Ralph Compton authored more than two dozen books, including ?Death Rides a Chestnut Mare," "North to the Bitterroot," ?The Goodnight Trail" and "The Dawn of Fury." Many of his books are parts of series, including the "Trail Drive," "Trail of a Gunfighter" and "Danny Duggin" series.
Ralph Compton did not begin his writing career until he was 55 years old, when he gave up on a career in music and songwriting that never quite took off. His first novel, ?The Goodnight Trail,? sold more than 1 million copies and kicked off the "Trail Drive" series, which includes more than a dozen novels chronicling the drama and action of cattle drives. His second series, the "Trail of a Gunfighter" trilogy, begins with ?The Dawn of Fury? and focuses on the character Nathan Stone, who embarks on a mission of revenge after returning from the Civil War to find his home in ruins and his family dead. The "Border Empire" series picks up where the "Trail of a Gunfighter" series left off, with a focus on Nathan Stone?s son, Wes, who sets out to avenge his father?s death.
Ralph Compton died of cancer in 1998, but other writers, including Ralph Cotton, Joseph A. West and Dusty Richards, kept his name and his series alive by writing and publishing additional books in his name.