Two local authors will be at an event in Havre Saturday celebrating old and new publications.
Ken Overcast will be at Creative Leisure to sign copies of his new book, “Fables From the Far Far West, ” and Gary Wilson will hold a celebration of the 25th anniversary of the publication of his first book, “Honky-Tonk Town: Havre, Montana’s Lawless Era. ”
Overcast, a Blaine County rancher with five books, numerous “cowboy music” albums, a syndicated column and a syndicated radio show to his credit, said his new book just came back from the printer a week ago.
“It’s a series of short stories, ” Overcast said, adding, “They’re all the truth, except for the parts I made up. ”
The book is written in Overcast’s typical yarn-telling style, he said.
“A lot of (the stories) are funny, and a lot of them actually happened to us and people we know, ” he said.
“I elaborated a little bit on some of them, ” he added.
He said a new factor in his family’s life is starting to use his company, Bear Valley Records, to distribute other artist’s books and recordings.
His genre has a fairly narrow market, and needs all the publicity it can get, Overcast said.
“The hip-hop crowd in Chicago really doesn’t get off on it, ” he said.
Even so, Overcast said, his previous books — “Sittin’ Round the Stove, ” “Tradin’ Tales — Montana Back Porch, ” “Shootin’ the Breeze Cowboy Style, ” and “Yesterday’s Yarns” — have done well.
Wilson, who has written numerous books about the history of Havre, north-central Montana and historical figures connected to the region, will be serving an anniversary cake and coffee in celebration of 25 years of publication of “Honky-Tonk Town, ” a retelling of the lawless bootlegging years of Havre during prohibition.
He said he also will have memorabilia at the event, including copies of the different covers the book has sported over the years.
Wilson continues to research and write historical books and articles related to the area and to the West. His bibliography includes “Long George Francis: Gentleman Outlaw of Montana, ” “Outlaw Tales of Montana, ” and “Tiger of the Wild Bunch: The Life and Death of Harvey ‘Kid Curry’ Logan. ”
He said he is in the process of writing two new historical works now, and in the research stage of a third, which may become a work of historical fiction.
The two now being written deal with major characters in the development of the Milk River area. That is likely to be separated into one about prominent men and another about prominent women, Wilson said, adding that the final format is not yet set.
The third will deal with a passion of Wilson’s — the history of Fort Assinniboine, the fort located six miles south of where Havre developed, once the largest military installation west of the Mississippi River. Wilson is the president of the Fort Assinniboine Preservation Association.
Wilson said, while no decision has been made, he may write that as historical fiction. He is considering telling the story of the fort through the eyes of a fictional character who would be a composite of several historical figures, Wilson said.