Cold Trail is a collection of short stories quite different from the stories in Interludes and Lunch. There are some similarities, such as clever dialogue and wry humor. However, I was able to delve into darker stories and more fantasy.
There’s a story of two classmates who reunite to run a boatyard that ends with a dark twist, a tale about a pixie and an older man, a story about a widow who takes in a young farmhand and a story about a Cajun witch.
One story is set in the Sandhills of Nebraska in the 1890’s and is a story I wanted to write about since I was in High School. I am a huge Willa Cather fan so a story about Nebraska pioneers is a must for me. It was more difficult to write than I thought it would be and it had to be revised several times; C & C Critique Group in O'Fallon, Missouri helped me with that.
The story about the pixie is complex in that I wrote it nearly 2 years ago. I could never find the right ending for it and left it out of the first book on Saturday Writer's member Jennifer Hasheider’s recommendation. She was right it; wasn’t ready. I gave it to my publisher and editor, Leigh Michaels. She made a comment which turned the story into a trip down deep into my soul. I had a line in it where the pixie (in reality a 25 year old woman) says that all she got from her first marriage was a bad liver and a broken heart. Leigh said, “I was expecting something to happen to the pixie’s liver.” When I started rewriting the ending, I found myself reliving a very painful part of my life. When I sent the revised story to Leigh she loved it.
My publisher Leigh Michaels, of PBL Limited in Iowa, is also my editor and a mentor and a dear friend all wrapped up in one. Most writers don’t have this kind of relationship with their publisher. She has made writing easy for me. Her style is very light-handed, she corrects the grammar and errors in syntax, phasing and so on. I never object because I know she knows what she is doing. Generally the only things she’ll want changed are things that need clarification or timeline problems or transition needs. I have been fortunate to have found her. It was strictly by accident, she likes my style and likes me and we get along great. It’s hard to find that person.
The cover on Cold Trails is beautiful. Ok, my daughter Danielle Spradley did the artwork and I may be biased, but it is beautiful. Leigh was also kind enough to let me add 6 illustrations selected from some of my daughter's work. I think it adds a lot to the whole experience. Danielle is a fairly well known artist on St. Louis scene and has work in galleries from Paris and London to San Francisco. She has illustrated 2 other books and has designed beer labels and album covers. She sent me a text one day that although she didn’t make the cover of the Rolling Stone magazine, her album cover was inside the magazine as the album was reviewed there.
Cold Trail is available through amazon.com or through me. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org I hope you’ll pick up a copy and enjoy the tales, and as always, do an author a favor and leave a review.
About this Author:
Bill's books are available on Amazon.