Donald Willerton

Pen Name:



Coming-of-age, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Romance, Suspense, Thriller, Adult, Middle Grade, New Adult



Author of fourteen books, Don Willerton sets most of his novels against the mountains, rivers, and canyons of the American West. Raised in the Panhandle of Texas, he picnicked where Kit Carson led his troops to the first battle of Adobe Walls in 1864, hunted arrowheads along the Canadian River, walked in swales made by pioneer wagons more than a hundred and fifty years ago, and adventured in the canyons of the Palo Duro. He remains fascinated with the history of the Southwest and the people who made it.

After a science degree in Texas, graduate work in Wyoming, and another degree in New Mexico, Willerton established his home in Los Alamos, working as a physicist, computer programmer, manager, and information security leader for Los Alamos National Laboratory. Along the way, he built a house, restored cars, backpacked in the mountains, rafted rivers, and helped raise three sons.

Writing since the 1990s, he has produced ten books of the Mogi Franklin Mystery Series, which combines Southwest landscapes, history, and lore to create mysteries involving a middle-grade sleuth and his older sister; a supernatural suspense novel centered around an abandoned house that has a personality; a thriller combining the two problems of homelessness and ocean pollution; and a WWII novel of a young man’s war experiences set against the breakdown of his family life, based on the war itinerary of his father.

Published in July, 2023, his latest novel is a New Adult Historical fiction Western Romance, Death in the Tallgrass: A Young Man’s Journey Through The Western Frontier.

He now focuses on his children and grandchildren while continuing to use his imagination to write novels that challenge, entertain, and enlighten.


Title: Death in the Tallgrass
Published: 2023
Genre: Historical Fiction Western

Death in the Tallgrass follows a young man in 1904 as he searches for his mother’s brother, kidnapped by Comanche warriors thirty-four years before. Crossing the rugged plains of Texas, Harry Bonner is confronted by land, people, and cultures that challenge his upbringing as a privileged child of a wealthy family. He battles Comanche magic, puzzles his way through dreams of his uncle fighting against his enemies, and suffers the brutality of men terrorizing the Texas countryside, all while being consumed by a new-found love in the unlikeliest of people.

When he loses that love, Harry explodes with violence and rage, betraying the personal and professional values he has always respected. He is left emotionally adrift on the prairie when he is called to experience the last episode of his uncle’s life.

Available for Sale


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