Welcome, David. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
Not much. I find other people so much more interesting than me. Well at least I find their flaws more interesting because I don’t like to think about my flaws. So most of my characters are composites of people I have known.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Besides singing to my dogs while I robot dance? At one point in time my entire shirt wardrobe consisted of blue shirts. Nothing but blue shirts. There may or may not have been a girl’s complement about me in blue shirts involved.
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
2nd Grade. There was a school-wide writing contest, and they put the winners into a book that you could buy. I was in second grade and won the entire contest and had the featured page. I wrote stories before that but that was the first time I thought that other people would want to read them. The story was about an owl that hurt his wing, and I nursed him back to health, if you care to know.
What an encouraging thing for a child. Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
Everything. Romance and Fairy Tales are my least favorite but even then there are some that have carried me away. Because of a glitch in the system, I was put into regular 11th grade English instead of Advanced. My teacher gave me the reading list, and I had read them all already. She gave me another list that was huge and pushed my limits. Since then, I have enjoyed reading as long as it is well-written.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I don’t watch the news, and I sit on the couch with my wife. Sometimes we watch TV, sometimes we listen to a book, sometimes we just sit. The pace of the world doesn’t concern me. Being me concerns me.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
By a long and arduous process. Researching the time frame, the area, the culture, the impact certain names have, and the sound of names is important to. How do they sound screamed or whispered? When you hear them, what image do you get in your head? And then after all that, I pick the name. Sometimes I have one in mind from the beginning. Hollis Winget, the main character in Frontier Preacher, is the first and middle name of my maternal grandfather. But his name passed all my tests so I used it.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
None. If there is anything worth boasting about in my life it is because God made it happen not me.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I am a dog person so it pains me to say this, but a cat. Not even a lion or a tiger, but a house cat. I get to do whatever I want, play when I want to, sleep when I want to, eat when I want to, and shun who I want to and everyone thinks it’s adorable.
What is your favorite food?
I’m not the person that can answer something like that. That’s just too much commitment to one food. I need to play the field a little. Sample from this culture, indulge in that style. Can’t we just all eat everything? Except cooked broccoli, that you can just throw in the trash.
One of my grandsons loved broccoli when he was in elementary school. When he went home, he told his mother how many helpings of broccoli he got to eat, because his friends gave him theirs. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Finishing. I had trouble staying on one concept long enough to finish. With age and practice some of that has gone away.
Tell us about the featured book.
Frontier Preacher first began life as I researched my home congregation in Gillette
As I expanded my research and followed all the rabbit trails I realized there
were a lot of stories that hadn’t been told. I wanted to tell them. The first
incarnation of the book was a short story then expanded to the current novel
size. Most everything in the book is a true story, but not the same story. All
the events happened at different times and different places, and I wove them
into a single narrative. The first time I wrote it, Hollis was a railroad
worker. But it just didn’t work. The antagonist needed moral authority without
having to explain that he has moral authority. That’s when I landed on the idea
of a Frontier
Preacher. And the rest, is as they say, Historical Fiction.
Please give us the first page of the book.
Cold bit his hand when he gripped the rail as he exited the train. James had been right; this was a wholly different cold than
The snow had seemed the same out the window during the trip, though the land
was flat and featureless. The cabin was cold during the trip, cold enough to
see his breath, but not cold enough to reach his bones. He had wrongly assumed
it would be the same outside. The clear sky had only a few traces of clouds and
a bright sun, which had lent its warmth to the window in the cabin.
As he stepped down onto the crunching frozen snow of
the sun might as well have been a ball of bright ice. The wind ripped at his
face with cold that burned and it tore through his clothes like they were
tattered curtains. James had said to be prepared, and Hollis had thought he was
but now he knew it was impossible to prepare for this. The lining of his
nostrils froze and his scalp felt like it was being pierced with a thousand
little needles. The air in his lungs was so cold that he began to cough like a
backroom painted woman after too many years in the sheets.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
@davidmillican3Buy link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B017QRMMM8
David is offering a discount for my readers who buy the book. Here's how you can get the discount:
The coupon code for Frontier Preacher paperback through Createspace is: GYM7ACWXThe Createspace buy link is: https://www.createspace.com/6236943
Thank you, David, for sharing this book with us. Since I often write historical fiction, I'm eager for my book to arrive, so I can read it.
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