I had the great honor of interviewing Ken Farmer and Buck Stienke authors of Legend of Aurora earlier this afternoon. Ken is an actor and producer known for Friday Night Lights (2004), Silverado (1985) and RocketMan(1997). Buck is a singer / songwriter and guitarist and lived on the ranch of LBJ during Johnson’s presidency. Here’s what they had to say.
After proudly serving his country as a US Marine, Ken Farmer attended Stephen F. Austin State University on a full football scholarship, receiving his Bachelors Degree in Business and Speech & Drama. Ken quickly discovered his love for acting when he starred as a cowboy in a Dairy Queen commercial when he was raising registered Beefmaster cattle and Quarter Horses at his ranch in East Texas. Ken has over 41 years as a professional actor, with memorable roles Silverado, Friday Night Lights, The Newton Boys and Uncommon Valor. He was the spokesman for Wolf Brand Chili for eight years. Ken was a professional and celebrity Team Penner for over twenty years—twice penning at the National Finals—and participated in the Ben Johnson Pro-Celebrity Rodeos until Ben’s death in ‘96. Ken now lives near Gainesville, TX, where he continues to write novels.
Ken wrote a screenplay back in the ’80s, The Tumbleweed Wagon. He and his writing partner, Buck Stienke adapted it to a historical fiction western, THE NATIONS—a Finalist for the Elmer Kelton Award. They released the sequel, HAUNTED FALLS—winner of the Laramie Award for Best Action Western, 2013—in June of 2013. HELL HOLE was the third in the Bass Reeves saga written by Ken alone.
Buck and Ken have completed ten novels to date together including the westerns. BLACK EAGLE FORCE: Eye of the Storm, BLACK EAGLE FORCE: Sacred Mountain, Return of the Starfighter, BLACK EAGLE FORCE: Blood Ivory, BLOOD BROTHERS with Doran Ingrham and lastly, BLACK EAGLE FORCE: Fourth Reich, THE NATIONS and HAUNTED FALLS.
Buck Stienke is a native Texan originally from Houston. He spent many of his formative years in the Texas hill country, and lived on the LBJ ranch when Lyndon Johnson was president. His love of almost all things Texan extends to movies, books as well as music. He’s an accomplished guitarist and singer / songwriter. In fact, a country song he wrote inspired this novel. Buck has an extensive knowledge of guns, modern gunsmithing and ballistics.
Buck and his writing partner, Ken Farmer, have published ten novels to date. Six have been from a series of best-selling BLACK EAGLE FORCE Military/Techno novels : Eye of the Storm, Sacred Mountain, Return of the Starfighter, Blood Ivory, Blood Brothers. They also wrote a pair of historical fiction westerns: The Nations and Haunted Falls (Laramie Award winner – 2013). Devil’s Canyon was Buck’s first solo effort.
“Legend of Aurora”
1897 – The human race almost falls victim to malevolent alien conquerors…and we never knew. With over six billion inhabitants is it about to happen again?
A gifted, irascible small town detective with a rather warped sense of humor, Darrell Ulysses Bone, known by all as just ‘Bone’, becomes involved in a 100 plus year old mystery surrounding an UFO crash near the north Texas town of Aurora.
Bone befriends a diminutive woman being threatened by the heavy-handed tactics of an unscrupulous oil exploration company trying to grab her land for a gas play. She is also in danger from a malevolent race of aliens known as the Reptoids.
“You have been warned,” the alien said as he pointed a silver tube at Bone. A greenish beam reached out…
Bone’s godfather and shaman, Padrino (an empath), deduces that the diminutive woman is actually a survivor of that legendary 1897 spacecraft crash and is stranded on our planet.
“Lucy is not of this world, Bone…I believe she is indeed the missing Annuna…”
How long have you been writing? How long did it take to write your book? And what motivated you to write it?
We started writing about seven years ago…screen plays. Three years ago, a friend of mine (Ken) from the Marine Corps called and said he had written a novel. I said, good for you, John. He asked if Buck and I could adapt it to a screenplay and I said, sure, send it down. He sent a 967 page novel…over 350,000 words. Oboy! Long story short, we finished a 120 page theatrical screenplay in about two months. It’s currently going through the rounds at Disney. But, Buck and I looked at each other and simultaneously said: “Hell, we can write a novel.” Three months later, we finished our first, “Black Eagle Force: Eye of the Storm”. That was forty-four months ago and we are working on #14. We are currently writing in three genre, Military/action, Historical Fiction Western and SciFi.
Is it a stand-alone novel or part of a series? If it’s part of a series, how did you decide to make? it a series? How long will the series run?
This particular novel started out as a TV pilot three years ago and we kept coming up with story lines. We just decided to adapt it to a novel just recently and it’s definitely a part of a series…everything we write is a series. We decided to make this one a series when we came up with over two hundred plot lines. The series will run until it is finished.
What has been the most difficult part of your writing experience? Dealing with publishers, agents, editors getting reviews, query letters, what?
Finding enough time to write all the stuff we have running around our heads.
Do any of your characters have secrets you can share with our readers?
Our main character, D. U. Bone or just “Bone” is impulse controlled challenged. Not even he knows what he’s going to do next.
If you were to be offered a movie deal, who would you like to see play the main characters? And why?
The Rock (Dewayne Johnson) would make a great Bone. It’s obvious.
Lucy (the alien) Linda Hunt (wrote the part for her). Worked with her on “Silverado”.
Padrino – Alex Cord (wrote the part for him)
Describe your writing process. Do you outline, create rough synopses, do you do detailed biographies of the characters before starting to write?
No, we’re pantsers. Have no idea how it’s going to turn out when we start. We see the characters in our minds, come up with a basic story and just start writing. Sometimes we surprise our selves with what happens.
What didn’t you mention in the synopsis that you can reveal here?
If we told you we’d have to kill you… and it wouldn’t be pretty.
Describe where you do your writing
Some at home and some in the office at Buck’s gun shop (Lone Star Shooting Supply) and then blend it all together.
If you had to do the experience of writing your work over, would you still write it? Would you change it? How?
Of course. If the story is there, we got to write it.
How did you choose the story you wrote?
It chose us. We’ve always been fascinated with the story of the UFO crash at Aurora, Texas back on April 17, 1897. There was nobody around to cover it up. Thought it was feasible there could have been a survivor and it just evolved from there. We actually live within fifty miles of Aurora. We just decided to blend the story with a character we patterned after a real person we both knew here in Gainesville…Bone. It just seemed to work. We made Gainesville into the fictional town of Cross. We know the area well.
Find out more about “Legend of Aurora” here: