What I’ve tried to capture in this story are the thoughts and feelings of the characters on all sides of the conflict as they live through this adventure, to give you, the reader, a glimpse of what life and war were really like for the Apache warriors and the Buffalo Soldiers during their struggles to fight and survive. The characters are fictional, but they’re based on the journals of military officers and enlisted men who served during the frontier wars, and of politicians who influenced government strategy during that time period, as well as interviews with Apache survivors and offspring who lived and fought during the 1880s.
During Black History month, many folks, including revisionist historians, like to point out little known historical facts that the general populace may not know. For example, a lot of history and western readers know the Pinkertons were also known as cowboy detectives or frontier detectives. But did you know that the Pinkerton National Detective Agency actually hired Black cowboy detectives and cowgirl detectives?
Indeed, they were as well trained as any other, and it is reported that some of the women detectives could handle firearms as well as men and were just as accurate as male sharpshooters.
It’s tough to deliver a historical western that’s true to the genre, but unique enough to capture readers of all ethnicities. Courage is chronologically the first in the five-book Jason Peares historical western series, but I actually wrote it last. I envisioned this story as the “origins” novel—where Jason Peares came from and how he became the outlaw gunfighter he is. At the same time, I wanted to push the boundaries of the traditional western a bit. So in this story, I pitted our hero, a half-black half-white gunfighter, against a very capable and deadly frontier detective…that was a woman!
This is a work of fiction, but the origins and expansion of the Pinkerton National Detective Agency in the early 1880s is well documented. What I’ve tried to capture in this story are the thoughts and feelings and fears of a wanted man pursued by detectives of a professional man-hunting agency, all the while dreaming of love and family, and of a time and place where he might live free from pursuit.