Imbued with an abiding love of western traditions and wide-open spaces, Ms. Crigger writes of free-spirited people who break from their standard roles. In her books, whether westerns, mysteries, or fantasy, the locales are real places. All of her books are set the Inland Northwest, the westerns with a historical background. She is a two time Spur Award finalist and won the 2008 EPIC Award for Western/Historical fiction.
Welcome to the blog, Carol.
How many books have you written?
Twelve of my books are in publication right now. I’ve completed three others--one of which will probably never see publication--and one is in final draft. Of course, I’ve got ideas for lots more. I love writing series, so I have two series going and the rest are standalones. The four westerns are all standalones. So too is a little horse and sword fantasy. My first series features time-traveling female gunsmith Boothenay Irons who gets swept into the unfinished history of whatever gun she’s working on. She’s been in 1811 England and instigated a jail-break from Dartmoor prison (In the Service of the Queen). In Shadow Soldier she ends up in the midst of World War I. Crossroad finds her in a water deprived Washington State of the future, and in Six Shot she’s caught in the Chief Joseph War of 1877. A fifth book is written and looking for a publisher, but here, my heroine takes a new direction. The other series is western suspense set in 1896. China Bohannon has coerced her way into her uncle and his partner’s detective agency and manages to get herself in a whole lot of trouble. The first book is One Foot on the Edge, then Two Feet Below, and due out within the next couple months, Three Seconds to Thunder, where China is caught in a forest fire while searching for her uncle, who has disappeared. I’m also shopping around an apocalyptic novel as I finish up a contemporary mystery.
Motivation for my protagonist depends entirely on the character and the plot. The fear and desire as mentioned in the question often play a part, but I’ve found my protagonists often have an overdeveloped sense of responsibility. They are compelled to right a wrong, finish a story, bring justice to someone--no matter what. Sometimes they may just want to survive!
Two experiences really stand out beyond the thrill of holding my hot off the press books in my hand--and each time that seems like the first. Anyway, one experience involves a lady from South Carolina who wrote and asked me to sign and send back to her two copies of my first western, Liar’s Trail. She had (has) a grandson named Sawyer Kennett, just like the hero in the story and wanted a copy for him when he grows up. Sawyer shows up in Two Feet Below, also.
First of all, I’m looking forward to the release of the third book in my China Bohannon western suspense series (Three Seconds to Thunder). That should be very soon. Otherwise, my goal for this year is to sell the two fantasy stories I’m shopping around right now, finish up this contemporary mystery I’m working on (and sell it), and then get started on another China Bohannon. Unless the plot floating to the surface right now changes, it’s going to feature horse racing. And then there’s a bootlegger’s story percolating in my head, and after that....
I also post on facebook and twitter upon occasion.
Carol, thanks for dropping by and letting us get to know you. Congrats on all the books, and continued success.