Welcome to Writers of the West, Rob. Tell us about your intriguing new book, Annie's War.
I have for years wished to go back to pick up some manuscripts that I had written in the early to late 80s, among them ANNIE'S WAR - Love Amid the Ruins. The ruins refers to the failed attempt of the infamous John Brown who is arguably the first home-grown terrorist in America, whose raid on a US Armory at Harpers Ferry, Virginia in 1859 precipitated the Civil War along with a number of other incidents and pressures of the day. I began my writing career as a historical fiction author with a Huckleberry Finn-like novel written while a high school student. I got into crime novels and horror novels as a way to make a living at writing. At the time that I wrote ANNIE'S WAR and a number of YA historical coming of age novels, there was little to no interest in historical fiction.
Previous to returning to Annie's War and dusting off the manuscript some 20 years later, I had done the same with my CHILDREN of SALEM - Love Amid the Witch Trials. With the success of rebuilding that manuscript, I was emboldened then to rebuild Annie's War with the skills and learning I had arrived at these many years later after writing well over fifty other novels from thrillers to urban fantasy.
One of my favorite subjects has always been the Civil War and all the issues leading up to the greatest conflict ever on American soil. I wanted to tell the old John Brown story through the eyes of his 17-year-old daughter who has fallen in love with her father's 1st in command, John Henry Kagi. I love to explore relationships and character, and how characters interact. I write character-driven novels, and Annie has the greatest spirit. She is a fighter, full of spunk and vinegar and at the same time an extremely engaging character. She has to fight for every step of the way through a plot dictated by an historical timeline.
The novel is not 'just' an historical novel as I worked extremely hard to layer it; eighteen men that Annie keeps house for are going into a situation that might likely see them all killed, and among them is the father of her unborn child. This is a tragedy in the making unless Annie can win her small corner of this war. Things are further complicated when a Pinkerton agent on his first job is on a mission to assassinate Annie's father, but spending days and nights with Annie, he falls in love with her, and the boy meets girl tale plays out against the backdrop of gunfire and lynch mobs.
I had great fun, a ball really, writing ANNIE'S WAR anew, and not a bit of dust remains on the story. The reviews thus far have been glowing, and I feel it may well be my best work ever.
~Robert W. Walker
You can learn more about Robert Walkter on Twitter, DorothyL, Facebook at Robert W. Walker (Rob) and Facebook at Titanic 2012 - Curse of RMS Titanic, as well as: http://www.robertwalkerbooks.com/