Alethea is here today to talk about her writing career and to share her latest release.
Tell us about yourself.
Western history has been the great interest of my adult life. I've lived in Wyoming, Colorado, and Oregon. Although an amateur historian, I am happiest researching different times and places in the historical West. And while staying true to history, I try not to let the facts overwhelm my stories. Story always comes first in my novels, and plot arises from the relationships between my characters. I'm always open to reader response to my writing.
How long have you been writing - have you always wanted to be a writer?
I have been writing about 22 years now.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I’m going to have one a Spur Award from Western Writers of America! Knock wood.
How many books have you written, how many have been published?
I’ve written 13, published 7 under two different pseudonyms.
After you've written your book and it's been published, do you ever buy it and/or read it?
I buy it, generally in PDF to send out for reviews. I’ve never read one after it was published.
Which comes first, the story, the characters, or the setting?
Usually the setting comes first. Then the characters walk on and start telling their stories. Sometimes it’s a fast telling and sometimes they reveal parts of it over a span of few months.
Are you in control of your characters or do they control you?
They are always in control. If I try to push them to hurry up already, the results aren’t pretty.
Have you experienced writer's block? If so, how did you work through it?
Writer’s block for me is the characters telling me their story needs to simmer for a while. Then I’ll think about the plot, sometimes dream about it, and let it stew beneath the surface until the problem I’ve having resolves and I can continue with the story.
Alethea Williams released Walls for the Wind, a Western Historical Romance
Can an angel survive Hell on Wheels? When Kit Calhoun leaves New York City with a train car full of foundlings from the Immigrant Children’s Home, she has no clue she might end up as adoptive mother to four of them in rip-roaring Cheyenne, Wyoming. Kit has spent her life in the Children’s Home and now she rides the Orphan Trains, distributing homeless children to the young nation’s farmers as fast as the rails are laid.
The first time handsome Patrick Kelley spies Kit in Julesburg, Colorado Territory, he wants her. But circumstances, and a spectral-looking demented gambler as well as Kit’s certainty no one in his right mind would want her cobbled-together family, conspire to keep them apart. As Patrick and Kit and her brood ride Hell on Wheels into their destiny, they’re all forced to leave behind everything they knew and forge new lives in the raw American West.
ExcerptPanic bloomed, threatening to choke Kit as she gasped for breath. Where could she be, the small girl brought all the way out to the wilds of Wyoming from New York City? So certain she could make the best decisions for the little golden-haired girl, Kit had gone against her own upbringing as well as the stern advice of those older and wiser in order to make this journey west. Now here was her little family plunked down in the raw boomtown of Cheyenne, and she had lost not only her own direction but also the child entrusted to her care.
Where could Hannah be? Where?
The streets slimy with melting snow and horse manure, Kit struggled to keep her footing as she ran frantically up one and down another, screaming Hannah’s name. Unable to think where to look next, at last she stood helplessly wringing her hands. Tears made slow, cold tracks down her face.
A door opened behind her, and a voice full of concern said, “Kit. As luck would have it, I was just coming to look for you.”
And wouldn’t you know it? The voice of the very man who seemed to turn up at every instance of her bad luck. Indeed, he might be the root cause of her ill luck ever since she left New York City. And to think he had once promised to be her salvation, did Patrick Kelley of the dancing Irish green eyes.
But what were his true intentions as he took hold of her arm? To save her? Or to be her final ruination, as she suspected?
“Let me go.” She tried to wrench her arm away. “Hannah is missing. She’s lost. I must find her!”
“Ah, leannán, don’t take on so,” he said in a soft, cajoling voice. “Hannah is safe and sound. I have her.”
Kit’s bones suddenly felt soft, as if they had turned to mush, and her knees started to sag. Ah, God, and wasn’t her luck running true? Patrick Kelley, the very man! Of all the places in Cheyenne that Hannah might take refuge, of course it would turn out to be with saloon-keeper, and the means of the erosion of many a young woman’s morals, Patrick Kelley.
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