Meet the Outlaws

We're a bunch of Texas journalists, writers, and creatives who have gone from crazy and wild to Xanax and mild. We've toiled in broadcasting, written for some major newspapers and magazines, and a couple of us have published a book or three. You'll still find our bylines here and there, and maybe catch one of us doing some commentary on a cable news show, but we're all ready to enjoy this whole self-publishing thing.

You might run across a personal Substack or Patreon presence for one or two of us, but we thought it might provide a more interesting experience for an audience to get a newsletter from several writers all at once. It's a real "value-add" as the kids in the C-Suite like to say. It's a BOGO deal, except that you Buy One, you'll Get Many. (BOGM?)

Become a member! Every week, you will receive a newsletter from the Outlaws. Each emailed newsletter will feature selected articles, posts, and ramblings. In addition, we will keep you updated on what our writers are up to, some of the stuff that they're reading, tips on food and travel, recommendations for music and entertainment. Our free membership tier may contain some abridged material. Our paid tiers present all of our content in full.

We intend to start an Outlaws podcast. The podcast may feature several of us interviewing a noteworthy guest. Other episodes may be one-on-one discussions with politicos, celebrities, community leaders, and just interesting Texans. A couple of our Outlaws have been asked to do readings of some of their long-form work - feature stories, essays, and excerpts from books they've written (or are in progress.)

By the way, you can view much of our content on our website. Feel free to share it with your friends, either directly or via social media.

Here's the current outlaw lineup:

Deece Eckstein

Deece Eckstein (his rapper buddies refer to him as "DeeceX")  has over 30 years of responsible experience in the Texas legislative and advocacy arenas. He is the retired Intergovernmental Relations Officer for Travis County, Texas, where he created the office and coordinated legislative policy development and advocacy for the Commissioners Court.

He is also the founder of the Johnson Creek Consultancy, an independent political and public affairs consulting firm based in Austin, Texas. In thirty years as a Capitol insider, he’s worked with groups as diverse as the Industrial Areas Foundation, the American Insurance Association, and People for the American Way. In that time, he also amassed a distinguished record as a policy guru and public servant, including six years as the chief of staff to state Senator Rodney Ellis and three years as a senior advisor to Governor Ann Richards, who also appointed him to the State Board of Insurance.

Roger Gray

Roger has toiled at the journalism trade since 1970 and his first radio news job at KTRH.

Over those woefully misspent years, he has worked in radio, TV and written for several magazines. He was twice elected President of the Texas Automobile Writers Association, and was elected to the Texas Radio Hall of Fame.

That and a buck still won't buy you coffee at Starbucks.

He covered the first Persian Gulf War, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the reunification of Germany, Oslo Accords in Israel and peace talks in Ireland. He interviewed writers, actors, politicians and every President from Ford to George W, and none of them remember him.

All in all, it's a typical journey in the reporting racket, and now we are engaged in a great crusade...no, wait. That was Ike on D-Day.
Now, he is part of the Texas Outlaw Writers, and if this doesn't pan out, the outlaw part will still work as he will indeed resort to robbing banks.

Myra Jolivet

Myra Jolivet is a storyteller.

She is a communications consultant and murder mystery writer who has been a guest contributor on crime reality shows for the REELZ and TV One networks. Myra now consults governments, technology companies, and non-profit organizations as the owner of CenterFour Consulting, Inc. ­

Myra is a former anchor/reporter at KHOU in Houston, and TV and radio stations in Louisiana, California, and Black Entertainment Television, (BET) in Washington, DC. At KHOU, she was one of the first reporters on the scene of the Space Shuttle Challenger tragedy, filing local and national reports. Myra was terrified when Mayor Kathy Whitmire inducted her into her administration but soon learned how to represent Whitmire in government and on the campaign trail. Myra also led media relations for the campaign of Mayor Bill White and in the first campaign of the Honorable Sheila Jackson Lee. She worked in corporate communications and for PR firms while in Houston. Myra is a San Francisco Bay Area native who returned to California after a long, long Texas visit. She was Chief Marketing Officer for the American Red Cross of LA. And named among the 100 Most Influential Women in Silicon Valley. Myra has judged the regional Emmy Awards and the Golden Mike Awards of Los Angeles.

Myra also writes a series of murder mysteries inspired by the bizarre combination of her Berkeley, California childhood and her Louisiana Creole roots. She was a kid with an imaginary friend. That says it all.

John Nova Lomax

John Nova Lomax has been an oyster shucker in Tennessee, a landscape gardener and British Telecom mail clerk in Lancashire, and a field hand on a kibbutz in the Arava section of the Negev in Israel. He is also the author of Houston's Best Dive Bars: Drinking and Diving in the Bayou City, a guidebook to Houston dive bars, and co-author of Murder & Mayhem in Houston: Historic Bayou City Crime, a compilation of notorious Houston crimes.

Lomax has been a full-time journalist in the Bayou City since 2001. He spent eleven years at the Houston Press as a music editor and staff writer and is proudest of helping discover Hayes Carll, rediscover Lil’ Joe Washington, and winning an ASCAP Deems Taylor Award in 2008. With future Marfa city councilman and justice of the peace David Beebe, Lomax walked a total of more than 200 miles of Houston streets on about a dozen different trips, writing about the adventures as part of the “Sole of Houston” blog series. After leaving the music beat, Lomax covered crime, courts and culture for the Press. His work has also appeared in Spin, the New York Times, the Village Voice, and LA Weekly. He was a senior editor with Texas Monthly and now is a writer at large for Texas Highways.

James Moore

James C. Moore is a writer and motorcyclist and is never sure which is the most important. He is the author of seven books, one a New York Times bestseller, and holds an Emmy from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He is a frequent op-ed writer for CNN and was a special contributor and political analyst for MSNBC. His documentary work has premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and has also been awarded the gold medal at the Houston Film Festival. During his years as a TV news correspondent, Moore was frequently named “Best Reporter in Texas” by the AP, UPI, the Houston Press Club, and the Texas Headliners Foundation. His written political and media analyses have appeared in major publications around the globe.

On a motorcycle, he may be less accomplished, but he keeps trying. He’s been riding since his teens and his first big trip was to hit all of the Lower 48 on a 1968 Honda 450 before he was 21. He celebrated his 60th birthday by spending a month riding a BMW GSA across Australia and sleeping beneath the stars every night. Never saw the inside of a hotel. He has also ridden in most of Canada and has several U.S. coast-to-coast trips under his belt. Moore is also an amateur historian and still rides, researches, and writes about topics of interest; especially regarding history and the American West. He is currently at work on a new non-fiction narrative book entitled, “When Horses Could Fly: A Memoir of the American Dream.”

GUEST OUTLAWS:

Michael V

Michael V was a government major at UT Austin and promptly used that knowledge to go into a career in stand-up comedy, acting, pool hustling and script writing. Still searching for something that would pay even less, Mike later founded an improv troupe and a politically correct country & western band. Though he has recently authored several lightly-read books, the biggest achievement of Mike's life to date was co-hosting an afternoon drive radio show with Roger Gray.

Bill Jeffreys

Bill Jeffreys is a veteran of radio, TV and print journalism who has now completed 16 years as a high school teacher. Guess the subject. His career includes nearly 14 years as City Hall reporter at KHOU-TV in Houston and two First Place awards from the Press Club of Houston for Magazine Feature Writing.

His work has appeared in Texas Lawyer, Inside Houston magazine, the Houston Chronicle and elsewhere. Jeffreys edited a 1998 voter guide for the Chronicle. He spends many happy hours at a Houston pub, where he plays nationally transmitted Buzztime trivia under the handle “News.”

M. Yvonne Taylor

Queer Black feminist writer, mother, and critical org scholar living in and leading from the spaces in between. UT Higher Ed PhD candidate; Equity Within LLC CEO, army brat Texan from Louisiana.

Larry Weidman

Larry Weidman is a retired local and network TV newsman.  He’s lived and worked in Germany, Italy and Israel, in addition to many, many decades in Texas.  His great-great-great grandfather arrived at the San Jacinto Battlefield the day after the battle.

Rob D'Amico

Rob hangs out in the ghost town of Shafter, TX, near an old abandoned silver mine somewhere in the desert between Marfa and Mexico. (He takes this Texas Outlaw stuff seriously!) A journalist that loves long-form investigative work, Rob wanted to find a place where he could publish some shorter pieces, and we are glad to have him. Several of us knew him through his podcast, "Witnessed: Borderlands." The series was released in the summer of 2021. It's "the tall-but-true tale of a charismatic outlaw, an iconic small-town sheriff, and the record-setting drug bust that ensnared them both. Set in the rugged Texas borderlands, Rob transports listeners back to U.S. side of the border for the opening salvo of the War on Drugs … where so much dirty money was swirling across the Rio Grande that even the most incorruptible citizens would be tempted. In the tradition of films like No Country for Old Men and Charles Portis novels, Witnessed: Borderlands mashes up the shockingly real and the deeply surreal, chronicling not just the events of a crime, but digging deep into the mystery and aura of one of America’s most myth-soaked regions."
After working on "... Borderlands" for months, he's fallen in love with that West Texas region that several of us love so much. Check out his podcast, and his pieces here on Texas Outlaw Writers.