Monday, September 17, 2012

Another Wyoming Author

C.M. Wendelboe
When his Junior High class was asked what they wanted to be when they grew up, Curt Wendelboe's response was, "A writer." The rest of the class, he reports, were divided between "singer" and "actor." Then, a bit tongue in cheek, he says that one of that class is now serving a double life sentence in prison, where he has fulfilled his ambition--he has organized a prison choir!

Wendelboe, however, continued to write. He wrote while he served as a Marine in Viet Nam. He wrote while he served in law enforcement for 38 years. And in his retirement years, he has become the published author of a new book series, the Spirit Road Mysteries. As it says on his website:

C. M. Wendelboe entered the law enforcement profession when he was discharged from the Marines as the Vietnam war was winding down.

In the 1970s he worked in South Dakota towns bordering three Indian reservations. The initial one-third of his career included assisting federal and tribal law enforcement agencies embroiled in conflicts with American Indian Movement activists in other towns and on other reservations, including Pine Ridge.

He moved to Gillette, Wyoming, and found his niche, where he remained a sheriff's deputy for over twenty-five years. In addition, he was a longtime firearms instructor at the local college and within the community.
During his thirty-eight-year career in law enforcement he had served successful stints as police chief, policy adviser, and other supervisory roles for several agencies. Yet he always has felt most proud of "working the street." He was a patrol supervisor when he retired to pursue his true vocation as a fiction writer. (

My sister Grace and I attended a book-signing and talk by Mr. Wendelboe at our local library yesterday. I really enjoy meeting authors whose books I have appreciated. And within a few days time we got to attend two events for successful authors from our own area. What a treat!

I read and enjoyed Curt's first book, Death Along the Spirit Road, last year, so, when I saw his new book as a Mystery Guild selection, I promptly ordered it. I got it just a few days before the library event and took it with me to get it signed. I would recommend reading Spirit Road first, because there will always be character development that flows through a series.

During his talk, Curt told a funny story about one phase of his efforts to become a published writer. He tried writing Harlequin romances. He thought, "How hard could it be?" After all, these books have to be written to a strict formula. It was quite comical hearing what he did to try to get himself in the proper mood to write the romances. He finally came to the conclusion that this was no way for a grown man to spend his time!

I would recommend his books. And I love his life story. He always knew he was a writer, but he was a lot of other things on his way to being published by a major national publisher. He has the life experience to give authenticity to his mysteries. (He has even learned to speak Lakota!) Book three is written and in the publishing cycle for release next June, and he has plotted and is researching his fourth book in the series. I look forward to them.

1 comment:

  1. Michelle - thanks for the kind words, and I hope you'll enjoy Death on the Greasy Grass when it's released in June. Please let me know what you think.