Stephen Kenneth Figler


Going the Distance --- College Athlete's Guide to Excellence on the Field and in the Classroom. Peterson's Guides /​ Petrel Press: 1855 Cardiff Drive, Cambria, CA 93428 /​ skfigler@​


In Hangtown, California, during the lawless Gold Rush of 1850, a committee of five decides who will die by the rope. Each has come to the Gold Rush trailed by their own transgressions and failures. Into this scene comes a Midwest farm-boy, around whom people tend to die, though never directly by his hand.

Hangtown is a novel of linked stories, the boy's, along with each of the committee:

--Honest John Nagengast, mayor and lifelong failure.
--Sheriff Barsuglia, former outlaw.
--Miss Scylla, madam and saloon owner, who feels guilt over her own secret murders.
--Charley Crocker, escaping the pressure of his family's disappointment. (Later founded the Central Pacific Railroad)
--Heinrich Schliemann, the gold broker amassing a fortune in order to fulfill his dream, finding the lost city of Troy. (Schliemann later succeeded in finding Troy)

Each story merges at the climax during Lucky Joe German's "trial."

While Hangtown is set in the old west, it is not of the Western genre. Rather, it is a psychological mainstream novel in the mode of E. L. Doctorow's Welcome to Hard Times.

Selected Works

Short Story Collection
Bad Guys
The characters are hard boiled, but sometimes soft in the noggin and not especially "wise" guys. They are not especially successful at crime and tend to be a bit twisted, but in an entertaining way. Sure there's some murder and mayhem, but these fellas, and their women (including grandmothers) go about life and death in a manner that leads you to like them.
Historical Fiction
Hangtown (finished novel manuscript)
In a California Gold Rush town, five people determine who will get hanged and for what reason, while an 18-year-old boy journeys to Hangtown leaving a trail of bodies.
Contemporary Fiction
Max in Repose (finished novel manuscript)
The three wives of Max must live together for a year to share in his estate
Murder Mystery, with some laughs
Altadena's Demise
Small-town cop Aza Kvetchmore and his beloved find the Camelot Town Council guilty of murder.
Political Satire
Swine at Sea (political satire--in progress)
Rrrandy Wurst, autodidact hog, takes on the Neocon pseudo-pigs of the Corporatocracy
Thriller Fiction
Moira Rules (thriller-in-progress)
Zack Jacobsen, having fulfiiled his final murder contract in Portugal, wants to get home to live out his days selling Infiniti's, but someone conspires against him.

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