Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Welcome, Mike Torreano

 I'd like to welcome fellow Wild Rose Press author, Mike Torreano to my blog today. He writes Westerns, so you're in for something a little different. 

What inspired you to write? In fifth grade, back in Ohio, my teacher made us read a book a week, and write a report. You never knew who she was going to call on, so you had to be ready. That first week, she took us to a wall shelf stacked with books. I scanned the titles and stopped at a spine that said, ‘Zane Grey’, and I thought ‘what’s a Zane Grey’? Well, I spent the rest of that year devouring his novels and this kid from Ohio got hooked on the Old West. I could see the Cowboys and Indians racing along red sandstone buttes in the Painted Desert. Good teachers could make all the difference then-and today.


When did you start writing? I started seriously writing in 2013, when I retired. Before my first novel, I used to jokingly say I was writing a book. I had all the pages numbered, all I had to do was fill them in. Little did I know then how much work it is to complete and polish a story. I’m not a disciplined writer, either. I find snatches of time to flesh out my current scene, but often spend days percolating on where to go from here.


Why do you write what you write?  I’ve thought about that at length, as I write in what is more or less a niche genre, traditional westerns with a dash of mystery and romance. I’ve always been drawn to black and white things, more so than shades of gray. In the Old West, there were things you were supposed to do, and things you weren’t. If you did wrong, consequences were often immediate, and sometimes severe. Even the bad guys knew where the line was, something that’s been blurred over the years. Many places had no law except The Code of the West, which reflected timeless values we could use more of today.


Are you a ‘plotter or a ‘pantser’?  I’m definitely a pantser. I’m thinking of writing a non-fiction work titled, The Perils of Pantsing. Not really, but while it’s easier to start a story by pantsing, I’ve found it often gets tougher the deeper into the story I go. I always have a 50,000 foot idea of what happens overall, but a lot of times I find myself wondering what happens in the meantime. But, where we all write is at the 5,000 foot level. ‘What happens now’ is my often unwelcome visitor. That’s when I wish I was a plotter. But, with only the most general outline, that allow my characters to do lots of unexpected things. Twists and turns are part and parcel of being a pantser, although I know plotters often encounter surprising happenings along the way, too. And I don’t even want to talk about how hard it is to polish a pantser story. Having said that, though, that’s what seems to work for me.

Which element of novel-writing do you consider most challenging? (Plot, setting, characters, dialogue, etc.) For me, it’s description. My novels are set in the Old West, with many scenes outside amid spectacular scenery, so description is key, and that’s where I have to pay the most attention. I do lots of research in order to ‘see’ my scene’s surroundings clearly before I can properly share those settings with my readers.

Which comes first, character or plot? For me, it’s plot. My characters reveal themselves as I create the story. As long as my plot holds together, the characters seem to fill themselves in. As strange as it might sound, I tend to know little about my characters when I start a new work.

What are you writing now? A Score to Settle was just released by my publisher, The Wild Rose Press. It’s set on the Goodnight-Loving cattle trail in 1870 New Mexico Territory. I was drawn to this locale after devouring the iconic western series, Lonesome Dove. Author Larry McMurtry used an incident in LD that paralleled something that actually happened on Goodnight-Loving. Oliver Loving was shot near Fort Sumner, NMT in 1866. After he died, his partner, Charles Goodnight, carried out his last wish by wagoning him back home to Texas. This is one of the Old West’s most famous legends and I wanted to weave a story around it.

My current WIP is set in New Mexico Territory around 1890. White Sands Gold tells of a legendary cache of hidden gold bars, and the conflict between those who seek it and those who have sworn to protect it. But, is the treasure so many are willing to die for real? 

Should be out in 2021.


Thanks for having me, Jennifer!



Broken after his family is murdered, rancher Del Lawson signs on to a cattle drive along the Goodnight Loving trail in 1870, unaware he's still in danger. When he falls for a pretty Army nurse, the killers target her.

If he's to recover from his grief and build a new life, Del must set out on a gritty hunt for the men who are hunting him.

Meanwhile, Del's mother, Maybelle, doesn't know her son survived that murderous night. When she discovers the gold the killers are after, she uses the treasure in an elaborate masquerade to take the murderers down.

Will mother and son's plans reap justice-or destroy what's left of the Lawson clan?



“Tell me your story, Del. We got time.”

Del tried to piece the last few days together. He told Sonny about leaving Rose and—

She interrupted. “That your woman?”

“If she’ll have me. If I ever see her again.” He told her about the search to find Tyson. Riding through Santa Rosa, the trickery about Lost Creek, Potter’s ambush south of town amid the sandstorm. Riding for Wilkins’ ranch and Shade being played out. The desperate walk to find Sinola in the dark.

“You’ve had quite the adventure, Del Lawson.”


Mike Torreano has a military background and is a student of history and the American West. He fell in love with Zane Grey’s descriptions of the Painted Desert in the fifth grade, when his teacher made her students read a book and write a report every week. 

Mike recently had a short story set during the Yukon gold rush days published in an anthology, and he’s written for magazines and small newspapers. An experienced editor, he’s taught University English and Journalism. He’s a member of Colorado Springs Fiction Writers, Pikes Peak Writers, The Historical Novel Society, and Western Writers of America. He brings his readers back in time with him as he recreates western life in the late 19th century.

Mike Torreano’s latest western, A Score to Settle, has just been released by The Wild Rose press. Find it, and his first two western mysteries, The Reckoning, and The Renewal, using the links below.



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Buy Links


A Score to Settle



The Reckoning



The Renewal











  1. Looks and sounds like a great read. Best of luck to you. D

    1. Thanks D. V.! Always fun to see what my characters end up doing. :)

  2. Enjoyed the interview! Wishing you continued success with "A Score To Settle", Mike.

    1. Hi Mary, Thanks and best wishes on yours as well!

  3. Great interview Mike! Good luck with A Score to Settle! Added it to my TBR list. Happy Holidays!

    1. Thanks Friend. You have a great new one yourself with Hidden Gypsy Magic! Good luck with that and I know you have more coming!