Ralph Compton stood six-foot-eight without his boots. He worked as a musician, a radio announcer, a songwriter, and a newspaper columnist. His first novel, The Goodnight Trail, was a finalist for the Western Writers of America Medicine Pipe Bearer Award for best debut novel. He was also the author of the Sundown Rider series and the Border Empire series. Ralph Cotton is a former ironworker, second mate on a commercial barge, teamster, horse trainer, and lay minister with the Lutheran church. There are millions of Ralph Cotton books in print worldwide.