The local author was recognized by the Beverly Hills Book Awards

Local author Rick Steber says he does not write books in hopes that they will generate any sort of recognition or awards.

“I don’t really write for the readers,” he went on to admit. “I write for myself.”

Despite that philosophy, he has earned numerous awards for his literary works throughout his career and recently snagged two more for his latest effort “Red, White, Black.”

The book was recently named the best nonfiction, western region by Beverly Hills Book Awards. Winners of the international competition are selected by a panel of judges from all aspects of the book industry, including publishers, writers, editors and copywriters. The group considers all English language books, using a wide range of criteria from quality of writing and content to cover design and aesthetic components.

Steber was the only double-award winner for this year.

“Red, White, Black” recounts the true story of race and rodeo at the 1911 Pendleton Round-Up. There, three men of different skin color were brought together during the Northwest Saddle Bronc Championship. Jackson Sundown was the nephew of the famed Chief Joseph, and competed against George Fletcher, who was denied joining an Eastern Oregon cavalry unit during World War I, and John Spain, a white travelling rodeo performer.

“I researched the book probably over four decades,” Steber recalls. The work began when he first learned information about Jackson. From that point on, any time I ran across stories about the 1911 Round-Up he would stash it away.

Over time, the research stalled as most of the people around for the event passed away, and he decided to commit what he had learned to print.

While Steber does not consider recognition when he writes, he does try to make sure that he does justice to the story, and tries to tell it properly. He said that each story he writes has its own specific cadence.

“I think I have a unique writing style,” he said. “I always tell kids, there is only one Elvis and there are a lot of Elvis imitators. Don’t be an Elvis imitator, be an original, and I always try to be original.”

Steber said he is grateful for the awards he has received, including these past two, because it shows that others appreciate his craft.

“It’s always nice to end up with a pat on the back,” he said. “It’s nice to be appreciated and it’s nice to have other people recognize your efforts and the work you put into it – and, I guess, the skill as a writer you have developed.”

Contract Publishing

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