Hillsboro, OR, June 17, 2016 --(PR.com
)-- Be it ever so hostile, there's no place like home.
Such is the hard lesson learned by a singing cowboy's homecoming in Scott Cherney's new western comedy romance novel, Song of the Canyon Kid.
A straight-shooting, guitar strumming buckaroo known as The Canyon Kid returns to Dirt Clod, Missouri only to find his hometown in ruins due to the machinations of a corrupt "hanging" judge. To make matters worse, he discovers that his childhood sweetheart is about to marry his sworn enemy, a ruthless desperado who is not only the town sheriff, but also dead set on framing The Canyon Kid for murder.
"It's a total cartoon," Cherney explains. "I mean the main character is a singing cowboy. When is the last book you hummed? And, in full disclosure, it's also a novelization."
The author adapted his story from his comic melodramatic play entitled Song of the Lone Prairie or Poem on the Range which debuted in 1987 at the late, great Pollardville Palace Showboat Theater in Stockton, California, a production he also directed.
"Pollardville was a magical place," Cherney recalls. "We had a melodrama/vaudeville theater as well as our very own western ghost town on the property where we'd get paid to play cowboy on the weekends. Our duties included robbing the train, engaging in fisticuffs and shooting it out with fellow gunslingers at High Noon. This was the birthplace of The Canyon Kid."
Cherney realizes the stigma of a novelization, but he felt creatively stagnated and needed a writing exercise to get himself in gear. Digging through his old writings, he came across his script for Lone Prairie, a melodrama he considers his best and the culmination of everything he learned at Pollardville.
Adapting it into novel form came fairly easy, fleshing out the characters and story while transposing the stage direction into prose. Soon, it began took on a life of its own.
"I loved revisiting my old characters and giving them back stories like Nastassia Kinky and her brother, Two Gun Boris, the fastest gun this side of the Ukraine. I also made The Kid's horse, Thunder, more of a supporting character. And the love story is something I never I thought I was capable of pulling off, but I feel like I did. Overall I had a blast with this, the most fun I've had with a project since I wrote the original back in the '80's. It certainly helped to rekindle my love for writing.”
Concurrent with the release of Song of the Canyon Kid has been renewed interest in the original source material, the melodrama which has been performed across the United States for the third year in a row. This summer, The Canyon Kid and Co. will riding into two separate productions in Texas. On Memorial Day Weekend, The Brazos Theatre Group in Waco will be the final performances of Song of the Lone Prairie under that title. The same show with the revised title of Song of the Canyon Kid opens this July in Houston’s Theatre Suburbia.
“The Canyon Kid has been very good to me. I hope I’ve returned the favor,” author/playwright Scott Cherney declares about his creation. “By digging back into my roots, I’ve found that sometimes you have to take step back in order to move forward.”
Song of the Canyon Kid is available in book paperback and e-book.
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