Strong Convictions hero, Emmett Strong, shot and killed his beautiful young wife. It was an accident, to be sure. But that fact won’t bring her back. Now he’s reticent to draw his Colt from its holster—a condition he’ll have to overcome one way or another if he’s to apprehend the rowdy who’s to blame. And that’s just the beginning.
Strong Convictions: An Emmett Strong Western is now in the capable hands of the professional editors. After drafting the complete manuscript, I put the novel through two rounds of rigorous self-editing and decided it’s time for another pair of eyes to give it a once-over.
A Basic Premise
Reading is only one of many options people have for relaxation and restoration. We tend to live life at breakneck speed. Our recreation time is precious to us.
When I set out to write a story, I try to dream up a tale that will provide a refreshing break from the relentless demands of the complicated world we live in. I like to offer the reader a fun and entertaining story. An easy-to-read, fast-paced book that keeps on moving and carries the reader along.
That doesn’t mean Strong Convictions is shallow. Themes of ethnic tension and subverted justice run throughout the book. Key characters’ moral values are sorely tested. It’s a thought-provoking story.
An Odd Quartet
The ethnic mix of the four main characters of Strong Convictions—Anglo-American, Tejano, British, and Chinese—gives a unique dynamic to the story. It generates both humor and tension. It’s part of the fun. Plus, it offers a little historical perspective on similar cultural conflicts in America today.
A Colorful Setting
Though the story begins in the Texas hill country, the majority of the book takes place in the silver-rich Comstock region of Nevada—a fascinating backdrop of mining towns that draw all manner of characters seeking to make a better life for themselves. Some by honest hard work. Others by devious, even cruel means.
A Likeable Good Guy
Emmett Strong is a good “good guy.” Not flawless. He’s a decent guy who needs to overcome both a painful wound from the past and a substantial quandary in the present. And during the course of the story, he learns that the future he’s contemplating—while full of promise—would most definitely bring along with it a host of unavoidable difficulties.
A Blend of Authenticity and Fantasy
Those who love the wonderful Western art of Frederic Remington understand that his work represents a colorized, larger-than-life version of the true Old West. He himself knew that. Mainstream novels and short stories of the Western literary genre have typically taken the same liberties. For a number of years, I taught US History, including Advanced Placement US History, so I realize that Strong Convictions represents a tall tale founded on real conditions present in the American West of the 1880s. But the added color and scale are part of what make the story so entertaining.
Look for more updates on Strong Convictions: An Emmett Strong Western in the weeks to come. And look for the novel, both in paperback and for Kindle, on Amazon.com around Christmas 2014.