About Dennis Herrick


Dennis Herrick

I fancy myself as a writer. Writing books is my form of brain calisthenics.

Two of my novels have been published by Sunbury Press and both are available in second editions. They are a historical fiction novel titled Winter of the Metal People (2003 and 2017) and an Albuquerque  mystery titled  A Brother's Cold Case (2014 and 2018).

I have written 13 books with some in multiple editions, from a biography to novels to short historical reads. 

My 13th and final book is America's First Indian War. Because details are mostly unavailable from that war's period -- 1540 to 1542 -- this is my shortest book. It's only 45 pages with research endnotes, so it's also the least expensive of my paperback books.

My 12th book is Newspaper Stories: Reporters and Editors Collection. Starting with my junior year in college with part-time jobs, all of my work life has revolved around writing, usually in or around newspapers. Many of my 26 short stories and two of my novels  have a newspaper reporter as the main protagonist. I realize some people don't admire newspaper reporters as much as I do, but using newspaper reporters as the main person(s) of so many of my stories enabled me to introduce a variety of wonderful, interesting, and curious characters based on newsroom types I have known. This book reprints eight of my short stories and excerpts from two of my novels that feature newspaper reporters, linked by the same characters at different newspapers. Being an old newspaper man myself, this collection honors "ink-stained wretches" I knew in my career, a term author Tony Hillerman once used affectionally about newspaper reporters and editors.

My 11th  book is my Covid-19 pandemic project, written while I was cooped up in my house. It is my second sci-fi novel titled Missionaries from the  Stars. Sending missionaries to convert native people in "discovered" lands to the conquerors' religion has been common for hundreds of years. This novel examines how Earth might receive missionaries from another planet who arrived to check the possibility of converting Humans to an interplanetary religion. For information, go to dennisherrick.com/missionaries 

All three of these last three books were self-published in 2022 in my 79th year. I don't have the luxury any more of waiting six months or more to receive a decision on whether a book is accepted or rejected by a mainstream book publisher.

My nonfiction historical book is a biography titled Esteban: The African Slave Who Explored America. It was published in 2018 by University of New Mexico Press. For information, go to dennisherrick.com/Esteban_Explorer  I also have a small nonfiction history book titled Faded Pueblos of the Tiguex War, but that book is limited to regional interest. It is self-published so I can make updates to it when new facts are learned

When asked why I wrote Esteban's biography, I reply that all my books are about average people including him who face such daunting obstacles that they seemed destined to fail—but they are underdogs who end up winning.

Other underdogs in my books include the Pueblo Indians in Winter of the Metal People who prevailed against European invaders in 1540–42 in America's first Indian war. The Puebloans persevered despite being greatly outnumbered and facing that era's advanced Spanish weapons. In the modern day, there is the twice-divorced, hard-luck newspaper reporter in A Brother's Cold Case who keeps looking for the murderer of his brother when the police won't. That book is in its second edition and published by Sunbury Press.

My first sci-fi novel featured an Army sergeant, brave enough but still an enlisted man, who finds himself the lone survivor of his Army base after an alien invasion's attack in War of the Planet Burners. He then goes on to become the hero fighter for Earth.

I tend to cheer for the underdog against the favorite even in sports.

I mustn't neglect my short stories. All are available as 99-cent estories. Click on any of those covers from this site's bottom left-hand list of short stories and you'll be taken to a page on my website with more information on that particular story. Also,  I wrote a "fan ficion" novella that fills in details that weren't in the 1991 script for the "Star Trek The Next Generation" episode #89 titled First Contact. Because it's fan fiction, I receive no royalty from its sales on Amazon, which keeps the price low.

If you have a question about any of my books or short stories, send me an email through this site's "Contact" tab.  And if you like my books or short stories, please write a review for that particular title on Amazon.com — we unknown authors are paid in compliments, not royalties.

Appearances and articles:
       * Presentations about Esteban: The African Slave Who Explored America, at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, La Vida Llena senior facility, the University of New Mexico bookstore, Bookworks, Treasure House Books, and Albuquerque Public Library, all in Albuquerque.
      * Article about Esteban in Zócalo national online magazine at https://www.zocalopublicsquare.org/2019/01/15/escaped-slave-discovered-a... which was reprinted in some national newspapers.

      * Esteban: The African Slave Who Explored America (University of New Mexico Press, 2018), nonfiction biography
      * Presentation about Winter of the Metal People and the Coronado expedition at Desert Ridge Middle School, Albuquerque
     * Presentation about Winter of the Metal People and the Coronado expedition at Santa Fe Indian School
     * Instructor, "How to Write a Mystery Novel," Continuing Education, University of New Mexico
    * Article on the research, writing and marketing of Winter of the Metal People in issue of Roundup Magazine, Western Writers of America at http://dennisherrick.com/perseverance
    * Lecture, "The Coronado Expedition to Albuquerque," Lew Wallace Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution
    *Article about history of Santiago Pueblo
    * Presentation about Tiguex War for the Stories of New Mexico Program, University of New Mexico
     * Nonfiction short, "The Indian Who Defied Coronado," available on this site and a shorter version published in Native Peoples  magazine
     * Article, "Xauían and the Tiguex War," Native Peoples Magazine, 2016) at http://dennisherrick.com/Xau%C3%ADan
     * Presentation about the Coronado Expedition, Del Webb's Alegria community, Bernalillo
     * Article, "The Puebloan View of a Lesser-Known War," New Mexico Mercury at http://newmexicomercury.com/blog/Print/the_puebloan_view_of_a_lesser_kno...
    * Presentation about Coronado Expedition to New Mexico and Arizona, Western National Parks Association, Tucson
     * Presentation about Winter of the Metal People, Friends of Coronado Historic Site
     * Presentation, "Xauían: Forgotten Pueblo Leader," Historical Society of New Mexico
    * Presentation about Coronado and the Tiguex War, Continuing Education, University of New Mexico
     * Presentation about Winter of the Metal People, Albuquerque Oasis Senior Programs
     * Winter of the Metal People (Sunbury Press, 2013 and 2017), historical fiction
     * First Contact (Sterling Publications, 2016), sci-fi fan fiction of episode 89 of "Star Trek: The Next Generation"
     * A Brother's Cold Case (Sunbury Press, 2014 and 2018), mystery novel
     * War of the Planet Burners (Sterling Publications USA, 2nd ed., 2019) sci-fi novel
     * War of the Planet Burners (Moonshine Publishing, 1st ed., 2016) sci-fi novel
     * 2012 second edition, Media Management in the Age of Giants (University of New Mexico Press) textbook

     *  Guest Bedroom: Collected Stories (Sterling Publications, 2004–2021), twenty of my short stories
     * "An Unwilling Patient" originally published as "Missing" in Story Teller magazine, 2010
     * "Spirit Journey," originally published in the Wapsipinicon Almanac, 2006

     * Faded Pueblos of the Tiguex War (Sterling Publications USA, 2003–2021), nonfiction history
     * 2003 first edition, Media Management in the Age of Giants, textbook originally published by Iowa State University Press