Nesbitt, John D. 1948–

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Nesbitt, John D. 1948–


Born December 14, 1948, in Lompoc, CA; son of A.D. (a farmer, rancher, and hired hand) and Elizabeth Margaret (an artist and writer) Nesbitt; married Laura Stokes, September 17, 1977 (marriage ended, February 14, 1983); married Liesa Jensen, January 4, 1988 (marriage ended, August 3, 1990); married Rocio Perez, July 21, 1995 (marriage ended, July 20, 2000). Ethnicity: "Caucasian." Education: University of California, Los Angeles, B.A. (magna cum laude), 1971; University of California, Davis, M.A., 1974, Ph.D., 1980; attended University of Wyoming, 1988; Instituto de Filologia Hispanica, Saltillo, Mexico, diploma in Spanish philology, 1994. Hobbies and other interests: Hunting, camping, gardening.


Office—Eastern Wyoming College, 3200 W. C St., Torrington, WY 82240. E-mail—[email protected].


Eastern Wyoming College, Torrington, instructor in English and Spanish, 1981—.


Western Writers of America, Western Literature Association, Wyoming Writers, Phi Beta Kappa.


Fellowship for fiction, Wyoming Council on the Arts, 1988; fellowship, Wyoming Council for the Humanities, 1988; best short story award from West Wind Review, 1989; first place fiction awards from Wyoming Writers competitions, 1994 and 1995; fellowship for creative nonfiction, Wyoming Arts Council.



One-Eyed Cowboy Wild, Walker and Co. (New York, NY), 1994.

Twin Rivers, Walker and Co. (New York, NY), 1995.

Wild Rose of Ruby Canyon, Walker and Co. (New York, NY), 1997.

Black Diamond Rendezvous, Leisure Books (New York, NY), 1998.

Keep the Wind in Your Face, Endeavor Books (Casper, WY), 1998.

A Good Man to Have in Camp, Endeavor Books (Casper, WY), 1999.

Coyote Trail, Leisure Books (New York, NY), 2000.

North of Cheyenne, Leisure Books (New York, NY), 2000.

Man from Wolf River, Leisure Books (New York, NY), 2001.

For the Norden Boys, Leisure Books (New York, NY), 2002.

Red Wind Crossing, Leisure Books (New York, NY), 2003.

Black Hat Butte, Leisure Books (New York, NY), 2003.

West of Rock River, Leisure Books (New York, NY), 2004.

Rancho Alegre, Leisure Books (New York, NY), 2005.

Lonesome Range, Leisure Books (New York, NY), 2006.

Raven Springs, Leisure Books (New York, NY), 2007.

Death at Dark Water, Leisure Books (New York, NY), 2008.


Adventures of the Ramrod Rider, 1991, expanded edition published as Adventures of the Ramrod Rider: Gripping Tales, Augmented and Revised by the Author, Endeavor Books (Casper, WY), 1999.

One Foot in the Stirrup: Western Stories, R.R. Productions, 1995.

I'll Tell You What: Fiction with Voice, R.R. Productions, 1996.

Antelope Sky: Stories of the Modern West, R.R. Productions, 1997.

Seasons in the Fields: Stories of a Golden West, R.R. Productions, 1998.

Shadows on the Plain, Endeavor Books (Casper, WY), 2005.


Blue Book of Basic Writing (textbook), Endeavor Books (Casper, WY), 1996.

Writing for Real (textbook), Endeavor Books (Casper, WY), 2000.

Robert Roripaugh (biography) Boise State University (Boise, ID), 2004.


(Editor) Wyoming Journeys (poetry chapbook), WyoPoets (Gillette, WY), 1995.

(Editor) Edward L. Wheeler, Solid Sam, the Boy Road-Agent, Endeavor Books (Casper, WY), 2001.

Work represented in anthologies, including Critical Essays on the Western American Novel, G.K. Hall (Boston, MA), 1980; VeriTales: Note of Hope, Fall Creek Press (Fall Creek, OR), 1993; and New Trails, edited by John Jakes and Martin H. Greenberg, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1994. Contributor of dozens of short stories, poems, articles, and reviews to periodicals, including Lines in the Sand, New Trails, American Literary Review, Western American Literature, South Dakota Review, and Wyoming Horizons. Editor, Westering, 1986-92.


John D. Nesbitt once told CA: "I grew up in a rural setting, in northern California, and I spent a large portion of my first thirty-three years working outdoors—at farm and ranch work, construction, landscaping, and gardening. I also developed a strong interest in camping and hunting. Since coming to Wyoming in 1981, I have continued my interests in hunting, camping, hiking, and working outdoors. I live in the plains country of Wyoming, where I do a variety of work on my own country place. I have a few animals of my own, and I have daily opportunities for observing wild plant and animal life.

"I write because I believe I have ideas and feelings that are worth expressing and that someone else might be interested in reading about. I write with the hope that other people will be interested in life as I see it. I write about human nature, human relationships, the Western outdoors, and the interplay between people and the environment. Most of my work is about people in the places where they live. Place is important in the lives of my characters, no doubt because it is important to me. I hope to communicate the importance of understanding the natural world and of not losing touch with it.

"When writing, I jot down notes, often without any specific sense of their destiny, and at some point or another, some notes end up in some folders. When I am ready to work on a particular piece, perhaps a story or an essay or a novel, I work those notes into some sort of an outline. Then I write a first draft by hand, in either blue or black ink, depending on the work I am writing. I don't mix colors. I type up the work on a word processor, revising at I type. Then I revise by hand, two or more times, until I think the work is ready for someone to see it.

"I am more particular than I used to be about writing in just one color of ink when I write a first draft. For example, I wrote Black Diamond Rendezvous in black ink, and I wrote Man from Wolf River in blue ink. The use of the word processor (in recent years) has made it much more convenient to revise. Changing a word or a sentence used to be something which, I am ashamed to say, I was less likely to do if it meant retyping a page or retyping the rest of a manuscript. Now, for the sake of a word, I am willing to redo a page. I regret the use of so much paper, but I use a lot of it a second time (writing notes on the blank side), and I have always tried to conserve paper in other ways.

"I have done academic writing, and I expect to do more. I do not think that academic training or academic employment must be a detriment to one's creativity, but there are certainly competing demands on one's time and energy. I have heard many writers make snide remarks about academics, and I think that's too bad. It doesn't hurt to have had disciplined training and to have learned something in a field. I did have a professor in graduate school who told me that I would never get anywhere by studying Western American literature. I suppose he would have even less generous things to say about my having become a writer of traditional westerns, but I don't judge academic endeavor on the basis of people like him. Formal education, as a whole, is much greater than some of its parts.

"As a generalist in British and American literature, I have read widely. I like just about all the major fiction writers from Fielding onward, and it would be difficult to cite major influences. If pressed, I would say I feel the strongest affinities with Charles Dickens, A.B. Guthrie, Jr., and Alice Munro. I also feel some sort of artistic affinity with such songwriters and singers as Woody Guthrie, Merle Haggard, and Ian Tyson. Merely by mentioning these half-dozen, I feel I am slighting the hundreds of other writers and singers whose work has inspired me along the way."



Author John D. Nesbitt: Official Home Page, (September 15, 2007).