This is a group which came together at the Amazon Forums and in a thread begun by a lady called Maggie. She is a Wyoming reader who loves western romance and set out to create a place for writers and readers to meet-- Western Romance Authors Please Post Here #2. (the #2 is because it went over the 10,000 post limit and at that point, you are either done or start over). I arrived in the forums shortly after my first books had come out on Kindle. I wasn't sure I fit western romance at that time as my published books were not historical and not all could be considered western, but Maggie welcomed me as she does everyone.
She has established a creative, friendly environment with writers who encourage each other, discuss topics, sometimes their lives, awards, and books. Basically we have become internet friends, and it's all due to Maggie-- as is this coming anthology which has been dedicated to her. To me she stands for all the readers who encourage writing books they love and are as vital to every genre as the writers.
In her thread, Maggie regularly posts free Kindle books and something else that has been fun. She gives five words and asks writers to come up with a story using them. That story can be a paragraph or much longer. I like reading what different writers create. I've participated in it a few times. The following is one of mine using the words Maggie gave--
Marshal, Preacher, School Teacher, Undertaker, and Banker
The day was hot, the dust his boots stirred up reminded him there were cooler climates. Anybody could take over his job. He could do something else, something that didn't demand he buckle on a belt, holster and gun every morning. Maybe he'd be a teacher like his brother. He laughed silently at the silliness of that idea. He wasn't the school teacher sort. He really only knew one thing-keeping the law.
Ahead Sharp saw the man who had been raising the ruckus. One more time. He could do it one more time. "Drop your gun," Aaron yelled continuing to walk. The man, who had been shooting at the bank, turned, his small eyes now focused on Aaron. "They took my money, that cheating banker took my farm." He looked back toward the building. "Come on out, you sniveling coward."
"It's not worth it, friend," Aaron tried one more time but saw it wasn't going to work as the man shifted his gun to point at him. It happened in what seemed slow motion. He pulled his own 44, firing as he brought it to bear, aware a bullet had whizzed by his shoulder. Seconds later the angry man stumbled, a confused look came over his face before he crumpled to the dust.
Aaron only slid his own gun back in the holster when he assured himself the man was dead. What a waste! What a pathetic waste of life. Only the undertaker won this game. He shook his head as the people came out of their businesses to stand and look at him and then the dead man. He pointed at a small man at the edge of the growing crowd. "You, tell Wilson he's got a client."
He wouldn't quit today. Somebody had to protect the town.
******************I should add-- these are the same five words that one of the anthology authors used to create her short story. You suppose Maggie was training us all along? *s*