2015 Feature: Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman

The 2015 feature continues with another Fall release that doesn't have a cover yet but which is already on my must-have list. Check out what Erin has to say about the new story she is embarking on and I'm sure you'll see why!

Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman.

To be published Fall 2015 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Goodreads Synopsis:
Pitched as True Grit meets Blood Red Road and set in 1877 Arizona, Vengeance Road follows Kate Thompson as she tracks the gang who hung her father, only to find herself entangled in a bloody search for lost gold in the Superstition Mountains.

Sounds pretty fantastic, right? To share a little more info, here's Erin!

Jess: Thanks for joining me, Erin! To start us off, please describe Vengeance Road in 5 words or less. 
Erin: Girl seeks revenge in 1877 Arizona. (That's five words + a year. Am I in trouble? ;) )

J: I suppose I can let you get away with that one. ;)
Where did the idea for Vengeance Road come from?
E: Over dinner one night, my husband was talking about one of his favorite places in Arizona: the Superstition Mountains. Talk turned to the legend of the Lost Dutchman—a rich gold mine supposedly hidden in the mountains and first found by a German immigrant, Jacob Waltz. On his deathbed the miner allegedly left a map in the care of his nurse, but she never managed to find the gold. To this day, people still search for the mine, but the mountains (or something more ominous) claims life after life; many gold-seekers go missing and are found dead years later.

While my husband rambled about the mine, my muse exploded. I was hit with the image of a girl out for revenge, tracking the men that killed her father across Arizona Territory and into the Superstition Mountains. As I brainstormed more, I realized I wanted to play with the source of the Lost Dutchman myth in the process of telling this girl’s story, and the two tales became intertwined.

J: Okay, if that whole concept doesn't get people's attention, I don't know what will. I am so intrigued!
What would you say is your main character Kate's best quality throughout the book? Her worst? 
E: I think Kate's best trait is also her worst; sort of a double-edged sword. She's fiercely independent, which is great because she can take care of herself and face challenges head-on. At the same time, this means she can also be very closed-off. For better or worse, she keeps people at a distance, even those who can help her and/or make her life easier.

J: Which of the other characters are you most excited for readers to meet?
E: I'm going to cheat again and name two: Jesse and Will Colton, two cowboys who cross paths with Kate early in her travels. Will's laid back and a joker. Jesse has a habit of always offering his advice, even when it's not asked for. They mean well, but Kate can't wait to ditch them. She's disguised as a boy to stay safer on the plains, and keeping up her act in the Coltons' presence is, as Kate would say, "a rutting pain".

J: Two cute cowboys, huh? (I'm just inferring the "cute" part for now, but let a girl dream). This book is sounding better and better with every answer! ;)
What were the coolest and strangest things you had to research for this one?
E: Oh gosh, where do I even begin? The myth of the Lost Dutchman Mine is fascinating in itself--full of various versions and speculations. I also had a lot of fun researching cowboy culture and the general dialect of the time. But perhaps the most enlightening research I did focused on the Apache Native Americans. My favorite book that I read was called Indeh, an oral history comprised of transcripts of the author's interviews with numerous Apaches. I learned so much about their culture and history through this intimate text. In the majority of books I picked up, I felt that the history of western expansion was supported mainly by military reports or accounts, so it was really refreshing to hear the other side of the story.

J: Oh, that does sound really interesting. And it's great to get a more balanced perspective, too. I'm looking forward to seeing how your fun research comes up in the story! 
Thank you, Erin!

So in case this is a book that you are now also needing immediately, well, I'm sorry to break your heart but you're going to have to wait a little longer. In the meantime, though, you can follow Erin here:
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