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 published over 90 novels.

W. Michael And Kathleen O’Neal Gear Receive Owen Wister Award

Gears Receive Owen Wister Award

The international best-selling writing team of W. Michael and Kathleen O’Neal of Cody, Wyo., will receive the Western Writers of America 2021 Owen Wister Award for Lifetime Contributions to Western Literature.

The Gears, who are best known for their prehistory series of books, will also be inducted into the Western Writers Hall of Fame, housed outside the McCracken Research Library at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody.

“For more than three decades, Kathleen and Michael Gear have been bringing the past to vivid life with their books about the indigenous peoples. Both individually and as a writing team, their work stands out for its focus and readability,” said WWA President Chris Enss. “The Wister Award was created for such talent.”

Added WWA Executive Director Candy Moulton: “Michael and Kathleen, with their careers in archaeology and as award winning bison ranchers, bring extraordinary understanding and passion to everything they write whether the subject involves the prehistory of America, or the genetics of bison.”

The nonprofit guild’s highest honor will be presented during WWA’s convention June 16-19 in Loveland, Colorado.

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Holiday 2020 Newsletter

Holiday 2020 Newsletter

Happy Holidays to All! - December 15, 2020

Well, it’s been an interesting and challenging year, hasn’t it? With the daily bombardment of COVID updates and the election news, we feel like we’ve been hit in the head with a rock. We have to admit, we’re looking forward to seeing 2020 in the rearview mirror.

The past two years have been a little overwhelming for us, so please forgive us for not writing more. Mike’s mother was ill with heart problems for several years, then she passed away in June of 2019.  Three weeks later we sold the ranch. Five weeks later we sold Mom’s house. Five months later we sold our office in Thermopolis. A month after that, we started moving to Cody, Wyoming. All of that means that it’s been a whirlwind of painting, doing repairs to properties, settling Mom’s estate, packing and moving 30,000 books to our new home in Cody, plus all of the other small things that must be done to create a new life in a different place. And in the midst of all that, we wrote four books. 

In March of 2020 Kathy’s Young Adult fantasy novel, CRIES FROM THE LOST ISLAND came out.  In May, Mike’s science fiction book, UNRECONCILED was released (to rave reviews, we might add).  In June, our co-authored novel, PEOPLE OF THE CANYONS hit the shelves.  Finally, last month, Mike’s book ALPHA ENIGMA was released.

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ALPHA ENIGMA and Censorship

ALPHA ENIGMA and Censorship

THE GOOD NEWS! We are celebrating the publication of PEOPLE OF THE CANYONS, and what a great job Nancy Peterson did on the audio version with her reading of the novel. She caught the essence of Tsilu and most particularly, Blue Dove’s condescending arrogance. As we come closer to the end of the “People” books, we are both saddened, and rewarded. Not many series last through thirty novels spanning three decades. We are delighted to have brought ancient Native America to millions of readers around the world. If you haven’t read PEOPLE OF THE CANYONS, it is currently available in hardback, audio, and e-format.

And yes, LIGHTNING SHELL is still scheduled for delivery to Forge Books next summer. With it we will bring the Cahokia series to a conclusion.  

Also recently released are Kathleen’s CRIES FROM THE LOST ISLAND, which came out in March, and UNRECONCILED, the 4th Donovan book.

CENSORSHIP: On a more stormy front, we are engaged in a fight that we never would have believed possible. Not in America. Not with—of all people—a publisher who claims to champion the First Amendment and free speech. It’s still hard to believe this is really happening.

Michael’s ALPHA ENIGMA is scheduled for publication on November 3 this year. Maybe. Penguin Random House—within which, DAW Books resides—now has a censorship committee. Yes, you read that correctly. And they have targeted ALPHA ENIGMA over “sensitivity concerns.”  They have identified certain characters, dialog, descriptions, and situations as “troubling.” As a result, Michael is being asked to make significant changes to the novel—a sort of “literary cleansing” that apparently will make it less objectionable to anyone who might be, well, “sensitive.” If the changes are not made, PRH will force DAW Books pull the book from the November list. Essentially, ban it.

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Summer Newsletter 2018

Hi All!

We hope you are having a wonderful summer. In this newsletter we’re going to give you a preview of the scientific background behind MAZE MASTER, which will hit the shelves July 17, 2018. Though this article will be published in a couple of magazines in July, you get to see it here first.

Kathleen O’Neal Gear

A reporter once told me that our library could pass for a crime lab. Skulls detailing the history of humanity line the shelves and perch on pedestals, beginning with a diminutive acrylic cast of Australopithecus afarensis, running through a variety of Homo erectus examples, then on to the impressive skulls of Neandertals, who had larger brains than modern humans, and finally through a selection of prehistoric human skulls from cultures around the world. The neatly defined sections of books beneath the skulls are devoted to the chronology of human evolution. As anthropologists, my husband Michael and I are fascinated by the long journey of Homo sapiens. The question every anthropologist wants to answer is: What are we and how did we come to be?

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Spring Newsletter 2018

Gear & Gear Spring 2018 Newsletter


For all those of you who constantly urge us to “Write faster!” we think we’ve got enough new books out to keep you satisfied. Now, let’s see if you can keep up!

Since the release of MOON HUNT in November, it’s been a hectic first quarter of 2018. Call it too much of a good thing. An author always wants to keep his name out there. In the past we’ve had as many as three books come out in a year, but starting with MOON HUNT we’re seeing six books released from five different publishers in a twelve-month period.

In November, the third book in the Morning Star series was published. MOON HUNT picks up the stories of our most beloved rapscallion Seven Skull Shield, Clan Keeper Blue Heron, and the unrequited lovers: Fire Cat and Night Shadow Star. Based on Southeastern Native lore and iconography, it’s the story of how, through a botched assassination attempt, Morning Star lost his soul to a humming moth and ended up trapped in the Underworld.

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Getting Lost on the Sacred Journey - Newsletter Fall 2017

Gear Books - Getting Lost on the Sacred Journey

As fall brings cooler days to Red Canyon Ranch, we’re seeing more elk on the high slopes. Four days of rain have restarted the grass, and if we have a warm enough Indian summer, the bison calves will grow fat and sleek.

Our biggest challenge is finding a logger who will bring us a semi-load of firewood logs. A load like that will provide us with enough wood to heat the house for the next five years.

And, speaking of challenges, in the coming year we’re going to see six novels released by five different publishers.

The second Morning Star book, SUN BORN, was released last month in paperback.

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