I recently visited with Felton Cochran, owner of the Cactus Book Shop in downtown San Angelo, Texas. Felton has the largest collection of books on Texas history that this author has ever encountered. If a book is about Texas, he has it. Most of the titles in his well-organized store are non-fiction. Felton is not a fan of fiction, but if an author is true to history, he just might handle their novels. One such author, the late Elmer Kelton, was so true to Texas history that the Cactus Book Shop has about every title that Elmer ever wrote. Kelton said that the Cactus Book Shop was the largest single outlet for his books and dedicated his 2004 novel Texas Vendetta to Felton Cochran, bookseller extraordinaire. What an honor from an author who had won seven Spur Awards from Western Writers of America and earned lifetime achievement for his work.
Felton said in his tribute to the author, Elmer Kelton: Essays and Memories, TCU Press. “When you open a Kelton novel, you know beforehand that it will be clean, historically accurate, and entertaining. Somewhere on those pages will be a subtle message.”
Should your travels take you to San Angelo, be sure to stop by the Cactus Book Shop at #6 East Concho. If you cannot stop by, he also takes phone orders – 325-659-3788. Felton has my first two books in the Westward Sagas, Spring House and Adam’s Daughters. Be sure to tell him I sent you.