The Story Behind the Story: Shadows from Boot Hill

Cover of Shadows from Boot Hill in Wild West Weekly Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail

In the June 1940 issue of Wild West Weekly, L. Ron Hubbard was featured in the Letters-to-the-Editor section of the magazine.

A Chat With the Range Boss

Here’s the low-down on L. Ron Hubbard, whose “Shadows from Boot Hill” appears in this issue. His literacy and other achievements make him blush modestly not only to the roots of his hair but clear out to the end of it.

Dear Range Boss:

Two towns argue about my birth. Tilden Nebr., says I was born in Lincoln, Nebr.—and Lincoln says I was born in Tilden. I left those parts at the the age of three weeks because grandpappy sold out in Nebraska (it was getting too tame) and got himself a spread in Oklahoma. Then it got too tame there and when I was two, I was hauled off to Kalispell, Montana. Because my folks disapproved of the way I walked they glued me to a McClellan saddle and there I stuck unto the age of seven.

My dad, however, being an officer in the navy, didn’t like the idea of a bowlegged sailor. So he took me to sea; they say I’d traveled a quarter of a million miles at the age of nineteen. …

Somehow I got started in the writing business. Leaned on my experiences in the West, Asia, the Caribbean, as a pilot, sailor and—calf-roper! By some fluke, when I started I fanned out a story a day for six weeks and have since sold all but two. This, of course, spoiled me. Since then I haven’t done a tap of work—I just write which, as everybody knows (har-har!) isn’t really work. Four million of my words have been published in fifty-five different magazines. Various moom pitchers have been filmed from my fiction, too. Just now I’m larruping fantasy fiction more than anything else though I’ve been writing Westerns for some time too.

Shadows from Boot Hill book cover

Hope your readers like “Shadows from Boot Hill.” Truth is that the old West was superstitious in the extreme and Injun lore reeks with more fantasy than the Arabian Nights.

Tell the readers to yelp loud and long if they like my Western fantasy—and to keep kinda quiet ifn they don’t.

The Old Word Wrangler,

L. Ron Hubbard

Read and listen to Shadows from Boot Hill