Johnson writes from his ranch in Ucross, population 25. His books are a treat for the people of Wyoming as his characters interact with the landscape and towns that only Wyomingites understand. His new book Morning Star Girl will be released on September 21, 2021. To celebrate his series, next week is Longmire Days, and in October, he will be coming to Casper for a book signing.
The first big event for Craig Johnson is Longmire Days. They will be held in Buffalo, Wyoming, September 2-5. The event takes place in person, after much debate over security concerns related to COVID-19. However, it is going to be drastically reduced. There will also be online events.
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The comedians are unable to attend this year, but the event is still ongoing. They will have a 5k race, a Longmire rodeo and a number of events discussing his new book Morning Star Girl. You can see the full schedule of events here.
Johnson says, “This is a unique scaled-down version of our usual Longmire Days.” He describes that 10 years ago, when he first launched Longmire Days, he was just the one signing books. Even then a few hundred people showed up, but it was taken to another level when the TV show started and the cast started arriving. “At one point we had over 15,000 people here… we wish it was all live, but all of the actors did some really wonderful interviews that we’re going to have online,” Johnson said.
According to the Longmire event website, “As every year, the net proceeds from the Longmire Days 2021 event will be donated to our national charity, National Resource Center for Indigenous Women, and our local charity, Johnson County Search and Rescue. These two organizations save lives and we are proud to support them in their mission. General admission tickets for Longmire Days are available here.
The National Resource Center for Native Women “deals with the scourge of horrific situations that occur with Native women” and plays an important role in Johnson’s upcoming book.
Johnson says, “This book is a little different from all the others because it is about missing and murdered Indigenous women. It became a problem for me, just because I was in Hardin, MT, doing an event at the library, and there was a missing persons poster (a homemade missing person) . She was a young woman who was missing and it was heartbreaking for me because there was information, an award, and a photo of her face. And where the sun come in through the library door, where the sun hit it, about half of it was gone. So only half of the young woman’s face was there… It looked like he had been there for years, and I started to think that was one of the worst things that could happen to a loved one.
This inspired him and he decided to talk about it in his latest book. Seeing this as a social issue, he had to find a way to put Walt Longmire in the spotlight and be able to talk about it in a way that hadn’t been done before. In the book, Longmire meets a threatened young woman, whose sister had disappeared a year earlier. This is something new that Longmire has never known and he must find a way to help it. Johnson says that aspect gave him access to the social issue and a character who has an entertaining past.
One of the most important things he hopes readers will take away from his new book is awareness of the plight of missing Indigenous peoples. According to the FBI, more than 5,600 Native American women went missing last year. He says the Native American population is rather small and unfortunately the number of missing people is grossly disproportionate to that.
Johnson goes on to say, “There are a lot of responsibilities that come with being a writer. You have a job to entertain and to offer a good read. But you also have responsibilities like anyone else in a culture… ”He also said he had a responsibility to know how that would affect Walt Longmire and the other characters in his books.
After the book’s release, he is embarking on a book signing tour of some of the larger metropolitan areas, but he will also be visiting Casper. You can get your own signed copy of The Morning Star Girl and meet Craig Johnson yourself on October 2 at 7 p.m. at the Natrona Country Library.
Johnson says signing dedications in Wyoming will always be close and dear to his heart. He says, “People have different reactions to books… certainly people in our area of Wyoming are going to get a lot more out of books than people in other places. They’re going to get a little more out of the books, just because of the context. They know Wyoming, and so they get all the jokes and all the inside information. “
When asked why he chose Wyoming out of all the places to live and write, the famous author responded with a laugh and mockery, “Why do you have a sense of disbelief in your voice when you pose this? question? He goes on to say, “It’s beautiful… the mountains are so accessible, and there is sublime beauty in the Powder River Country. I fell in love with it. ”