Why? His respect for people, history, and locale.
Louis L’amour was born in North Dakota in 1908. His father was a respected Veterinarian to a sparsely populated farm community. Then came a banking collapse and the family traveled south so that the father and sons could find work as ranchers, cattle skinners, lumber mill workers, and miners.
At 12, Louis told his father he was bored with school and he wanted to set out on his own. His father gave him his blessing.
The following years made Louis L’amour into a great writer. He traveled as a migrant farm worker, boxed professionally, sailed the seas as a merchant seaman. He visited all of the western states and most of the pacific coast of Asia.
His constant companions were his books. Books were scarce so Louis treasured them. He often road a box car from job to job, reading a book by candle or moon light. His fellow travelers passed books around and for entertainment discussed them.
Louis listened to the stories of the old. He learned of forgotten people and lonely gods and an ocean that covered up most of the south western desert. (This story was passed down in Native American tradition. If you knew where to look there were relics of shipwrecks). He talked to people who personally knew Butch Cassidy and Billy the Kid and Geronimo.
His stories are rich with people and history. He walked the trails he wrote about. He believed that the best way to understand history was through the historical novel.
He revered books. Their smell, their touch. To him they were magic.
My favorites of his are, The Walking Drum, The Lonely Gods, and his autobiography. All of them are magic.