Glendale resident’s imagination displayed in first published novel

Logan Roberson’s “Long Gun” combines childhood fantasy stories with a passion for writing. (Submitted)

As a young boy, Logan Roberson was enamored with the ability to create stories utterly of his own creation, with aspects ranging as far as his mind could reach.

Fantasy lands, not of dinosaurs or aliens, but rather something much simpler — the Western aspect of life.

His fascination peaked from the thought of cowboys and untamed terrain, where horses could run free, and small towns lined with saloons and stables.

No longer a young boy, Roberson has still maintained this youthful creativity, which he has manifested into “Long Gun,” a novel where he combines those childhood fantasy stories with his grown passion for writing, to create a way for everyone to experience what he has for his entire life.

“I’m incredibly proud; it is a major achievement,” Roberson said. “Then here I am, with a childlike imagination inside a 24-year-old man and I have the capability and the intelligence, even further, to write and create. It really is a dream come true.”

Roberson, a current Glendale resident, grew up in an Army family, which entailed frequent relocation, spanning several states. But it was the country-style life that had always appealed to him. Whether it was watching old Western films or shows like “Bonanza” or “Gunsmoke,” or reading Western stories, the cowboy lifestyle was always appealing.

But the idea to write a novel about it wasn’t exactly atop Roberson’s to-do list. It wasn’t until he submitted an assignment in a creative writing class that he really got the validation that this was something he could do.

“I had kind of a happy incident happen with an assignment that I had,” Roberson said. “The department head for the Literature Department at the school I was going to said, ‘Hey, you should become an author. You should make a career out of this.’ Just because my creative writing was apparently some of the best that she had seen in a long time.”

Soon after that, complications arose, which ended in Roberson withdrawing from Pittsburg State University in Kansas and eventually relocating to Arizona. Unhappy with how his life had felt stagnant, Roberson was seeking a new passion.

One night, sitting in his living room, a seedling of childhood imagination was planted into a notebook, and from that notebook grew the passion that had always been in him that had finally come to fruition.

“I was outlining, and it just hit me,” Roberson said. “I went on my computer and just started typing.

“I was like, ‘I’m going to try it.’ Then it just turned into days on end. Each day, waking up early and writing. I just outlined and typed a few words into a paragraph, and then it took off.”

And take off it did, as he created his first story that the world could read. A 318-page novel, “Long Gun” is a gritty story that has all of the gunfights, saloon brawls and horse chases that Roberson had been enthralled with his whole life.

“It’s really just a complex set of feelings of pride and thankfulness,” Roberson said. “To think that somebody could be reading it right now, I’m very proud of that achievement. And I just hope somebody really, whoever it is, I hope they really enjoy it.”

The book, though, means more to Roberson than just a tale of childhood imagination. His love of the Western lifestyle is something he shares with his 91-year-old grandfather, Leo. A shared hobby turned into a love and a passion for both of them, and Roberson dedicates the creation of the book to that same passion that he and his grandfather bonded so much over.

“I really wanted to write something that I could read to him or he would want to read,” Roberson said. “I grew up loving them with him. So, being able to turn around and say, ‘Hey, Papa, we have something that I wrote that is ours. It’s our story.’”

But the kid inside him is still banging on the door. For Roberson, “Long Gun” doesn’t just start and end with one book. He plans to keep writing and adding more to the saga, making it as long as he feels the story needs to be told, which could add up to a maximum of five total stories.

He also intends to find other genres of fiction and create more worlds for readers to explore and fall in love with.

“I think if 10-year-old Logan were to look at 24-year-old Logan, he would be very happy with how he turned out,” Roberson said.