Self-Publishing Author Spotlight: Gene Krenz

t Outskirts Press, Inc., we take great pride in celebrating the work of our successful self-publishing authors, and we do so each week through our Self-Publishing Author Spotlight. This week we highlight self-publishing author Gene Krenz, who has published an astounding 11 successful titles with Outskirts Press.

Learn more about Gene Krenz, his background and passion for the history of eastern Montana and western North Dakota, and how it is reflected within his published works through this week’s Self-Publishing Author Spotlight.

authorAbout the Author:

Gene Krenz is a native of the country about which he writes. His research over the past two decades reveals a fictional void with regard to the history of eastern Montana and western North Dakota for the period about which he writes.

“So, with my brain cells stampeding toward my already crowded brain cell cemetery at an alarming rate, I decided to try and tell that story now. My books may not sell but my family will be proud of me, I’ll feel better about myself, and that empty niche will have been partially filled.”

Through his published titles, he helps fill that void.


No one living today was alive when the terrible winter of 1886-1887 swept across eastern Montana and western Dakota Territories. Hardest hit were the Little Missouri River and Beaver Creek watersheds. Newspapers of the day reported livestock losses of up to as much as 90 percent. Hardest hit was Pierre Wibaux, whose herd was slashed by 30,000 to 40,000 head. Ranchers and settlers without a friendly banker or savings abandoned their ranches and farms in droves. But some there were who absolutely refused to quit. Amidon is the story of how AJ Roller and Luther Cross fought to stay afloat economically, to preserve their way of and, of how, in spite of everything, they managed to find love.

Product details…
Format: 6 x 9 paperback white, 303 pages
Publisher: Outskirts Press (Feb 29, 2012)
ISBN10: 1432788035
ISBN13: 9781432788032
Genre: FICTION / Action & Adventure

cover (1)Back to Never Been

A career, making money, being somebody, that’s where his head had been, and now it was over. An important part of his life had ended, and the road back was blocked with anger, harsh words, guilt and infidelity. It was a road he dared not travel. There would certainly be no welcoming committee at the other end, for he had paved a good-sized segment of his path through life as an adult with a litany of mistakes and bad decisions. What guarantee was there that in starting over he would not make the same bad choices and decisions? Still, he could not know what the future held. Time was what he needed. He needed to clear his head of cobwebs, faulty connections and squandered linkages. That process had to begin in Montana, close to where his value system and beliefs had been forged. It was the only way, the only place. He had come home to his prairies and mountains, and it was here he hoped to regain a modicum of self-confidence and self-esteem.

Product details…
Format: 6.14 x 9.21 paperback, 382 pages
Publisher: Outskirts Press (Aug 31, 2009)
ISBN10: 1432739174
ISBN13: 9781432739171
Genre: FICTION / General

cover (2)Beyond the Blackfoot

An undeserved reputation. A search for love. He hungered for anonymity and a new beginning with love, but his head and his heart told him that both were impossible. Sherryn Elvers saw both as not only possible but inevitable. “I’ve thought about Jimmy and the sparkle you put in his eyes in one afternoon, Ben,” she told him. “I’ve seen the respect people have for you. They’re good folks, and they don’t respect you for your reputation or the power of your fists. If you would step back once and take a good look at yourself, what you’d see is an honest-to-god person, weak like we all are at times, but a man of honor and conscience. That’s all that counts. I’ve thought about me as well. I told myself I love you, and I’ve looked at you from a distance…as coldly calculating as I could…at the best and the worst in you. I’ve wondered if you might be that one special man I have been waiting for since Jimmy lost his father. I’ve thought about all of these things, and your leaving here is out of the question, because I have chosen you, and I have made you mine no matter what!”

Product details…
Format: 6 x 9 paperback white, 354 pages
Publisher: Outskirts Press (Mar 11, 2011)
ISBN10: 1432768743
ISBN13: 9781432768744
Genre: FICTION / Action & Adventure

cover (3)Darby’s Dream

She never asked and I never told her how I came by the chunk of lead she had fished out of my leg. Figured if I did, she’d think I was one of those outlaws and she’d quit taking care of me. I did tell her, though, that I wasn’t on the run from the law. What I was running from was a ma and pa impatient to see their youngest boy become a man. Mostly, it was my pa. Another hired man is what he wanted. I didn’t cotton to the idea, so one night when they thought I was sleeping I left. I’ve been working my way north ever since, lookin’ to cut them apron strings my ma and pa had got me all tangled up in – before they made a girl or a preacher out of me. My dream included a place of my own, a nice bunch of cows, a handful of really good horses, tall grass, friends, warm winters, cool water, coins jingling in my pocket and – well, yes, a pretty girl at my side – not necessarily in that order. Anyone curious as to what the future holds for me will have to saddle up and follow my trail!

Product details..
Format: 6 x 9 paperback white, 377 pages
Publisher: Outskirts Press (Nov 15, 2010)
ISBN10: 1432765108
ISBN13: 9781432765101
Genre: FICTION / Action & Adventure

cover (4)God’s Own Heaven

On a dust covered hill overlooking Buckskin Draw, a small group of family and friends tearfully laid Matty Roller to rest. Taken suddenly by a heart that failed her as she rested in her rocking chair, she had simply sighed and slumped forward as if she had fallen asleep after another busy day. Now, standing next to the pine coffin that would embrace her body for eternity, a family said its goodbyes in a state of disbelief and sorrow. She was their strength, their fountain of love, and the source of their vitality. She was their everything, and she was gone.

Matty would not make the trip she had dreamed about as the drought tightened its grip on the country. Would any of them be willing to leave her behind? Had their enthusiasm for pursuing a new life in the north slipped away with each shovel of dirt? Where was the imperative? Could they dash the dream, her dream? Or would they leave because they knew she was right? Could they do it?

In the end, it was the withering grass of Buckskin Draw that made the decision for them. They would make the trip. They would live Matty’s Dream.

Two months later when Walt Roller raised his arm to signal the beginning of the last leg of their perilous journey, they rode away from their camp next to the Little Missouri River feeling like intruders trampling on God’s own Heaven. With grass sweeping like waves before a light breeze, a towering blue sky for a lid, horizons that tiptoed teasingly away from them, and air that tasted like cold spring water, where else, they asked, could they be?

Product details…
Format: 6 x 9 paperback cream, 385 pages
Publisher: Outskirts Press (Mar 28, 2010)
ISBN10: 1432749714
ISBN13: 9781432749712
Genre: FICTION / General

cover (5)Honyock

Janos Lakatos fit the mold perfectly. Where most young men his age were looking for steady jobs and a pretty wife, he hungered for more, for something different. From the window of the Northern Pacific train that carried him across Dakota Territory to visit a cousin living in Miles City, Montana Territory, he marveled at the sea of grass that surrounded him. Waiting for him 30 miles northwest of Dickinson were 160 acres of rolling prairie. Waiting for him as well were cattlemen who saw him and his neighbors as little more than destroyers of their range. There too, he soon learned of a nearby rancher who hinted that his chances for success as a farmer would be better elsewhere, and of his pretty daughter who would settle for nothing less than his staying.

Product details…
Format: 6 x 9 paperback white, 318 pages
Publisher: Outskirts Press (Sep 28, 2012)
ISBN10: 1478720182
ISBN13: 9781478720188
Genre: FICTION / Action & Adventure

cover (6)Kid Trailer: The One We Loved

Shadowed by a single error in judgment, he had been labeled as a young man destined to a life as a criminal. He had hired out to help drive a herd of horses from Deadwood, South Dakota to Sundance, Wyoming. Too late, he learned they were stolen. Caught in the act of delivering them, his choices were but two: jail or leave his home in search of responsibility and acceptance elsewhere. He had headed north; hoping to outrun a reputation blackened by a single innocent mistake. What he found instead of honest work was no better than what he had left behind. But he loved the Writing Rock country, and he was determined to stay. By the time he had filed on a homesteader claim, most were calling him Kid Trailer. A young widow named Campbell Flowers convinced him that there was always a way. The ups and downs were numerous, but they agreed that fighting for the future was worth it.

Product details…
Format: 6 x 9 paperback cream, 181 pages
Publisher: Outskirts Press (Apr 29, 2016)
ISBN10: 147874961X
ISBN13: 9781478749615
Genre: FICTION / Action & Adventure

cover (7)Lunker
Distant relatives of the great Arctic Wolf, Malamutes are the largest of the Arctic dogs. Solidly built with large padded feet and a double layer of thick hair, they are designed by breeding and time to be dependable and hardworking in the harness. In the beginning, the pup that wandered on to the Alaska homestead of Will Holter and his wife was considered a nuisance with few manners and a gigantic appetite. A small boy by the name of Jimmy changed all of that. Lunker is not simply the story of an adopted dog; it is the story of how a family came together and fell in love with their life on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula. If you can read their story and manage not to cry, it can only be that you have a hard heart.Product details…
Format: 6 x 9 paperback white, 231 pages
Publisher: Outskirts Press (May 22, 2014)
ISBN10: 1478732067
ISBN13: 9781478732068
Genre: JUVENILE FICTION / Action & Adventure / General
cover (8)A Matter of Owing
A Matter of Owing is the story of the Roller family as they confront frontier hardships induced by disheartening drought, killing blizzards, foolish greed, the dishonesty of others, and the times. The setting is eastern Montana and western North Dakota Territories in the years just before statehood. The Rollers are dues payers. The family patriarch, Walt, instinctively recognizes the good in a person often overlooked by others. He is known for his generosity and for giving others a second chance. A Matter of Owing is a story about payback and, in the larger sense, it is a story of love. “The stories Gene Krenz has written about the settlement of eastern Montana and western North Dakota tug at my heartstrings. They reach into the courage and spirit of the hardy folks who settled there. I grew up on those prairies, and I still love them.” Dale Hinsverk, Wahpeton, North Dakota.Product details…
Format: 6 x 9 paperback white, 297 pages
Publisher: Outskirts Press (Jul 19, 2011)
ISBN10: 143277378X
ISBN13: 9781432773786
Genre: FICTION / Action & Adventure

cover (9)Stands Tall Woman: We-yah wacaun-too

She was in love. He was her first, but she knew it was a love that could never be. That was Marteen Roller, the only daughter of a pioneer cowman struggling to build a new and better life for his family on the prairies of Montana and Dakota Territories in the years before statehood. No father could ask for more from a daughter. She was beautiful, ambitious, competent, and devoted to him. And she was in love- with her cousin. Stands Tall Woman is the story of a young but resourceful woman who strikes out on her own to forget the man she loves and to build a future for herself away from family and home. Hundreds of miles from her father and brothers, she embarks upon a new life on the Big Open prairies of north central Montana Territory. Her story is the story of one who conquers despair by immersing herself in building her own ranch and, in the process, finds love.

Product details…
Format: 6 x 9 paperback white, 340 pages
Publisher: Outskirts Press (Apr 19, 2012)
ISBN10: 1432790242
ISBN13: 9781432790240
Genre: FICTION / Action & Adventure

cover (10)That Ekalaka Moon

Now the daughter…she was another matter all together. He hadn’t seen enough of her to have a clear picture in his mind, but he had seen enough to understand that she carried in her blood enough of her tall father to stand close to six-feet herself. Her figure was willowy and supple and about her there was a sense of innate physical strength. She had dark brown hair almost as curly as his, and large dark eyes, both foreboding and inviting. He reminded her of someone, but he couldn’t hang a face on that person.

He tried but failed to shake the feeling that he had just met the most beautiful woman who ever walked upright on the planet. She was gorgeous. He was drawn to her instantly, like a gigantic magnet, and he could not rid himself of the feeling that his life had just taken a sharp turn. He couldn’t put his finger on the precise moment it had happened, but he knew that the two of them had somehow connected.

It was crazy and, also, impossible. She came from a camp that might very well be waging war against the Rafter R in a matter of days or weeks. In hours they could be enemies. Suddenly, he felt a need to walk away from where he stood and somehow erase her image from his mind. He needed to immerse himself in something, anything that would wash away his crazy yet troubling feelings.

Sparks and a sense of promise there had been. But, no, how could it be? It couldn’t be, he told himself. In the real world it never happened that way. It was nothing more than wishful thinking on his part but, still, he had to admit that when his mind’s eye brought her image into focus, he was both excited and frightened.

He could not know that Libby Merwin was grappling with her own powerful emotions. Meeting Truck Roller close up had heightened the feeling she harbored deep within her that she could neither articulate nor comprehend. They flowed from the emotions the sight of him had triggered, when she watched him walk across the street weeks earlier in Ekalaka.

She remembered the two things born in that moment. The first was that the moon had cast him in silhouette, defining him in an unearthly way. She called it “that Ekalaka moon.” The second thing she remembered was that he carried himself in a way that drove home to her the certainty that one day she wanted a half dozen of his curly headed sons. The attraction was as inexplicable as it was intense. She blushed at the thought and turned away from them, striving to collect herself and her feelings.

Product details…
Format: 6 x 9 paperback cream, 304 pages
Publisher: Outskirts Press (Sep 07, 2010)
ISBN10: 1432751700
ISBN13: 9781432751708
Genre: FICTION / Action & Adventure



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2 thoughts on “Self-Publishing Author Spotlight: Gene Krenz

  1. I have been doing research on Kid Trailer, and was excited to see that Gene had written a book about him. My Grandfather used to tell us a story about a horse thief and a barn where he sometimes kept his stolen horses. Thought the Library of Congress and newpaper clippings, I was able to confirm the story, and the place of his first arrest. In a corner of a pasture, which was and is owned by our family. It is so nice to confirm this, and now I can pass the story down!

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