Western Authors


Some great Western authors will be on hand signing autographs, selling books and showing you their latest projects. See Hawk Hill Press, Moonlight Mesa and Five Star Publish-


ing, Pacific Sunset, along with Kimberly Martinez, Katie West, Ray Matusak, Mathew Beilstein and Beckey Burgoyne, as well as our own JulieAnn Ream.

(All appearances subject to change)




Ray Matusak  


Beckey Burgoyne

Beckey Burgoyne, an elementary school teacher from Illinois and daughter of a farmer, has penned her first book – Perfectly Amanda, Gunsmoke’s Miss Kitty: To Dodge and Beyond. Burgoyne was driven to write this biography of Amanda Blake based on her deep admiration of the actress and the strong woman she portrayed on television’s Gunsmoke.

As an elementary school teacher since 1992, Burgoyne has taught math, science and physical education classes. Outside of teaching and spending time with her family, she also loves flowers and the theater. The self-proclaimed “Flower Lady” has been designing, planting and caring for 15 flowerbeds at her local bank for the last 10 summers. She is also involved in the choir/drama department at her church and has taken part in their Christmas and Easter dramatic musical productions for the past 15 years. She also works with the Danville Light Opera, a local community theater group, whenever she can. As a wife, mother, full-time teacher and now a published author, however, Burgoyne doesn’t find a lot of free time. 


Julie Ream and Beckey Burgoyne

Perfectly Amanda, Gunsmoke’s Miss Kitty: To Dodge and Beyond was the result of Burgoyne’s lifelong love for and admiration of the great actress Amanda Blake and her Gunsmoke character, Kitty Russell, the owner of the Long Branch Saloon and love interest of Marshal Matt Dillon on the legendary Western series. As a young girl, Burgoyne was greatly influenced by Miss Kitty. She admired her independent nature and contentment with choosing a career over homesteading. As television didn’t often portray women with such strength and strong will, Miss Kitty was truly an inspiration and an excellent role model for a new generation of women. To honor all that she stood for, Burgoyne put pen to paper for this biography.

In "Gunsmoke: An American Institution", author Ben Costello has provided the legions of fans for America's most popular and long-running television western series with an exhaustive compendium showcasing and celebrating all twenty seasons (comprising a total of 635 episodes) of Matt Dillion and his many friends and foes. Profusely illustrated with literally hundreds of photos about what went on both in front and in back of the cameras, "Gunsmoke" covers the major cast members, as well as the producers, writers and directors, and features an especially insightful interviews with Dennis Weaver, Buck Taylor, and Burt Reynolds. There are even sections featuring Dean Martin Celebrity Roast Highlights; reminisces of distinctive guest stars; Gunsmoke memorabilia, the post-television series Gunsmoke films, and so very much more. A certain to be popular addition to any community library American Popular Culture collection, "Gunsmoke: An American Institution" is a 'must read' for anyone who grew up with Matt Dillion, Miss Kitty, Doc, Chester, Festus, and all the other denizens of Dodge City and the Old West."
The Midwest Book Review
Meet the author, and get your signed copy at this years Palm Springs WestFest!




Ben Costello


Ben Costello is a self-confessed film and television buff. Starting at age 5, he has appeared on stage in a variety of dramatic and comedic roles. Through the years, Costello has won awards for acting, directing, producing and writing. Living in Joshua Tree, California, Costello published his first book "Gunsmoke:An American Institution,"  an award-winning tribute to the great Western television series.
"Jack & Walter: The Films of Lemmon & Matthau" is his second book, available now.


Cheryl Rogers Barnett



The author of 'Cowboy Princess', Life with my Parents Roy Rogers and Dale Evans', has unending stories about growing up the daughter of the King of the Cowboys. Still extremely active in events and foundations that keep the memory of Roy & Dale alive, you can meet Cheryl and hear her famous stoies at this years festival.






For over 20 year, Charlie has been sharing his love and knowledge of the Western film genre through festival appearances, his books on Western film, and his syndicated radio show, "The Old Hollywood Trail." From 1992 to the present, he has been the official celebrity panel moderator at The Annual Festival of the West in Scottsdale, AZ, as well as The Wild West Festival in Phoenix.
His books, "The Legends Live On: Interviews with the Cowboys of the Silver Screen," and "Riding the Hollywood Trail: Tales of the Silver Screen Cowboys," shares his interviews and love of Western film history. His radio show, "The Old Hollywood Trail," shares little known facts and tidbits on the history of Western film and it's stars.
He is also a past recipient of the Spirit of the West Alive award, an honor he shares with such stars as: Bruce Dern, Peter Brown, and Hugh 'O Brian to name a few.


Katie West

Katie West, patriot, artist, author... loves America. She was born an artist and a cowgirl with the love of the old west. It shows in all she does.  She has shown her artwork and has collectors across America, including her patriotic artwork that was in the White House.   Her paintings most often show her patriotism.  Being involved in the movie industry, most people Katie paints are dear friends... and her favorite role models, including Ernie Borgnine, Roy Rogers, Hoppy, The Lone Ranger, Ben Cooper, Jon Locke, Tom Selleck...  parents of Lane Frost. and others.  Katie lives on her ranch in Southern California with her horses and collie dogs. She has been known for her oil paintings, but is also known as one of the finest pen and ink artists in America with Katie's own process, "Petrigraphy".  It is fine line engraving in granite and glass.  She also does granite engraved monuments and walls for police, sheriff and fire departments.  Her main topics are western TV legends, horses, western themes, patriotic... but also all kinds of animals, whales and dolphins, hope and inspiration showing "Love Of God & Country."




William Smith


When one talks about actor and lifelong bodybuilder William Smith, not only are
they discussing the career of one of the most prolific and popular cult actors of all
time, but also one of the screen’s greatest villains.
Having appeared in hundreds of films and TV show including; as Clint
Eastwood's nemesis in Any Which Way You Can, as Falconetti in "Rich Man
Poor Man", The Losers, Red Dawn, Rumblefish, Laredo, Hawaii 5-0 and as
Conan's father in "Conan the Barbarian"
During the Korean War, Bill was in the NSA, and was a Russian Intercept
Interrogator and flew secret missions over Russia.
Bill has studied at Syracuse University, the University of Munich, the Sorbonne in
Paris, and finally at UCLA where he graduated Cum Laude with a Master’s degree
and is fluent in Russian, French, German and Serbo-Croatian.
His trademark arms measured 18 and 1/2 inches. His achievements include
an Air Force Light-Heavyweight Boxing Championship; he was a champion
discus thrower at UCLA; he was a two-time 200-lb. World Arm Wrestling
Champion and he holds a Black Belt in martial arts (Kung Fu and Kenpo
Karate). Among his outstanding feats of strength are strict reverse curl of
his own body weight and 5,100 continuous sit ups. He appeared on the
pages of numerous bodybuilding magazines including “Mr. America,” “Muscle
Mag,” “Iron Man,” “Muscle Builder” and “Strength and Health.”
Bill is an honorary member of the Stuntman's Association, a recipient of the Golden
Boot, and Silver Spur awards, and a performing arts award from the Southern
California Motion Picture Council and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the
Academy of Bodybuilding and Fitness.
You can visit Bill & pick up a copy of his literary work “The Poetic Works Of William
Smith” at this year’s Design EXPO.






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