Dying in bed at the age of 36, Doc Holliday is said to have taken a final drink of whiskey and looked down at his feet and said “This is funny.” After fifteen years of moving from cow towns to mining towns gaining a mostly unfounded reputation as a gunfighter and desperado, Doc Holliday died. […]
On Tuesday, October 26, 1881, one of the most famous gunfights in western history occurred, The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. We’ve all seen the films. Some of the fight scenes are epicly long as in Gunfight at the OK Corral and others are short and more historically accurate, as in the 1994 film Wyatt […]
Back in 2003, I was lucky enough to take a trip out to Tombstone to visit some of Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp’s old haunts. It was something that I’d dreamed of doing since I first watched Tombstone and Wyatt Earp back in 1994. I’ve loved watching Westerns since I was small and I’ve always […]
Everyone has heard about Wyatt Earp but do you really know who he was? Sometimes it’s hard to separate legend from fact. From the publication of the biography “Wyatt Earp – Frontier Marshal” by Stuart Lake in 1931 to the popularity of the 1993 film “Tombstone”, Earp has become impossibly tangled in his own myth. […]
Writing a novel based on real history and real people is difficult. The problem with history books is they can be a bit dry. I wanted to make my characters human and really breathe some life into them. My solution was music. There’s a song for just about every human emotion out there. Someone has […]
One of the main reasons that I wrote A Gentleman in Hell is because I am obsessed with Doc as a character. It’s hard not to like Val Kilmer’s portrayal of Doc in Tombstone. He’s educated, witty, clever, loyal, a slick dresser, a good pianist, fast with a gun, and can ride a horse while hocking up half a lung. Not bad considering! To top it all, he gets all the best lines in the film. Then there’s Quaid’s Doc, a bit darker and more world-weary than Kilmer’s Doc. He’s more of a drunk, has a mean temper and rather strangely an extremely filthy handkerchief. He’s a grinning skull and a fatalist.
Since I love horses and will watch most westerns because of the horses, the films Tombstone and Wyatt Earp were a great escape for me. But it wasn’t the horses that hooked me, it was Doc Holliday. He was an absolute obsession. Both Val Kilmer and Dennis Quaid did a wonderful job of portraying Doc’s […]