"It was inevitable that in my efforts to write romantic history of the great West I should at length come to the story of a feud. For long I have steered clear of this rock. But at last I have reached it and must go over it, driven by my desire to chronicle the stirring events of pioneer days.
"Even to-day it is not possible to travel into the remote corners of the West without seeing the lives of people still affected by a fighting past. How can the truth be told about the pioneering of the West if the struggle, the fight, the blood be left out? It cannot be done. How can a novel be stirring and thrilling, as were those times, unless it be full of sensation? My long labors have been devoted to making stories resemble the times they depict. I have loved the West for its vastness, its contrast, its beauty and color and life, for its wildness and violence, and for the fact that I have seen how it developed great men and women who died unknown and unsung."
Zane Grey. April, 1921
Zane Grey (1875-1939) graduated as a dentist from the University of Pennsylvania, but he failed in an attempt to build a practice in New York. In 1904, he published his first novel - "Betty Zane" - which was a historical novel set in the American Revolutionary War and based on the life of one of his ancestors.
He success as a writer was assured in 1912 when "Riders of the Purple Sage" sold close to 2 million copies. He continued to write romances of the American West the rest of his life.