Michael Zimmer grew up on a small Colorado horse ranch, and began to break and train horses for spending money while still in high school. An American history enthusiast from an early age, he has done extensive research on the Old West. Zimmer is the author of eighteen novels. His work has been praised by Library Journal, Booklist, Publishers Weekly, Historical Novel Society, and others. City of Rocks (Five Star, 2012) was chosen by Booklist as one of the top ten Western novels of 2012. The Poacher’s Daughter (Five Star, 2014) received a starred Booklist review, and was selected winner of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum’s prestigious Western Heritage Wrangler Award for Outstanding Western Novel (2015). He is a two-time finalist for the Spur Award from the Western Writers of America and author of the American Legends Collection series. Zimmer resides in Utah with his wife Vanessa and their two dogs
A Word About Historical Accuracy:
As a writer, one of the things I'm most proud of is my research. My personal library contains over 2,000 volumes covering that area west of the Mississippi from the late 1700s to the early decades of the 20th century.
In addition to perusing firsthand accounts from the period, I'm also a firm believer in field interpretation. I've made it a point to master many of the skills used by our forefathers. I can start a campfire with flint and steel, gather, prepare, and survive on natural foods found in the wilderness, and I've built and slept in shelters as diverse as bark lodges and snow caves. I've owned and shot a number of Old West firearms, and have done horseback treks using strict 19th century tack, gear, and guidelines.
In other words, I'm a re-enactor. I've cooked food over a buffalo-chip fire - and ate it. I've both trekked through National Forests and ridden horseback through them, using period tack such as Santa Fe saddles and gourd canteens. I've wandered the mountains in all seasons wearing buckskins and wool, and I've slept - comfortably -- in 12 degree weather using just a pair of Hudson Bay blankets and a piece of black bear hide for my mattress.
I feel that these skills enhance my understanding of the American West, and that the adventures I've experienced, no matter how mundane compared to the real deals, are reflected in the finished product.
I hope you agree.