Monday, November 26, 2012

Sheriff Satterlee from Bloody Trail

Welcome back to Nighthawk Talks and the second in a series of four interviews with residents of the town of Wolf Creek, who can be found in the pages of Bloody Trail by Ford Fargo. Ford Fargo, by the way, is not one author but many. Today's guest is the creation of James Reasoner.

Sheriff Satterlee leads the posse after the gang of outlaws that raids Wolf Creek and kills several of the citizens. It's a desperate chase, as the posse needs to catch up to the desperadoes before they reach the border and cross over into Indian Territory, where Satterlee will no longer have any legal jurisdiction.

That's me. Sheriff George Washington Satterlee, keeping the peace in Taylor County. Not sure I've ever seen such strange contraptions in all my life, but if this isn't a trap of some sort, I'll talk to you for a spell. Just don't try anything funny.

How long have you lived in Wolf Creek?
Been living here in Wolf Creek for a few years. It's just me, no wife, no kids, and I don't think deputies count as family. I've spent a lot of my life roaming around and used to think I'd never really settle down, but if a man's going to, Wolf Creek is as good a place as any, I suppose. Better than some. It's got your usual mix of decent folks and no-accounts.

Really? Do tell...

I'm the sheriff, not the town gossip.

Okay. How yourself? What did you do during the war? 

I managed to stay out of the Late Unpleasantness, thank you most to death. I suppose if I'd had to pick a side, I probably would have fought for the Union because I used to scout for the U.S. Army. Not much of a reason, I know, but you see, I've always tended to steer clear of other people's troubles. Or at least I did until I became sheriff. Now taking care of other folks' troubles is sort of my job. But I sort of drifted into keeping the peace and never expected to be doing it. Turns out I'm not bad at it, either.

I can certainly understand not wanting to get caught up in a civil war, but what about the issue of slavery?

Well, I never did hold with the idea of folks owning other folks. Of course, I reckon there were other ways to deal with the problem without slaughtering thousands of good men on both sides. But then, the politicians don't ask me for my opinion, do they? If they did, I might give 'em an earful.

I think there were more than a few people who thought the same way, including the politicians. Not all choices you make are one's you like.

Chasing down those outlaws forced me to make some decisions I didn't want to make. When a fella has to make a stand, has to choose between one trail and another, sometimes it can come back to haunt him. I hope that's not the way it'll be here, but you never know.

Thank you Sheriff Satterlee. I look forward to reading more about you in Wolf Creek Book 1: Bloody Trail, written by the authors collectively known as Ford Fargo, published by Western Fictioneers.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Dr Logan Munro from Bloody Trail

Welcome to Nighthawk Talks, I'm Nighthawk - named for my habits not my species. For the next four weeks we're welcoming a few residents of the town of Wolf Creek, who can be found in the pages of Bloody Trail by Ford Fargo. Ford Fargo, by the way, is not one author but many. Today's guest is the creation of Clay More

Dr Logan Munro is a Scottish doctor who has seen action in The Crimean War, The Indian Mutiny and The American Civil War. Welcome doctor. I wanted to interview you first since you probably know the townspeople best.

If you want to know about somebody’s health or their past medical history, I’m the one to talk to - but don’t expect an answer!

You can't give us a few hints?

I am a medical man first and foremost and anything a patient tells me is utterly confidential. This town is full of men and women who have their own little tragedies, peccadilloes and secrets that they don’t want anyone to know about. There may have been a past operation, an old bullet wound that they don’t want anyone to know about ...

(Wry laugh)... or maybe something much worse - but I can’t allow myself to breach a professional confidence.

You take your medical oath very seriously.

I live by the Hippocratic Oath in my dealings with patients and I believe that the good folk of Wolf Creek respect that. They trust me as a physician and surgeon. I like to think that folks generally know me as a man of my word.

Maybe you can tell us a bit about yourself instead.

I came here after the War and have seen the town grow. As a doctor I probably get to know more about folk than most. That is to say, as much as they want to tell me. But I get to see where they live, how they live and, since I deal with people from cradle to grave, I often get to see how they die.

Do you have family in Wolf Creek?

(Sigh) I was truly hoping that I would one day. I was married to the sweetest lady, but I lost her to malaria when I was out in India.

(Wry laugh) We lived through the Indian Mutiny, but I couldn’t save her from that cursed illness. That was why I came to America, to start life afresh.

Do you think you'll ever return to Scotland?

No. I have put down roots in Wolf Creek. I like the people – a lot of them, at any rate – and I have shared in their joys and their sorrows. I have traveled the world and doubt if I will ever go back to Scotland. I expect that I will die here one day.

You fought in the Civil War...

I served as a surgeon with the Union. The whole idea of slavery is abhorrent to me. When I lived in India, just before the Mutiny began, I saw the horror of the Caste system. Through no fault of their own there were people who were considered ‘untouchable.’ They were often treated like animals. I hated that. Then when I came to America I found that there was an even worse system. I reckoned it was worth offering my meager surgical skills to the side that was fighting against that inhumanity.    

When you were treating the wounded during the War, did you ever feel like putting someone out of their misery?

You mean, did I ever wish that I could help them pass away? No, I took an oath, which means that I will do my utmost to keep someone as comfortable as I can, especially when they are close to death.

I may not be the most religious of men, but I still have an unshakeable faith in the Lord. It may sound crazy that although we were surrounded by death and destruction, by brutality and armies intent upon annihilating each other, yet in the bubble that is the relationship between a doctor and his patient, I believe that only God may take a life.

That being said, I've heard that you can wield a gun as deftly as you can a scalpel.


We'll let people judge for themselves by reading Wolf Creek Book 1: Bloody Trail, written by the authors collectively known as Ford Fargo, published by Western Fictioneers.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Brianna from Tender Touch

 Imagine faking your own death to escape an abusive husband. Now imagine doing this in the late nineteenth century when women had few rights and options outside of marriage. 

Brianna Wight faked her own death. Then, in St. Louis, she hired a wilderness guide, Columbus Nigh, to take her to Independence, Missouri. There she hoped to join her sister and her family on a wagon train to Oregon. On arriving in Independence, they learn that Brianna’s sister died of cholera and her brother-in-law had taken the children back east. Unable to return to her own home, Brianna convinced Columbus to pose as her brother so that the wagon master will allow her to travel with the wagon train. Meanwhile, her husband discovered her deception and was on her trail.

Welcome to Nighthawk Talks, Brianna. I know this must be very strange for you.

Thank you for inviting me. You're positive my husband won't find out about this, I hope?

In this time and place, your husband is long gone. Nothing you say here will get back to him. 

Your story begins with running away from your husband. Can you tell us about him?
Barret Wight is a good looking man and wealthy, but a miserable childhood turned him into a bit of a bully, I'm afraid. He's also unfaithful. He thinks I don't know, but he has a mistress in town he keeps in a house he bought her.

It's good of you to see that his abuse stemmed from his own past. Many women in your place would be too angry. 

It was a mistake to marry him. I was lonely. With my parents gone and my sister married, I felt this was my last chance for happiness. I was wrong. Still, if I had not made that mistake, I would not have met Columbus Nigh.

What was your first reaction to Columbus?

Fear. Our first meeting was a rather unfortunate one. He was brawling with another man and I was knocked down in the melee.

Traveling with a wagon train is very challenging. What was the hardest part of the journey for you?

I fear that I did miss my lovely clothes, and my elegant home, but compared to freedom, such objects count for nothing, do they? The most difficult part of the journey was making new friends, like Lilith Beaudoin, such a sweet lady, and then having to watch her die a horrible death from cholera. Losing my beloved cat Shakespeare was an extremely unhappy event as well. He was all I had, you see. I had left everything else I owned behind when I ran away from Barret and joined the wagon train.

You were very intrepid. Was it all trial and tribulation? 

I loved the journey itself, the challenges and finding out I was stronger than I'd realized. The wide open spaces of the prairies make me feel so free. But finding Col was the most wonderful part of the trip, of course. I never want to live without him again.

Unfortunately, spousal abuse is still with us, though wagon trains are not. What is your advice to women in a situation like yours?

Take courage and realize you don't have to stay and endure such treatment, that you are stronger than you think and can survive without such a man.

Thank you Brianna.  To learn more of Brianna's story, read Tender Touch, by Charlene Radon, published by Tirgearr Publishing. 

Photos and cover art used with permission of author.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Fred from Under a Texas Star

Breaking from Nighthawk Talk policy for once, we've invited author Alison Bruce in with her character Fred.

So, Alison, what made you put a proper English butler in an old west setting?

A: When other teenage girls were dreaming of a rich, famous and handsome husband, I dreamed of having my own butler. I wrote a story about him once. He would bring me tea and toast in the morning, make sure my clothes were clean and pressed, oversee the house and grounds keeping staff, be quietly in love with me, willing to stand up to me, and loyal to the death.

Movies like My Man Godfrey - and an intense dislike of house work - inspired my creation of the perfect butler/valet/lover. He was further influenced by a myriad of characters from Batman’s Alfred to Wooster’s Jeeves with a touch of Yoda for good measure.

One of the reasons we invited you is because only you know Fred's full name.

A: Do you mind, Fred?

F: (Sniff)

A: Although only known as Fred in Under A Texas Star, his full name is George Fredericks. As you might notice, if you're a student of royal history, he looks a bit like Prince Albert Victor - one of the Saxe-Cobourg princes.

F: (Cough.)

Any comment, Mr Fredericks?

F: I prefer Fred. Mister Fred if you insist. George Fredericks in dead, a fitting punishment for his crime.

Which is?

F: None of your business sir.

Miss Bruce?

A: I think I've said enough. After all, I have to keep working with Fred. I'd rather we got along.

To find out more about Fred, but not much more, we'll have to read Under A Texas Star published by Imajin Books.

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