23 Squared to host Cheyenne author for book-signing Friday in Lander; gift shop features 70-plus Wyoming artists

Cheyenne author Dean Petersen will sign copies of his two Wyoming-based novels during a Lander First Fridays event 5-8 p.m. Friday at 23 Squared, 305 Main Street in Lander.

Petersen’s latest thriller is “Black Cloaks in the Basement of the Welterscheid Place,” which features a scene in the Wyoming Frontier Prison in Rawlins – a facility Petersen called “one of the scariest prisons or places in general I’ve ever been to.”

The novel follows an Iraq War veteran who discovers a photo of his sister, bound and gagged, amid the effects of an elderly resident of a nursing home in a small Wyoming town, according to a press release.


Petersen’s previous work, “The Burqa Cave,” is about an English teacher at a small Wyoming high school hoping to manage his post-traumatic stress disorder.

“Still haunted by Iraq, Tim Ross finds solace teaching high school in Wyoming,” the press release states. “His quiet is shattered by a freshman who reveals a macabre initiation held at the gun range by the football team.

“When Tim asks about the strange ritual involving an old crime and phantom sightings of a murdered girl, the frightened teen’s only response is, ‘Do you believe in ghosts?’”

“I love how interconnected people in Wyoming are, and lots of my work deals with that, as well as the quality of life and common experiences we have here,” Petersen said. “The isolation and open spaces we have here also help a lot too.”


23 Squared

All of the 70-plus Wyoming-based authors and artists whose products are sold at 23 Squared are welcome to host “meet-and-greet” events there “any time,” store owner Tammy Bradshaw said.

She and her business partner Jacquie Oliver opened the gift shop last year after the closure of Red White Buffalo – a similar store that Bradshaw had managed for an out-of-town owner at the same location.

When the out-of-town owner decided to close, Bradshaw said her response was, “No – we have to have this for the artists in Lander.”


So, she teamed up with business partner Oliver to purchase the 23 Squared apparel line and keep the Lander storefront open under a different name and new ownership.

“It was a very quiet turnover,” Bradshaw said. “(But) it’s been kind of just crazy busy ever since then. … Now we’re starting to get out there and let everybody know that we’re here.”

The shop offers everything from chap stick and mugs to metalwork, clothing, knives and paintings – all made by the Wyoming-based artists who are Bradshaw’s “passion.”


“There are so many talented people (who are) struggling,” she explained. “They love what they do, (but) they don’t have the time or the know-how sometimes to promote their stuff and get sales.”

The store offers to help those artists, working behind the scenes to give them advice on their online presence, for example, or telling them how they can share information about their work more widely.

“I just love doing it,” Bradshaw said, describing the “happy dance” the artists do whenever they sell a piece. “That’s what makes it so great to me. … Seeing things that go out the door is amazing.”

For more information about 23 Squared call 330-3101.


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