John T. Wayne, Author

news & Press

Western novel writer John T. Wayne has published a series of books about the orphans of the Civil War era, known as the ‘gaslight boys.’ He has also authored other western novels. He is the grandson of the late John Wayne, movie icon. Submitted photo Print This Story John T. Wayne, grandson of the ‘Duke,’ authors western novels by Elane Moonier ~ Features Editor John T. Wayne is well on his way to establishing a name for himself among writers of western novels with a series of six books already published and more on the way. It is not a coincidence that he carries the name of one of the most iconic western movie legends because he is actually the grandson of the famous actor John Wayne, often known as the ‘Duke.’ Though he doesn’t flaunt that family relationship, he strives  to carry on a tradition of pride, honesty and faith in his standard of writing about the American West. This tall, soft spoken man, wearing his Stetson cowboy hat, bears a remarkable resemblance to his grandfather, both in appearance and attitude, and it was a pleasure listening to his story. Born in St. Louis, John spent most of his life in Missouri, and this state is the setting for many of his novels. “There is so much fascinating history that took place in Missouri that people don’t know about,” he said. “I wanted to bring some of that to the light with my books.” His book series ‘The Gaslight Boys,’ focuses on the Civil War era and the thousands of children who were orphaned because of the war. These orphans were packed into overcrowded orphanages in St. Louis or left to survive on their own on the streets lit at night by gaslights, thus becoming known as the ‘Gaslight Boys.’ As most all of the adult males went off to fight the war, farmers and ranchers were left with no hired hands to work for them. With no other alternatives, they hired many of these orphan boys to help. So it was that the name ‘cowboy’ came to be used for the boys who worked with cows. This series of books looks at the adventures of these orphans during that time. Historical accuracy is very important to John, and he does a great deal of research as he is working on his novels. Each book is filled with interesting and sometimes little known pieces of history of the American West cleverly incorporated into the stories. This series now has six completed novels with numbers seven and eight on the way, John stated. John’s fascination with history and the West and his desire to write go back a long way. He received an honorable discharge from the Marine Corp, and in 1985, he attended the University of Oregon to learn how to write. After six months of formal education, John said he realized that the professors were not going to teach him what he wanted to learn “They didn’t know the kind of writing I wanted to do,” he said. “I realized I would have to be self taught.” As luck would have it, he took a part time job working for an elderly woman who had an old sale barn that was packed full of stuff, and among that stuff was a big collection of old books from the 1800s. When John did work for her, she would pay him with books, and with those books he built his own library. He studied the writings religiously, and from them he learned things he could not find anywhere else, he said. One of the things he learned was about the Civil War orphans and the effort that was made to suppress the plight of those orphans at that time. “There was no freedom of the press at that time,” John noted. “Newspapers were told not to write about this situation with thousands of orphans left homeless.” John believed the American public should know about those orphans, and this was his motivation for writing the ‘Gaslight Boys’ series. John found the time to write while he was working as a truck driver hauling over-sized loads. Due to government regulations, the truck had to be off the road before dark and could not be back on the road until daybreak. That left him the evenings to spend writing his stories. “I wanted to write myself out of a job,” he said. In the late 80’s, while living in Springfield MO with his wife Donna, John wrote his first book, The Treasure del Diablo.  But he couldn’t figure out how to end the story, so he set it aside and wrote his second book, Ol’ Slantface, while he was trying to find the right ending. He eventually did figure it out and published the first book and the second one, followed by four more in the series. All of his novels are written with standards he believes are true to the old West. “These are books that a young person can read without encountering foul language,” he pointed out. “A good writer doesn’t need to use foul language. There are much better descriptive words to showcase your ability.” He is a member of the Western Writers of America. John is now retired and spends a great deal of his time on the road for  book signings, gun shows and speaking engagements. In February, he was in Cape Girardeau before going on to Springfield and later back to Leopold for an event there. John has a website where all of his books can be purchased online. This year, the royalties from book sales will be donated to the U. S. Marshals Museum in Fort Smith, AR. John is available for speaking engagements and for book signings, both of which can be scheduled online. For more information, please visit the website www.johntwayne.com.
See Article See Article

news & Press

Western novel writer John T. Wayne has published a series of books about the orphans of the Civil War era, known as the ‘gaslight boys.’ He has also authored other western novels. He is the grandson of the late John Wayne, movie icon. Submitted photo Print This Story John T. Wayne, grandson of the ‘Duke,’ authors western novels by Elane Moonier ~ Features Editor John T. Wayne is well on his way to establishing a name for himself among writers of western novels with a series of six books already published and more on the way. It is not a coincidence that he carries the name of one of the most iconic western movie legends because he is actually the grandson of the famous actor John Wayne, often known as the ‘Duke.’ Though he doesn’t flaunt that family relationship, he strives  to carry on a tradition of pride, honesty and faith in his standard of writing about the American West. This tall, soft spoken man, wearing his Stetson cowboy hat, bears a remarkable resemblance to his grandfather, both in appearance and attitude, and it was a pleasure listening to his story. Born in St. Louis, John spent most of his life in Missouri, and this state is the setting for many of his novels. “There is so much fascinating history that took place in Missouri that people don’t know about,” he said. “I wanted to bring some of that to the light with my books.” His book series ‘The Gaslight Boys,’ focuses on the Civil War era and the thousands of children who were orphaned because of the war. These orphans were packed into overcrowded orphanages in St. Louis or left to survive on their own on the streets lit at night by gaslights, thus becoming known as the ‘Gaslight Boys.’ As most all of the adult males went off to fight the war, farmers and ranchers were left with no hired hands to work for them. With no other alternatives, they hired many of these orphan boys to help. So it was that the name ‘cowboy’ came to be used for the boys who worked with cows. This series of books looks at the adventures of these orphans during that time. Historical accuracy is very important to John, and he does a great deal of research as he is working on his novels. Each book is filled with interesting and sometimes little known pieces of history of the American West cleverly incorporated into the stories. This series now has six completed novels with numbers seven and eight on the way, John stated. John’s fascination with history and the West and his desire to write go back a long way. He received an honorable discharge from the Marine Corp, and in 1985, he attended the University of Oregon to learn how to write. After six months of formal education, John said he realized that the professors were not going to teach him what he wanted to learn “They didn’t know the kind of writing I wanted to do,” he said. “I realized I would have to be self taught.” As luck would have it, he took a part time job working for an elderly woman who had an old sale barn that was packed full of stuff, and among that stuff was a big collection of old books from the 1800s. When John did work for her, she would pay him with books, and with those books he built his own library. He studied the writings religiously, and from them he learned things he could not find anywhere else, he said. One of the things he learned was about the Civil War orphans and the effort that was made to suppress the plight of those orphans at that time. “There was no freedom of the press at that time,” John noted. “Newspapers were told not to write about this situation with thousands of orphans left homeless.” John believed the American public should know about those orphans, and this was his motivation for writing the ‘Gaslight Boys’ series. John found the time to write while he was working as a truck driver hauling over-sized loads. Due to government regulations, the truck had to be off the road before dark and could not be back on the road until daybreak. That left him the evenings to spend writing his stories. “I wanted to write myself out of a job,” he said. In the late 80’s, while living in Springfield MO with his wife Donna, John wrote his first book, The Treasure del Diablo.  But he couldn’t figure out how to end the story, so he set it aside and wrote his second book, Ol’ Slantface, while he was trying to find the right ending. He eventually did figure it out and published the first book and the second one, followed by four more in the series. All of his novels are written with standards he believes are true to the old West. “These are books that a young person can read without encountering foul language,” he pointed out. “A good writer doesn’t need to use foul language. There are much better descriptive words to showcase your ability.” He is a member of the Western Writers of America. John is now retired and spends a great deal of his time on the road for  book signings, gun shows and speaking engagements. In February, he was in Cape Girardeau before going on to Springfield and later back to Leopold for an event there. John has a website where all of his books can be purchased online. This year, the royalties from book sales will be donated to the U. S. Marshals Museum in Fort Smith, AR. John is available for speaking engagements and for book signings, both of which can be scheduled online. For more information, please visit the website www.johntwayne.com.

John T. Wayne, Author

See Article See Article