Strife and Deadly Peril on the Open Trail

Author Interview
Henry Helbog Author Interview

United States Marshal Flint: Trailed follows a retired US Marshall who sets out to fulfill a dying man’s wish to protect his wife and daughter against a deadly gunslinger. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

My intention was to depict, as much as possible, an authentic version of the Old West as opposed to an idealized, romanticised, aseptic version. The three main characters, who really don’t like each other or have much in common, have no choice but to try to make the best of it when they’re unexpectedly thrown together. Riding in a wagon together for hundreds of miles and being exposed to various dangers ultimately brings out both the worst and best in them.

Flint is an intriguing and well-developed character. What were some driving ideals behind his character’s development?

I wanted to create a character who would frequently find himself in perilous and challenging situations. A lawman was the obvious choice, but then I thought a better idea would be to make him an ex-lawman who worked as a sort of Old West private investigator and hired gun. This way, I thought, there would be a wider range of future plot possibilities for my character than if he were just a marshal.

Although Flint is a mostly good man who abides by the law and is guided by his own personal code of ethics and fair play, there is more to him than that. Financial gain is also a strong motivating factor for him. Would he, for instance, have agreed to help the wife and daughter if there wasn’t the added incentive of receiving a share of the profit from the gems? Whether he would or wouldn’t can’t be said with any degree of certainty. However, when he does commit to helping them, he does so wholeheartedly and even at great personal risk to himself, thus showing that there is an element of self-sacrifice in his nature.

By the way, I didn’t actually think consciously about my main character’s attributes when writing this book, so being prompted to examine the finer points of his nature has been an interesting exercise for me.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

Love, devotion, jealousy, rivalry, pettiness, selfishness and greed are among the themes explored.

The novel also explores the harmful consequences that can arise when a child is kept in the dark about its true origin.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

The second Flint book, Blood Feud, is out now. It’s about two bitter rival families locked in an endless private war. As a result of thirty years of raids and ambushes, their numbers are depleted and both sides seem headed for eventual extinction. Flint is hired to protect the remaining members of one of the families but is inexorably drawn into the conflict. I anticipate the third book in the series, Vengeance, to be out by early August. Assuming my publisher has no objections, I think I might write perhaps six books in all before moving on to a new series.

Author Links: Amazon | GoodReads

United States Marshal A. A. Flint, retired, comes across a dying man in a lonely mountain cabin. Shot through the stomach, he has only minutes to live. 

In that interval of time, he entrusts Flint with the task of helping his wife and daughter to find a hidden pouch of gemstones thought to be of incalculable worth. Above all, he is charged with protecting them against the death-dealing man in black: a gunfighter who’s been trailing the fast-fading cabin dweller all the way from California to Wyoming and who will stop at nothing to lay his hands on the gemstones. 

But first comes perhaps the hardest part of all: Flint must break the news of the cabin dweller’s death to his wife and daughter — and reveal to them that he himself was his killer.

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on July 22, 2021, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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