About the book (provided by IRead Book Tours)
The Indian Queen would risk torture and worse to keep her secrets from these barbarians in suits of metal and their search for cities of gold. They never found the gold. Empires rose; empires fell, the centuries passed. Legend became fireside myths, but no treasure was ever found. Yet, among the grey-green drapes of wisteria and wild jasmine along the misty shrouded lowlands of bayous and marshes of the Westo River, the folktales persist.
In the lazed creep of a near-tropical dawn lit the pungent Turkish coffee permeates Moccasin Hollow. Beyond the kitchen door Lucky, Craige Ingram’s German shepherd gnaws a favorite bone. Looted burial mounds seem a world away until plundered mounds on Moccasin Hollow land brings amateur archaeologist PI Craige Ingram into the cross-hairs of kidnapping. Stealthy hideaways are concealed in old colonial brick-lined river grottoes beneath the big house of Ardochy plantation. Sex-tape underage blackmail and thrill killings on federal land spur a medical examiner’s preliminary postmortem to more than a hired cleaner’s quickie cover-up passed off as drug deals gone sour. Greed tangles a witch’s pigswill of illicit affairs and murder-to-hide-murder. Shady investigators and shadier politics stir an unexpected concoction that threatens the lives of those at Moccasin Hollow in a spiteful plot against ex-SEAL Craige Ingram and the woman he loves.
Thanks so much Hawk for taking the time and allowing me a few minutes to chat
about Westobou Gold and a little about your writing style
I haven’t had the pleasure of reading any of your work before so let’s start at the beginning.
Can you tell us what kind of story Westobou Gold is about and what Genre?
Westobou Gold is the second title in The Moccasin Hollow Mystery Series. This second book is a tale of greed complicated by out-of-control compulsions that become paranoia. My favorite characters in the series are the women with the swirl and dash they add to the historical backstory of the romance genre and the contemporary chase of mystery…the same covert intrigue that the serial character Craige Ingram brings from Book 1, Hidden Chamber of Death.
Did the character of Craige Ingram come before the Moccasin Hollow Series?
Yes…the distinct backgrounds of an unnamed figure of Welsh, French, and Scottish kith-and-kin laid out a wealth of character/personality traits long before placing the figure into outlines, themes, settings, plot, etc. to become The Moccasin Hollow Series. The serial aspect of the protagonist-character theme, the Ingramme/Ingram name went through several changes and backgrounds to become an uncompromising principled Southron with the will from his forefathers—and Grannie—to survive. Craige Howelle Graeme Roynane Ingram...with questionable branches of twined family trees and heraldic honors with Coats of Arms—I researched hundreds of single-spaced pages, ancient genealogy bloodlines…stirred and mixed the character that eventually would become Craige Ingram. Much of the shaping of the protagonist was nonfiction woven into deniable fiction…like most of our immigrant European, Welsh, Irish, Scottish ancestors.
Did you develop the series to give Craige something to do?
With such hot-blooded powerful ancestors, land barons and their industrial legitimate and illegitimate prodigy, PI Craige Ingram needs no prodding. He doesn’t lack for places to be, things to do, or people who need help and know he can be trusted. He picks his cases, and lucrative investments have given him the opportunity to be lazy when he wants to retreat/recharge at his ancestral home, Moccasin Hollow. As a SEAL, Ingram was tasked as the Commanding Officer to select the men to outfit an antiterrorist covert unit. He stays close to his serial-characters SEAL buddies across several states…lawyer, forensic doctor, sheriff, and police lieutenant. SEAL to the core, unit members retain their code of ethics in their civilian pursuits—considerate of others and of the consequences of their decisions. They can be animal-intense when the situation demands it.
I see that our main character in Westobou Gold, Craige, is a retired Navy Seal. Is there a little bit of you in Craige’s character?
Absolutely…probably more than at first intended…which is nothing new with writers of any genre. I am not a SEAL, but my military career positioned me in some of their support units. They live hard, fast, sometimes crude, but always there when needed…no matter the hangover. Writers pull from themselves and from the brew of life around them, then wrinkle non-fiction yarns into a fiction brew that isn’t fiction at all. Nor does most tales told fit snug and neat into any genre. There’s a bunch of romance with the serial characters in The Moccasin Hollow Series…especially in the historical romance, Moccasin Trace, which gives the historical background to the present-day mystery series.
When you began The Moccasin Hollow Series did you have a plan for how many books
would be a part of the series, or is that developing as the series moves forward?
A series wasn’t planned until character sketches were expanded. Character back-and-forth relationships expanded until red flags warned of too many twists, plots and subplot-plots were flying for Hidden Chamber of Death. There were rewrites, hard edits and storyline cuts…with Book 2, Westobou Gold in the offing. It hasn’t stopped. How many books? I’ve no idea, but certainly more than I’ll ever get put together.
The story is interesting in that it has an underlying historical significance. Did you come up with the historical/legend of the story first?
I’d like to claim that was planned/outlined from the start. It wasn’t. The legend fed the story, a tale waiting to be jig-sawed with murder, greed and gory madness. From all manner of researched notes Ingram and Graeme and Greer and DeWorthe characters/plots warped-and-woofed into Moccasin Trace, the historical romance of the Ingram bloodlines. The scenes/settings and characters’ backstories of Moccasin Trace were trimmed to a draft of the first and last chapters in both Books 1 and 2, Hidden Chamber of Death and Westobou Gold in the mystery series. Through the generations, family names changed from Craige Howelle Graeme Roynane Ingramme to Craige Ingram—a whole basket of learning and a lot of fun to weave the characters through each title. Book 3 is with the editors…and away we go.
How did you choose the location of Westobou Gold?
Why Westobou Gold? The legend, locations, landmarks and settings came near readymade. Some characters blended with other caricature-cutouts or moved from other sites; unrelated but juxtaposed in the tale being spun. Timespans were crunched or expanded; the pieces waiting for Craige Ingram and his significant ‘others’ to have the webs spun around them. The decades of writing through my teens were west of the
except for cousins and creek-cousins in the Cajun lands south of . Making a
home east of the Ojibwas’ Big Muddy Mississippi River in the Southron heartland
was a land steeped with histories and sites and whispered tales and “…gran’mas
what dun knew ever’thang from the livin’ of it”…most ’specially family histories.
It certainly wasn’t part of my homegrown horse and dogs and gone
huntin-shootin’ southwest upbringing. One of my college majors was history. Heaps
of Southron lore was waiting. Baiting me like a bass on a hook. A whole world
of histories, and my wandering roots dun took deep-hold. I luv it! New Orleans
I’m always interested in the research that an author does for a story. Did you
have to do any special research to develop the story or plot in Westobou Gold?
With all the gran’mothers that know their history cold—that’s a most explicit and definite YES. One of the dictates of the research, it is imperative to keep historical events/places and characters historically correct in a work of fiction like Moccasin Trace. One glitch—something inaccurate—and it’s a solid platinum promise, more than a few razor memories will spot it. Senior moments blown to blazes…some of the Southron octogenarians are sharp. It is critical to fact-check and research from more than one or two sources. Internet browsers are a great tool, but reference librarians are way-beyond-awesome in digging up often-archived details.
Just one more question and I’ll let you get back to writing…
When you’re not writing do you have a hobby that keeps you busy?
My hobbies are varied. The well-worn comment, “Reading a well-written book.” More to the point, a nonfiction well-written history by a writer that was contemporary to that history; i.e. the unabridged The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. It was a slugfest and in many places a real drag, BUT it had some hidden treasures in it as well. Another hobby—collecting original contemporary Southron watercolorists to place them in museum collections for everyone to enjoy instead of secluding the pieces in some underground Hidden Chamber vault.
Thank you so much for spending some time with us!
Where to buy
Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble
a Rafflecopter giveaway