Local author Tim Lasiuta continues to explore fresh creative territory via his writing on the iconic duo of the Lone Ranger and Tonto.
Lasiuta has a chapter in a new anthology titled The Lone Ranger and Tonto – Frontier Justice from Moonstone Books.
“This is the second Lone Ranger anthology we (Moonstone Books) have done,” said Lasiuta who works with publisher Joe Gentile out of Chicago.
“The first anthology was released a few years back and the time was right for a follow-up.”
The Lone Ranger and Tonto are North American characters jointly created by writer Fran Striker, James Jewell and George Trendle in the early 1930s, noted Lasiuta. The radio series led to a movie serial, comic book, daily newspaper strip, TV series and thousands of licensed items, with the most recent being the Johnny Depp film.
Lasiuta has been a long-time fan of the heroic character.
“I have always loved the Lone Ranger. And this story was born out of a question. What would the Ranger do if he wasn’t the masked rider of the plains? The rest of course, is fiction.
“It’s essentially a story where the Lone Ranger appears to die in the sense where he’s being tracked by a local bad guy, and he gets thrown over a cliff,” he explained, adding he penned the story about three years ago.
From there, Lasiuta spins quite the clever story with lots of twists and turns – there is no question he loves these characters and the times they are set in. The story also really breathes with a striking authenticity – the gritty sites and sounds of the American old west come to life and it’s ultimately just a really compelling, brisk and engaging read.
Lasiuta, who was raised in central Alberta, also referenced several local locations and real people in his story.
“Part of the joy of writing is that you can pay homage to people and places in your life,” he said. “This tale takes place close to Torrington, Wyoming (thinly disguised Alberta).
“Other places like the Tolman Bridge (near Trochu), and Kievers Lake are also mentioned,” he said. “As for people, family friends, the Anhorns from Torrington are central to the story as well as local kennel owners, the DeBoons are mentioned.”
Ultimately, the character of the Lone Ranger shows no signs of fading away in modern popular culture.
Lasiuta attributes some of his ‘staying power’ to the universal appeal of a character who continually fights to free others from bad or even deadly situations. Also, people in general have always and continue to look for those we can all truly look up to, added Lasiuta.
“He’s somebody that if he sees something that needs doing, he does it. If someone is in trouble, he helps them. That’s the appeal of most of these ‘masked’ type of characters.”
For Lasiuta, diving into the limitless territory that writing fiction provides is a source of rich fulfillment.
He noted that his imagination was already drumming up plenty of ideas when he was a youngster.
“I started my first novel when I was 16,” he added with a laugh, noting the work remains unfinished. “I still have the draft.
“Sometimes you can live vicariously through your own characters,” he added with a smile. “I have hundreds of stories I could write – I just haven’t done it (yet) – where you take a gem of an idea. That’s what I like about it – seeing something come out of that,” he said. “We are made to be creative.
“I think that’s why I like it – it allows you to really live through it. And if you have a gift, you have to use it.”
There’s also something special about penning a work, seeing it published and knowing that its impact could be around for quite some time. “When you write a good story, you might inspire somebody else, too. I believe that everyone has a story. Everybody’s life is a story.”