“Of Mice and Modems”

52 Pickup, #33, 8/11/2020

Knowing Walt’s aversion for technology, I’m wondering if you have the same attitudes and has that made the challenges of a Virtual Longmire Days that much more challenging?
-Paul Landon
Hi Paul,
To say the least.

When I first started writing the books cellphones and computers were something of a novelty on the high plains and without Wi-Fi or tower service, they really weren’t much use. I have to admit that I like the fact that the frontier aspects of Wyoming that remain tend to hold technology at bay. I try to avoid the whiz-bang stuff in my books, figuring there are a lot of other authors out there that enjoy focusing on that kind of stuff. I guess I prefer having Walt get in his truck with Dog and go knock on another door rather than whip out his cell phone or look things up on the internet—I guess I don’t find those types of things as compelling as personal interaction.

I had a very good time with Walt’s trials in having Ruby foist a computer on him in Land Of Wolves, but I never really thought it would take. Another laugh was when readers started pointing out the antiquated terms I, as Walt, was using. “Wait, the sheriff’s department still has a modem..?”

I use my computer to write on and anything that gets in the way of that is just that, in the way. Fortunately, I’ve got IT people I can lean on in times of stress. Around the ranch, we call our daughter Technical Support and believe me, we pay for the service, usually with a fourteen syllable REEEEEEAAAAAAALLY?

Virtual Longmire Days has proven to be, as you say, a challenge—but we’re rising to it. One of the really wonderful things has been spending time with my old buddy Marcus Red Thunder in putting together the actor readings of The Next To Last Stand along with b-roll of the surrounding area. Each one has a different visual theme and they were an amazing amount of work to put together—something I couldn’t have done by myself.

The live events with interviews are going to be a challenge unto themselves as well in that the majority of actors wanted to do them that way I suspect so that they could have more interaction with the fans. I think that’s pretty great.

Still, challenges, all.

With coming up with images for the readings, one of the more interesting ones was calling up the Johnson County Law Enforcement Center and asking them if we could come in and get some video of bars clanging shut, hands on the bars and such…

The young corrections officer was hesitant. “Um, no.”
“How come? We don’t want to take any footage of prisoners or staff.”
“Yeah, no, you don’t understand.” There was a long pause. “Craig, there aren’t any jails with bars anymore in the whole state of Wyoming…”

As Butch Cassidy once said about a beautiful bank that had been remodeled because of its propensity for being robbed, “Small price to pay for beauty.”

See you on the trail,


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