How much did your own experiences hitchhiking across the country influence this novel, and what element of your own personality did you insert into a character in this book?
It’s not as cut and dried as how my hitching adventures influenced this one particular novel. They shaped the person I would one day become. I met very nice people that fed me and gave me shelter. I had to run for my life on more than a few occasions. I spent thousands of hours talking to strangers as the miles rolled by. I met just about every kind of person that there is in this old world. I spent a few nights in jail here and there and went hungry on more than one occasion. I was even once kidnapped by a woman because she was “tired of being lonely.”
I reckon what I’m trying to say is that I learned a lot about life at a young age. When I write my books, I write about life and all its aspects. It’s not anything in particular, it’s all a big mash-up inside of me, but it does come out in my books, through my characters.
In Resolution, the character that I infused with a bit of myself was Molly Lee. There was a time that she thought it was okay to kill in self-defense and she did, but I brought her to a point when she would rather die than ever take another human life. It was a long journey, but she made it. And so did I.
Did you do anything special to research this time period?
The time period I had down pat from my research for my previous books. But as to the milieu, I read every book that I could get my hands on about Alaska and the Canadian Yukon, especially the Klondike. I read first person accounts of the gold rush. I read diaries and old newspaper articles. Books that had never been published by men who had made the trip over the mountains and up the Yukon to Dawson City (those manuscripts were hard to find, but thank God for the Internet). That is all I did for six straight months, immerse myself in the flavor of what I wanted to write about. When I felt that I had a feel for the locale, and a feel for the people that lived that life, I sat down to write Resolution.
What is one strength that a character in this book has that you wish you shared?
Perseverance. My characters don’t give up. If that had been me in their situation, I would have gone back to the saloon to wait out the winter.
If you could have dinner with any one character from this book, who would it be and why?
Bright, the lead sled-dog. One of the top Amazon reviewers said he should have his own series. Besides I like dogs. Of course, I’d have to pick the restaurant.
What is your favorite line of dialogue from this novel?
No fair! That’s a hard one, but maybe this will do:
Huck was about to face off with two killers and he told Molly to stay out of it. But when push came to shove, she was right there by his side blazing away. When the smoke cleared and the two bad guys were dead, Huck shook his head, turned to Molly and said, “Do you think you can do just one thing that I ask of you?” before asking her to get him a bottle of whiskey. By the way, her answer was, “Sure, Huck.”
If your novel was a meal, what beverage would you recommend that readers pair with it?
Three Star Whiskey. (You have read the book to understand.)