. I'm not complaining too loudly, though. Some vendors sold NOTHING in three days. I felt really badly for them...just glad it wasn't us!"

Typically, Western events aren't the best events for Moonlight Mesa, event though the publisher specializes in Western books. "These folks just aren't our demographic," Coffield commented. "We only did the show for Lee Anderson, one of our authors who is a large part of this particular production. But, at least we made some money and didn't take a loss."

The Wickenburg Gun Show, normally a great event for the publisher, was wickedly horrible. "I think we made all of $12 profit. It was ghastly. I certainly misjudged that show. Usually we do quite well at the Wickenburg Gun Shows...not this time," Coffield said.

Moonlight Mesa's next show will be the Four State Blue Grass Festival in Wickenburg. "I'm afraid to predict," Coffield said. "We just need a good show! It'll be our last of the year, and we won't resume shows until February at Gold Rush Days here in Wickenburg. We won't be doing the Arizona National Livestock Show in Phoenix in December as planned."


Work will begin next week on Robert Walton's outstanding Civil War novel, Dawn Drums. "Our aim is to have this book ready for release in March," Coffield said. "I don't see any problems with that at all, but ya just never know!"

Dawn Drums is one of only two books that Moonlight Mesa has planned for publication in 2013. The other book on the calendar is Jere D. James' fifth, and last, Jake Silver Adventure. Unless, of course, Jerry Tindell follows through with his mule book! Then Coffield said three titles would be forthcoming.

Coffield is looking at doing another boating book for 2014. As for James, he owes the publisher one more title after the fifth Jake Silver book. He wants to set his sixth book for the publisher in the Superstition Mountains area of Arizona. "Jere says the book will most likely feature Richard Moody - but nothing is set in stone yet...or on paper. Meanwhile, we're ready to roll on Walton's Dawn Drums," Coffield said.

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