I'm thrilled to be featuring this author and her book. I was privileged to read the manuscript for endorsement. I know you'll love it as much as I did. Welcome, Susan. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
I write different kinds of books. Usually I pick a topic/genre/story because that’s the story I want to tell at that time. This one, Captive Trail, developed as I read about children who had been captured and torn away from their families. Their struggles resonated with me, and I knew other readers would feel the same sadness and empathy I felt, and want the children to be happy again.
Captive Trail is second in the Texas Trails series. Tell us about that.
Moody Publishers is offering this six-book series about the Morgan family, living in
from the 1840s to the 1890s. Darlene Franklin, Vickie McDonough, and I have
each written two of the six books. The first is Darlene’s Lone Star Trail, which released last month. Vickie’s The Long Trail Home will release in
November. Each book focuses on a different family member in a different decade
and incorporates some interesting points of Texas history. Next spring look for A Ranger’s Trail, Cowgirl Trail, and The End of the Trial. Texas
How has being published changed your life?
Instead of working for someone else, I now work for myself. I’ve had a lot of jobs over the years, most recently as a newspaper correspondent, but I love this one the most.
What are you reading right now?
The View from the Lighthouse, by Melody Carlson.
What is your current work in progress?
I’m writing another western, but this one’s much lighter in tone. A Lady in the Making will be the third in my new Prairie Dreams series. In it, a lady with a past has to convince a gentleman that she really is a lady now.
What would be your dream vacation?
Any place with lots of history. I’d love to see Maachu Pichu, for instance. And I’d love to poke around the
How do you choose your settings for each book?
Lately a lot of my settings have been chosen for me—a publisher wants a book with a particular setting. If I choose it myself I look for the place that would best suit my story.
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
My daughter who lives in
We hoped to go and visit her this year but were unable to do that. England
What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
Genealogy, logic puzzles, and ciphers. In the past I did a lot of needlework, but I haven’t had time for that lately. I also love animals.
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Lack of time for the writing-related tasks such as reading galleys, critiquing for friends, filling out art sheets, and promoting my books. I just do what I can and accept that I’m not superhuman.
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Read a lot, in a wide variety of genres. Write something every day.
I don't think I mentioned how much I love your cover, Susan. Tell us about the featured book.
Taabe Waipu has run away from her Comanche village and is fleeing south in
on a horse she stole from a dowry left outside her family’s teepee. The
horse has an accident and she is left on foot, injured and exhausted. She
staggers onto a road near Texas and collapses. Fort
On one of the first runs through Texas, Butterfield Overland Mail Company driver Ned Bright carries two Ursuline nuns returning to their mission station. They come across a woman who is nearly dead from exposure and dehydration and take her to the mission.
With some detective work, Ned discovers Taabe Waipu’s identity. He plans to unite her with her family, but the Comanche have other ideas, and the two end up defending the mission station. Through Taabe and Ned we learn the true meaning of healing and restoration amid seemingly powerless situations.
Please give us the first page of the book.
Plains of North
Central Texas, 1857
Faster. Taabe Waipu had to go faster, or she would never get down from the high plains, down to the hill country and beyond. South, ever south and east.
Clinging to the horse, she let him run. The land looked flat all around, though it was riddled with ravines and folds. She could no longer see any familiar landmarks. The moon and stars had guided her for two nights, and now the rising sun told her which way to go on her second day of flight. She’d snatched only brief periods of rest. At her urging the horse galloped on, down and up the dips and hollows of the land.
Taabe didn’t know where the next water supply lay. The only thing she knew was that she must outrun the Numinu—Comanche, their enemies called them. No one traveled these plains without their permission. Those who tried didn’t make it out again. She glanced over her shoulder in the gray dawn. As far as she could see, no one followed, but she couldn’t stop. They were back there, somewhere. She urged the horse on toward the southeast.
South to the rolling grasslands where the white men had their ranches. Where Peca and the other men often went to raid. Where Taabe was born.
The compact paint stallion ran smoothly beneath her, but as the sun rose and cast her shadow long over the
Llano Estacado, his breath became labored, his stride
shorter. Where her legs hugged his sleek sides, her leggings dampened with his
sweat. He was a good horse, this wiry paint that Peca had left outside her
sister’s tepee. Without him she wouldn’t have gotten this far. But no horse
could run forever.
Taabe slowed him to a trot but didn’t dare rest. Not yet.
Another look behind.
Would she recognize the house she’d once lived in? She didn’t think so, but she imagined a big earthen lodge, not a tepee. Or was it a cabin made of logs? That life was a shadow world in her mind now. Fences. The warriors talked about the fences built by the white men, around their gardens and their houses. She thought she recalled climbing a fence made of long poles and sitting on the top. When she saw fences, she would know she was close.
At last she came to a shallow stream, sliding between rocks and fallen trees. It burbled languidly where it split around a boulder. She let the horse wade in and bend down to drink.
Taabe stayed on his back while he drank in long, eager gulps, keeping watch over the way they’d come. She needed to find a sheltered place where the horse could graze and rest. Did she dare stop for a while? She studied the trail behind her then took her near-empty water skin from around her neck. Leaning over the paint’s side, she dangled it by its thong in the water on the horse’s upstream side. She wouldn’t dismount to fill it properly, but she could stay in the saddle and scoop up a little. She straightened and checked the trail again. The horse took a step and continued to drink.
She stroked his withers, warm and smooth. With a wry smile, she remembered the bride price Peca had left. Six horses staked out before the tepee. A stallion and five mares—pretty mares. Healthy, strong mounts. But only six.
The stallion raised his head at last and waded across the stream without her urging. They settled into a steady trot. Tomorrow or the next day or the next, she would come to a land with many trees and rivers. And many houses of the whites.
Would she have stayed if Peca had left twenty horses? Fifty?
Not for a thousand horses would she have stayed in the village and married Peca—or any other warrior. Staying would make it impossible for her ever to go back to that other world—the world to the south.
Eagerness filled her, squeezing out her fear. She dug her heels into the stallion’s ribs. Whatever awaited her, she rushed to meet it.
The paint lunged forward and down. His right front hoof sank, and he didn’t stop falling. Taabe tried to brace herself, too late. The horse’s body continued to fly up and around. She hurtled off to the side and tucked her head.
This book is available in stores and online:
Christian Book Distributors: http://www.christianbook.com/captive-trail-susan-davis/9780802405845/pd/405845?item_code=WW&netp_id=892812&event=ESRCN&view=details
How can readers find you on the Internet?
Visit my website at: www.susanpagedavis.com
Thank you, Susan, for the fun interview. I'm really looking forward to the next books in the series.
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