Author Phil Mills, Jr.
Along the Western Colorado horizon, resting just above the late summer prairie grasses and yucca plants what seemed like white puffy clouds gradually gave way to the rugged, snow-capped Rocky Mountains. And the country boy from Missouri would never be the same again. Those mountains and the vast prairies before them would burn a love of the American West deeply into the heart and soul of Two-Time WWA Spur Finalist Award Winning Author Phil Mills, Jr.
Phil’s first novel, “Where a Good Wind Blows” touches on the emotions and sensations of someone seeing this land for the first time. This honest and exciting story set in the late-1800s in Eastern Wyoming would win a Spur Finalist Award for Best 2010 Western Audio book from the Western Writers of America. This same book is also available in paperback, hardback/large print and in eBook and Kindle formats.
Phil’s second historical novel and the sequel to “Where a Good Wind Blows” is also available. “Where the Wildflowers Dance” further shares life in 1800’s Wyoming and those who love this rugged and unforgiving land. The third book in his “Good Wind Western Series” has been written and is currently being edited for publishing. This third book has a working title of “Where Cold the Waters Run”.
The first of Phil’s three children’s books entitled “Scooter, the Cow Dog” was published in 2016 to critical acclaim. Set in South Central Texas it was illustrated by talented Western Artist Michael Melson. Phil’s second children’s book entitled, “Mud Between My Toes” is set in Oklahoma and explores rural life in a simpler time. It was illustrated by talented artists Robert Brooks and Cindy Smith. His most recent children’s book, entitled “Bandit, the Cow Dog” is receiving critical acclaim and excellent reviews including a 2021 Spur Finalist Award for Best Storyteller/Illustrated Children’s Book from the Western Writers of America. “Bandit the Cow Dog” has also received a 2021 Will Rogers Gold Medallion Award in the Western Fiction – Young Readers/Illustrated category.
In the summer of 2021, his short story “Bend the Blades of Grass” and his poem “Age Too Quickly Comes” appeared in the publication Saddlebag Dispatches.
Phil’s most recent endeavor was his contribution to the anthology of Western mystery short stories/novellas entitled Perilous Frontier. This new book was released in November 2021. He joined with talented, award-winning authors John D. Nesbitt, Larry D. Sweazy and Jim Jones in writing a story for the book. Phil’s story entitled “Cold the Bitter Heart” received a 2022 Will Rogers Silver Medallion in the Western Fiction – Short Story category.
Phil is staying busy by also working on two new children’s books entitled “The Story” and “Tommy the Tugboat Turtle”. Both are currently being illustrated. He’s also working on a book of short stories, along with a book of inspirational poetry, and an exciting new novel entitled, “The Laramie Letter”.
Phil was featured in the May 2023 issue of True West magazine in the column “What History Has Taught Me”.
Phil, whose grandfather Oscar Mills grew up in Montana and rode at times with the famous Western artist Charles M. Russell, is also an avid fan of professional rodeo and in 2016 attended the Chad Nicholson Rodeo Announcer Seminar in Fort Worth, Texas. Then he spent the summer of 2016 and the early spring of 2017 announcing rodeos in Bandera, Texas, “Cowboy Capital of the World”, along with barrel racing events in Georgia and Alabama.
Phil is a long time member of the Western Writers of America (WWA), and served as the group’s President for a short time. He also holds memberships in the Oregon-California Trails Association (OCTA), Women Writing the West (WWW), the Montana Historical Society and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). Phil is also a lifetime member of the Custer Battlefield Historical and Museum Association (CBHMA). His experience includes being a small town newspaper editor, farm magazine editor, and work with two major advertising/public relations agencies. Phil has traveled to many parts of the world, but keeps coming back to write about the American West.
Today, Phil Mills, Jr. is married and together they have four children and seven grandchildren. Phil and his wife, Sonja, live west of Fort Worth, Texas. You can also find him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.