Book: Lincoln County Crucible (Valediction For Revenge) by Roland Cheekcategories: Book, Billy the Kid, Mescalero Apaches, John Chism, Pat Garret, Cowboys, Gun Fighters, Territorial Governor, Violence, Action Adventure, Honor, Redemption, Historical Western Fiction
Roland Cheekabout this book: Great fiction doesn't merely parallel past events but meshes with them so inseparably that readers must pinch themselves as reminders that characters used weren't always real. Or were they? Solid historical novels weave real figures from the past into scenes, adding authenticity and style to the page. There's only one way authenticity can be consistently created and that is through meticulous research and recording. It also helps, when writing about the West, to be cut from the same fabric__one that, in my case, allowed me to roam wild and free for upwards on 35,000 horseback miles throughout the Rocky Mountain West.
The truth is, I've "been there and done that" when I write about the West that was__and still is--in the kinds of places I call home. Maybe my heroes are not the giants created by others, but they're authentic. They rise to occasions not necessarily because they're smarter or braver, but because there's no one else to do it. They're not stronger or more fleet of foot or maybe not as fast on the draw as the gunslinger on the next bookshelf. But when push comes to shove, my books are peopled by folks you can trust to do--if not the right thing--the thing they think they'd ought to do at that time and in that place. If the thing they must do means facing up to a kill-crazed gun-slick, or outsmarting a mob, or falling in love, or trying over and over again to ride the meanest bronc in the corral, or even dying with grace and verve ... well, they do it.
To be perfectly honest, my characters and the places they inhabit and the things they accomplish aren't my creations at all. Sue, I've placed them in the story and they do things I tell them to do. But Somebody Upstairs that's bigger and better actually created Western people, Western times, and Western action.
I'm just proud to be their stenographer.
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