Remarking that “These books light the way to deeper research on Western characters and events,” ace storyteller Matt Braun shares some of the reference material that informs his own research and makes good reading in their own right.

Braun’s most recent novel is Doc Holliday from the Gunfighter Chronicles (St. Martin’s).


1. The Reader’s Encyclopedia of the American West (edited by Howard R. Lamar; Thomas Y. Crowell):  The best quick-reference source ever written on the Old West.

2. Encyclopedia of Frontier Biography (Dan L. Thrapp; Arthur H. Clark Co.):  Excellent biographical source on those who peopled the Old West.

3. Encyclopedia of Western Gunfighters (Bill O’Neal: University of Oklahoma Press): A detailed accounting of the lives and shoot-outs of over 250 gunfighters.

4. Great Gunfighters of the Kansas Cowtowns, 1867-1886 (Nyle H. Miller and Joseph W. Snell, University of Nebraska Press): A chronicle of major cowtown characters, with newspaper reporting of the era.

5. A Dictionary of the Old West (Peter Watts; Alfred A. Knopf):  Lingo and terms of a bygone time that lend authenticity to a story.


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