Kathleen O'Neal Gear & W Michael Gear

Welcome to the online home of best selling authors Kathleen O'Neal Gear and W Michael Gear.

W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O’Neal Gear are best selling authors & award winning archaeologists who have written over 50 books.

Spring Newsletter - 2017

Spring is a beautiful, sometimes violent, time of year here at Red Canyon Ranch. This spring has alternated with a little of both. We’ve had several stunning rainstorms that scoured the creek in front of the house and washed our road down to bedrock. It’s one of the challenges of living in the wilderness. You need to be prepared just in case Nature decides to show you who’s really in charge.

For the past few days, we’ve been fixing the fences along the creek that were torn out by the most recent deluge. It’s hard work, but rewarding in a way that’s hard to describe. While we’re pounding posts and stringing wire, we pull fresh watercress from the crystal clear water to snack on, and watch the flocks of blue herons flying overhead. This morning we had a herd of fifty elk on the slope above us. They are a very vocal animal. They talk to each other all the time and their calls are so melodic, it’s like a symphony echoing across the mountains.

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Gearbooks Summer Newsletter - 2016

It is with great pleasure that we announce the completion of the third book in the Morning Star series!  We have delivered Morning Star: Moon Hunt to our editor at Tor/Forge Books. Once again we’ve been delighted to share our time with Blue Heron, Fire Cat, and Night Shadow Star. Seven Skull Shield, however, still insists on composing bawdy songs, and worse, shows no remorse for doing so!

One of the delights inherent in what we do comes from bringing different aspects of American archaeology to life for our readers. While much of the plot in Moon Hunt revolves around Cahokian politics and the choosing of a new Four Winds Clan Matron, most of the story was inspired by the famous “Mothra” Hightower Style shell gorget recovered from Mound C at the famous Etowah site in Georgia.

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Spring Newsletter 2016

We’re nearing the end of April here at Red Canyon Ranch, and along with warmer weather, we’re getting deeply appreciated moisture. Green grass and wildflowers are appearing everywhere, which is lovely for the newborn bison calves. For those of you who are on Twitter, you can follow the life history of this year’s first calf at #CleopatraTheBison, or by visiting @GearBooks every Saturday. Cleopatra is currently a beautiful little dynamo, racing around the meadow like the wind. It’s such a joy to watch the new calves discover rain and wind, and try to play with the numerous field mice that leap through the grass. Their curiosity reminds us that the world is filled with daily miracles.

In addition to our writing schedule, we’ve been painting, grading the road, and doing ranch repairs, as time permits. Our ranch agent, Shirley Lehman, at Western Real Estate in Cody, says to expect a string of potential buyers, so it’s a constant battle to keep the house and property ready for a showing. (Normal people don’t think of these things, but writers are always messy when they’re being productive. Who wants to scrub a toilet when the bad guy is about to stick a hot poker into your hero’s navel?)

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Fall Newsletter 2015

The Long Summer Comes To An End.

This weekend we finally picked up the irrigation pipe after our first snow of the season. On Red Canyon Ranch the ritual of picking up the pipe puts the exclamation mark on summer’s finale. Ordinarily, we would have picked up pipe a month ago, but the autumn has been so warm there was no reason to, so we continued watering. The bison have been delighted to have green grass in November, which is definitely a rarity in this part of the country.

The bison are doing well, having produced twenty fine and healthy calves. We had great rain this year. Haven’t seen grass like this since 1996! Needless to say, the buffalo are fat and sassy. The other good news is that nobody—namely Michael—got run over by a buffalo this year. And we lost no calves to wolves, mountain lions, or bears! Though we’ve seen plenty of tracks around…

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SUMMER NEWSLETTER 2015

HERE AT RED CANYON RANCH…

We’ve had a beautiful spring here in northern Wyoming. After a really hard winter, where we spent five weeks riding the snowmobile in and out of the ranch to get to town, it’s such a relief to look out our windows and see newborn buffalo calves frolicking in tall green grass and wildflowers. All across Wyoming, we’re seeing bumper crops of wild onions. They taste so sweet this year. And it’s a complicated world out there, so we try to take the time to enjoy the smallest pleasures--picking wild onions in the early morning, harvesting the horse mint and watercress that grow along the creek, and watching the buffalo shed their heavy winter coats.

Buffalo have a thick woolly undercoat and when summer arrives, they look particularly scraggly, with strings of wool decorating their shoulders and hanging from their bellies. Many buffalo ranchers collect this wool and spin into one of the world’s finest cashmeres. We, however, leave it for the birds and mice to use as nesting material. We have a Phoebe who always nests on our porch, and her nest is composed of 50% buffalo wool. Those chicks will have a soft, warm place to grow up.

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SUMMER NEWSLETTER, AUGUST 2014

SUMMER NEWSLETTER, AUGUST 2014

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

We might have stepped thirty years back in time given Wyoming’s delightfully cool and wet spring. This July, however, has no equal in our memory with temperatures in the low eighties and patterns of rain every three or four days. Our high steppe environment is lush, bursting with greenery and seeds. We have birds, rabbits, packrats, and mice like we haven’t seen in years. The land seems to sigh, whispering, “Yes! This is the way it is supposed to be!”

Given the wonderful grass, the Red Canyon Ranch bison herd is looking sleek and sassy, the cows and calves covered with a healthy layer of fat and muscle. Our bulls, Tiber and Bow, are striding into breeding season with that masculine arrogance that only a male bison can project. Young Storm, our beloved Pia’s last bull calf, looks more like a coming two-year-old than a yearling. He, along with his sister Sage, remains Pia’s legacy to Red Canyon and ties us to her beautiful memory every time we see either of them.

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