Ralph Compton stood six-foot-eight without his boots. He worked as a musician, a radio announcer, a songwriter, and a newspaper columnist. His first novel, The Goodnight Trail, was a finalist for the Western Writers of America Medicine Pipe Bearer Award for best debut novel. He was also the author of the Sundown Rider series and the Border Empire series. As a little boy growing up in a small fishing village in Scotland, Joseph West enjoyed many happy Saturday mornings at the local cinema in the company of Roy and Gene and Hoppy. His lifelong ambition was to become a cowboy, but he was sidetracked by a career in law enforcement and journalism. He now resides with his wife and daughter in Palm Beach, Florida, where he enjoys horse riding, cowboy action shooting, and studying Western history.