Riverbend Justice: Book 2 in the Riverbend Sagas, released at the beginning of this year. These look like such great Western books, so I’m excited to get your opinions and recommendations! Finding good Westerns—real westerns—like yours is hard. Aside from Louis L’amour and Zane Grey…what have you found to interest you?
My favorite Western writer is Elmer Kelton. His stories are historically accurate. His characters are real and intriguing. He has the ability to put the reader in the saddle with the main character and keep him there. And he explores stories not usually done by other writers. Among my favorites are Buffalo Soldiers, Llano River, The Good Old Boys, The Time It Never Rained, and The Day the Cowboys Quit.
What was the most out-of-character book you’ve recently read, and what led to your choice?
Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay. It was recommended by Donald Maass in a writing workshop as an excellent example of keeping secrets. And it is. Even more, it is also a fascinating story about the Holocaust in France and one journalist’s efforts to tell the whole story 60 years later and the layers of family secrets she unveils. I highly recommend it as a story to read for its value as a story. And the craft displayed is subtly awesome.
Wow that is a recommendation—and does sound out-of-character for you! When you are writing, do you find time to read? Is it either/or for you? If so, what did you read while working on your last book? If not, what did you read when you finished this one?
I’m always reading at least two books, one non-fiction and one novel in addition to magazines etc. Reading is my favorite leisure activity. I recently completed a fantasy series. While I was working on it, I read a lot of fantasy. I wanted to immerse myself in the genre and learn from the best, so I read a lot of Orson Scott Card and Terry Pratchett, among others.
Sounds like a series we can look forward to. Were you the kind of kid/teen who loved reading? Which novel do you first remember reading?
Yes, I was one of those kids who always had his nose in a book. The book that had the greatest impact on me was The Black Stallion by Walter Farley. I loved how it took me deep into new worlds. It’s probably the book that planted the seed to be a writer when I grew up. Now I’m a writer, but I haven’t grown up yet. Don’t plan on it either.
Hah! Fun stuff. With a chilling winter just starting to let up, what is on your to-read list? And what is your ideal cozy reading experience?
I’m looking forward to reading Jacqueline Winspear’s next Maisie Dobbs novel, Journey to Munich.
Is there a book you are looking forward to rereading?
Books by Elizabeth George and Jacqueline Winspear are always interesting rereads as is Orson Scott Card. Specific titles I will probably re-read this year are The Book Thief and Sarah’s Key.
Thanks so much for visiting, Henry, and letting us get to know you better as a reader. Folks, you may connect with Henry and discover more about his books at the following links.
Tagged as “one to watch” by Publishers Weekly, award winning author Henry McLaughlin takes his readers on adventures into the hearts and souls of his characters as they battle inner conflicts while seeking to bring restoration and justice in a dark world. His writing explores these themes of restoration, reconciliation and redemption
His debut novel, Journey to Riverbend, won the Operation First Novel award sponsored by the Christian Writers Guild and was published by Tyndale House.
Henry has a life-long love for history and the American West and the stories of the people who lived there. In his fiction, he seeks to bring their adventures to life, to show the struggles and triumphs over man and nature that helped build a strong people.
Henry and his wife of nearly fifty years live in North Texas. From this home, they enjoy their church, their friends and traveling, especially to visit their far-flung family.
Besides his writing, Henry treasures working with other writers and helping them on their own writing journeys. He is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and serves as Associate Director of North Texas Christian Writers. He regularly teaches at conferences and workshops, leads writing groups, edits, and mentors and coaches.
Visit him at http://www.henrymclaughlin.org.
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