posted in: Christian, Dystopian | 0

mountains rivers plainsby Robert Frederick Jackson, Jr.

As statist power grows in the halls of government, Southern, Gulf, and many Western states begin to govern themselves. Unfortunately, some reside within reach of a government that is aware of their discontent and wants to crush it. 

Duane Jefferson’s blog and cafe songs mark him and his best friend Shane Amundsen, a girl who is part Osage Indian as trouble in the government’s eyes. The two students of frontier history know archaic defensive skills unique to the era which they will need to protect themselves and a Christian theology professor from dangerous, shadowy agents. 

All three need the services of David Davis, the forestry expert who is highly skilled in covert operations.  In fact he trained almost every law enforcement chief in the South and West in outdoor search and combat skills. 

CIR: What makes your book unique?

JACKSON: I attempt a slice-of-life, existential realism so as to seem even “plain” or “simple”rather than the complicated plots and character motivations in modern movies and television dramas. My main characters usually have some basic, archaic defensive skill unusual for someone like them. While including action and drama that readers have praised, they also rely more on narrative than many contemporary novels. This is an attempt to mirror older fiction styles of bygone eras and the story telling tradition of my Appalachia.

CIR: You have four main characters in this novel.  Can you tell us about them?

JACKSON: My main characters tend to be unassuming, honest, Christian and brave; but not unbelievably heroic or pure; just people who are average, good people, without selfish motivations. They rise above the norms of society only in their courage, good intent, and preparation (training, self-education, and such).  Each tends to have a unique attribute. In this novel there are Duane and Shane’s expert skills with archaic weapons and their unusual knowledge of outdoor survival and the old frontier ways.

CIR: What was the writing process like for your book?

JACKSON: For the same goal mentioned previously of existential realism, I do three things: 1. base characters on real people that I know; 2. avoid letting one main character dominate the story; and 3. let my mind wonder rather than starting with a plot outline at the beginning. The third allows me to get into predicaments with my character friends and feel as if I’m in the story and it’s happening to me. It is also the way of the mountain story tellers of old times. With respect to real life character inspirations, all of my small, ethnic heroines are based on my Filipina wife and our daughter.

Learn more about Robert Frederick Jackson Jr. and his writing at Literary Leaves.