My 29th Black Horse Western is published today and is now available from all good libraries.
I had a lot of fun writing this one. I had always intended to write a sequel to Calloway’s Crossing, which was published in 2006. I’d enjoyed writing Trip Kincaid’s slightly outlandish adventure and I thought the character had more mileage in him, but I couldn’t come up with any ideas about what he might do next.
Eventually, as an absolute last resort, the thought came that if I had no idea what Trip did after Calloway’s Crossing, perhaps a quest to find out what Trip did next could be the plot for another Trip adventure. So I turned to Oliver Kincaid, Trip’s brother, and set him the task of finding out what happened to Trip, and in the end he got an answer.
I really like it when I start off with absolutely no idea what I’m going to write, and yet a story develops during the writing process. The title came early on, the actual legend followed shortly afterwards, and the rest of the novel progressed as an attempt to find out the truth behind the legend. I had no idea what that truth was, and so the only way to find out was to keep writing and trust that by the final chapter an answer would come. Pleasingly, as it turned out, the characters worked it out at the same time as I did by following the clues that were in the story, even though I hadn’t realized they were clues when I wrote them.
The other thing I liked about writing this story was the character of Oliver Kincaid. I like my main characters to be closer to ordinary rather than natural heroes, and Oliver is one of my least heroic heroes. He’s a short, fat, balding bartender, who has never picked up a gun in his life and is scared of his own shadow. Having such a character come up against deadly gunslingers in his quest for the truth made the story an interesting challenge.
Anyhow, the book is now out there.
Trip Kincaid had always been fascinated by the legend of the dead men's gold: it was said that the last member of the Helliton gang had cursed the stash, claiming that if he couldn't have it, nobody would.
So, with the gold still unclaimed, and the bones of a hundred men scattered around it, Trip Kincaid's disappearance is cause for alarm. His brother, Oliver, is desperate to find him and it seems the box canyon, where the Helliton gang once holed up, is the best place to start looking. But Oliver must enter the devilish outlaw stronghold and uncover for himself the truth behind the legend. Will he succeed or die in the process?