Inspiration was imminent after I listened to Neil McMahon give a reading. His charisma was contagious and his writing enthralled me. After reading an excerpt from his novel, Lone Creek, I wanted to read more and have since purchased the book.
To be entirely honest, the first page didn’t engage me. Yet, I forged ahead and the more I read the more I wanted to continue. My reaction to his genre of writing surprised me. In the past, I’ve never been interested in reading western noir or stories of ranch life. However, after reading Lone Creek my previous convictions
As a native of Helena, I am skeptical of all portrayals of my home land. I am protective of the beauty of the Helena valley and admire writers and artists that can appreciate the area as much as I do. While reading the descriptions of Helena and the Pettyjohn Ranch in Lone Creek, I felt proud of my home town. The detailed imagery made me feel as though I was walking in the golden grasses, that I could smell the stench of rotting horse carcasses, and feel the pummeling punches slugged into Hugh Davoren’s gut.
I am grateful to Neil McMahon for being the one writer that swayed my previous notions of noir writing. His work inspired me write about ranch life and the complexities of human interaction in such a setting. Montana writers are faced with the difficultly of encapsulating the beauty of Montana, especially the hidden and well protected treasures of the state.
To the readers of The Write Question blog, please take the time to pick up a copy of Neil McMahon’s writing and experience the authenticity of his work. Lone Creek is an engaging Montana mystery novel that is well worth the risk to read.
Lisa Teberg is currently a post-baccalaureate student, majoring in English with a focus in creative writing at the University of Montana.