Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Interview with historical fiction author A.C. Croom

Today's guest author is multipublished fiction author Arthur C. Croom (A.C. Croom). He's going to talk about his latest novel, The Guns of Lazarus Thorne, and more.

A.C. Croom is a published author of historical, western/frontier, and romantic fiction. His three current releases, a personal best for him, include: Delta Trails, a historical romantic fiction novel; Prophets Rest, a contemporary western fiction novella with just a touch of romance; and The Guns of Lazarus Thorne, a contemporary western fiction novel. All were accepted and published by Damnation Books and Eternal Press. Each are available in e-book and print on demand trade paperback through numerous outlets including www.damnationbooks.com, www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, www.eternalpress.biz, and many others. Google "A.C. Croom" to find more outlets.

His upcoming western novel Showdown in Shadow Creek, is completely rewritten. It now includes material that initially was scheduled to be a sequel to the original novella, and releases the first week in May 2012. It was also accepted and will be published by Damnation Books / Eternal Press.

Another upcoming novel is more contemporary. Lessons Learned, is as hardcore with eroticism as it gets without crossing the line into pornography. The setting is modern day Miami, Florida. Elements of police drama, the BDSM underworld, and a burgeoning romance take the reader on a thrill ride they will be long in forgetting. The novel is set to release in September 2012 through Damnation Books.

His other published credits, (out of print), include the contemporary romantic short story “Kate’s Song”, a contemporary romantic novella sequel “Kate’s Song; Awakening” and his first western/frontier novella “Showdown In Shadow Creek”, all published by the now defunct Forbidden Publications.

A.C. proudly adds his talent to the website www.goldinalaska.net as “Texas Red” with occasional editorials and “How To” articles for outdoorsmen and prospectors.

Among his many and varied pursuits, A.C. is a Design Draftsman / Quality Control Manager for Western Tank Company, a musician, a recreational gold miner, member of the Gold Prospectors of America Association and avid outdoorsman. Recently he has joined others in the writers’ guild as member of Western Writers of America and member of The West Texas Writers Association.

He and his wife, Ann, reside in Odessa, Texas. Through almost 44 years of marriage, he and Ann have two children, five grandchildren and one great-grandchild. His oldest grandson proudly serves our nation as a specialist in the U.S. Army.

A.C. has taken his love for the outdoors from weekend warrior to planned prospecting trips in the states of New Mexico and Alaska and uses his experiences as research for background material in the Western / Frontier genre. Gold mining is his hobby and writing books about the western way of life, as well as many other genre is his passion.

Visit his blog http://ac-croom.blogspot.com or look for him at Facebook.com for more insight into his books and life.

Welcome, A.C. Please tell us about your current release, The Guns of Lazarus Thorne.
We first meet Lazarus Thorne on the Shiloh battlefield facing his test of manhood for the first time. During the day long battle against Grant’s First Army, he confronts his many fears and earns his first gun by facing a young Union officer one on one as the battle rages around them both.

Afterwards, we follow Thorne as his journey takes him to the hill country of Texas as a ranch hand/cowboy, and into the mountains of Colorado where he meets and befriends a mountain man from Illinois. While deciding whether to travel on to Arizona or take the offer of a life as a trapper, they are attacked by Indians. The two win out and their decision is made for them. The pair leave hastily fearing reprisal from the Apache for the deaths of their attackers.

Thorne earns his second gun as he and his companion enter Three Wells Arizona. Lazarus is forced into a gunfight with a local drunkard and bully. The bully is killed outright and Thorne and his companion move onto a ranch inherited from an uncle. The two work that ranch for almost nine years before Hell breaks loose in the small community of Three Wells.

The streets of Three Wells, Arizona turn into a bloody battle ground as outlaws seem to come out of the very woodwork. Shootings leave the town bereft of law until United States Marshal Shay O’Hara steps in to restore order. He asks Lazarus Thorne to assume the role of lawman. Lazarus is torn between his duty as a man who has recently found himself in the role of father to an eight year old daughter he was never told about until the murder of the only woman he ever cared about, and facing the threat to Three Wells.

Will law be restored to Three Wells, or will the town become another Tombstone, with open bloodshed in the streets?

What inspired you to write this book?
Originally, I visited Tombstone and the OK Corral. It occurred to me that while Arizona was a Territory, there were numerous cities and towns that faced the same type lawlessness without the benefit of hired gunmen like the Earp brothers to clean up those towns. The story took on a life of its own. When I first had the idea, Thorne was supposed to be one of the bad guys who was convinced his guns were unbeatable. Luckily, another character drew that role and a fully fleshed novel wrote itself. I’m glad that it came out the way it did.

Readers should enjoy The Guns of Lazarus Thorne much more when they find it is far beyond the simple ‘shoot ‘em up’ Western.

What exciting story are you working on next?
Coming in May: Showdown in Shadow Creek

This is the story of gunfighter J.R. Bell and his wife Eve as they face Blood Feud to save the town of Shadow Creek, Oregon and themselves from the vengeance of a family seeking ‘Blood Justice’ for twenty-five years of imagined injustice from neighboring ranchers, lawmen willing to face their kin in open gunfights and other real, or imagined threats.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
To this day I do not consider myself a ‘writer.’ Rather, I consider myself a teller of interesting stories. I have made up stories since I was a young boy to entertain myself and others willing to sit still and listen. Most of that became more than real in 2006 with the release of my first e-book, ‘KATE’S SONG’. That little short story began my journey to where I am today.

What do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I write when I can. I am lucky that I have a boss that lets me throw a few words into my stories while I work. I have a full time job as Design Draftsman / Quality Control Manager for an oil field related company in West Texas.

Between my job, writing, doing edits and marketing my books, I find time for married life, children, grand-children and my hobbies.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
That’s a hard question. I guess the answer would be research. I have always been a history nut and I have traveled extensively in my sixty-two years to various areas that I use for back ground material. I practice what I write. I have been on a trail drive, a real one, not the kind weekenders pay for. I visit battlegrounds of the civil war. I use the internet to get the story behind the story. My most interesting quirk would be: If it doesn’t fit the story, I won’t write it in.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to build things. I wanted to design them and build them. I became exactly what I wanted to be. My early life I was a metal fabricator building what others designed. I graduated into my perfect profession. Now I design things and find ways to get them built. I guess you could say my writing fell right into line with my ambition. After all, you have to build a world, design your characters, fabricate a plot that works and satisfy the customer.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Only one thing left to say: If you can dream it, you can do it! Dreamers, Dream; Writers, Write. Sometimes the two become one. I’ve been a lucky man to see all my dreams come true.

Thanks, A.C. You're quite an inspiration with all your writing successes!

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