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Get Out Of Dodge City (Author Interview with Tom Clavin)

by Bradley Matthews

Congratulations Tom Clavin on your new book Dodge City: Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, and the Wickedest Town in the American West!

Where did you get your inspiration from to write Dodge City?

I had co-authored a book with Bob Drury titled The Heart of Everything That Is, about the war against the Plains Indians in the 1860s. It was successful and I wanted to return to the American West of that general time period. I stumbled across information about Bat Masterson, which impressed me with how adventurous his life had been, and when I learned that as very young men he and Wyatt Earp had teamed up to tame a lawless Dodge City, I thought that would make for a thrilling story.

Tell us about your writing process.  Do you write at a regular time each day, or when you feel inspired, etc?

I completely agree with Mark Twain that “writing is 10 percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration. I’m very fortunate that I love what I do, but the job of researching and writing must be done every day – for me, beginning early in the morning. I’m a plumber, a carpenter, a car mechanic, with my tools being words.

Tell us a little more about yourself! 

    • Favorite Movie:  The Searchers
    • Favorite TV Show: Blue Bloods
    • Favorite Band:  Allman Bros.
    • Favorite Food/Drink: Pizza/Jim Beam  — not necessarily together!
    • Where do you get your news from primarily? I read 2-3 newspapers a day and I watch both CNN and Fox News, or at least go on their web sites. (This can be dizzying.)
    • If you could meet any person, dead or alive, who would it be?  George Washington


  • If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? I am of Irish descent, so I do still hope one day to at least visit Dublin.




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