A story that’s very different from anything I’ve ever posted here, but man, do I love westerns… Tombstone, The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, The Magnificent Seven… Loved them all. So this one goes out for all the Western lovers like me.
The book is Trials and Trails by Jim Halverson, a Western, Historical Fiction.
With a past of slavery and compliance, LeRoy has learned to pick his battles carefully. Johnny B, a quick-tempered Sioux, is still learning to control his anger. When dangerous circumstances bond them together, the pair learn to navigate Reconstruction Era America and all its prejudices. They save an innocent man from hanging, reunite two old friends, assist in an honorable death for an elder Indian, and discover their worth as they steadily assimilate self-respect into their lives.
From Jim Halverson’s debut novel comes a tale of adventure, purpose, and the pursuit of self-actualization. Cowboys and psychology ride hand in hand, traveling a journey from living life on the edge to finding a place of belonging, joy, vulnerability, and distinction. Through trials along their trails, LeRoy and Johnny B transform people they meet, brand the world a better place, and reap the benefits.
Other buy link: Barnes & Noble
Chatting with the Author
Jim Halverson grew up in the rural, gold-mining town of Mokelumne Hill, CA and received his MBA from Golden Gate University. He spent part of his life on a ranch and is an avid student of psychology. He recognizes the struggles of all men and women seeking equality and respect. Jim and his wife, Gail, spend their time traveling from their small farm in Forestville, CA.
I had the pleasure to have Jim here with me, and that’s what he talked about.
When is a Western not a Western?
In other words, what genre would you declare for Trials and Trails?
That is a more difficult question for me than you might have imagined. Since I never intend to write for a market, I don’t write within a specific genre. The truth is; Genre never determines what I write. If I wrote to a genre, I fear that I would misplace my purpose for writing. I would consider it too confining.
Trials and Trails could fit into a niche for a psychological study. After all, I used some artistic license to make the story fit into Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs. Readers can easily trace John and Lee’s psychological growth, but if a reader expects a tutorial on Maslow, the book would fall short. John and Lee attain Food and Shelter, seek and manage a level of Safety and Security, climb higher with Love and Affection, discover Self Esteem, and finally find themselves face to face with Self-Realization. I would expect Maslow to recognize the climb.
The Western Genre shelf is a natural place to look for a book set in 1873 with characters that ride horses, work with cattle, find adventure, and travel cross country. Descriptions of western landscapes and landmarks also fit on that shelf. Intervention to avert a battle involving Native Americans and preventing an innocent man’s hanging also fit the genre. However, without shoot-outs in the streets and saloon fights, the book dodges the traditional storyline of many westerns.
A friend, who has read most of the westerns ever written, told me it wasn’t a real western. He suggested, Growth, Self-Help, or Coming-Of-Age. I couldn’t argue with him. Although I wrote the book for adults, Young Adult certainly fits. Coping skills are intertwined throughout the story, especially for youth looking for a way to fit into the world.
Anther genre that could claim space might be Historical Fiction. The book is historically and geographically accurate. Race Relations could also be considered by book stores and libraries.
If I had to choose one genre, I would assign it to A Western with a Social Conscience, emphasis on social conscience.
You can read more about the Author and the book by following the Tour. The schedule is here:
- Prizes: Win a copy of Trials and Trails by Jim Halverson. One winner will also get a $25 Amazon GC (7 winners total / open to USA and Canada)