Louis Kraft became interested in the West in the 1970s; in particular he became interested in people who didn’t speak the same language but who were able to work out their differences without killing each other. To understand these people and the land they inhabited, he immersed himself in their struggle for survival. In the mid-1980s he began writing and lecturing about them. THE FINAL SHOWDOWN (Walker and Company, 1992) explores racial relations in 1867 Kansas; CUSTER AND THE CHEYENNE: GEORGE ARMSTRONG CUSTER’S WINTER CAMPAIGN ON THE SOUTHERN PLAINS (Upton and Sons, 1995) follows Custer’s 1868–1869 winter campaign on the Southern Plains; and GATEWOOD & GERONIMO (University of New Mexico Press, 2000) examines the relationship between the two pre-eminent warriors of the last Apache war. Not finished with Gatewood, Kraft pieced together and edited the lieutenant’s aborted attempt to write about his years walking among the Apaches--LT. CHARLES GATEWOOD & HIS APACHE WARS MEMOIR
of Nebraska Press
, 2005). Look for the publication of his next book, NED WYNKOOP: WALKING BETWEEN THE RACES (University of Oklahoma Press) in Fall 2010 or Spring 2011.
Although Kraft had written plays earlier in his career, he had shied away from the format until 2002 when his one-man historical drama on Cheyenne Indian agent Edward Wynkoop premiered in Kansas. It has since played in California,
Colorado, and Oklahoma
(AN EVENING WITH NED WYNKOOP has evolved into NED WYNKOOP: A MATTER OF CONSCIENCE and NED WYNKOOP: LONG ROAD TO WASHITA). Kraft's full-length play CHEYENNE BLOOD played for five weeks in Oxnard, California, in April and May 2009.
Kraft continues to research, write, and lecture about Custer, Gatewood, and Wynkoop, as well swashbuckling actor Errol Flynn. He is currently fine-tuning the Wynkoop manuscript for the University of Oklahoma Press. Other projects include Flynn and his working relationship with actress Olivia de Havilland (ERROL & OLIVIA), a story that Kraft guarantees will be different, as well as an in-depth manuscript that deals with the people and events of the 1864 war with Cheyennes and Arapahos (SAND CREEK: A CLASH OF CULTURES).
Kraft lives in North Hollywood, California, and spends all his free time with the ladies in his life: sweetheart and best friend Diane Moon and daughter Marissa Kraft.
To keep up to date with Kraft, the status on his projects, and upcoming events, link up with him on Facebook.