Interview with Daniel C Chamberlain, author of The Long Shooters
The prologue is set in the closing weeks of the Civil War and introduces a character named Ballou who is perhaps the finest rifle shot involved in the conflict. Also introduced at this time are my protagonist, Matthew Shaw and a family named Roark. One of the Roark family members is murdered by a hidden marksman who makes a nearly miraculous shot under extreme conditions and when the law fails to act, Shaw is hired to identify and bring the murderer and whomever contracted the crime to justice, even if justice means killing them. It’s a tightly written and intricately woven murder mystery set in the old west.
What genre is it?
Unfortunately, because of the era and location, it falls under the “Western” genre, but it’s more of a murder mystery.
So are you saying the book has more in common with a modern murder mystery than with an old spaghetti western? Setting it in the old West must have allowed you take the genre in new directions.
It has elements of both. Still, if it had been set in New York, it wouldn’t have been a “western” at all. It would have been a victorian detective fiction. So, I’d have to say it’s more of a murder mystery, than a western. I like to joke that it’s a murder mystery, from back in the old days, somewhere out west. I used only tools and tactics that would be available to the 19th century sleuth, and relied a lot on putting the clues out there, but with enough smoke and mirrors that no reader to date has indicated that they saw the end coming. A lot of them thought they saw it coming and were totally blind-sided. I get a real charge out of that. Because they also write that thinking back, they should have known.
Complete this sentence for us: If you like _____________, you’ll love The Long Shooters.
Tell us a bit about Matthew Shaw.
Matt is me. He’s a manhunter. My life in law enforcement has caused me to develop certain attitudes about people and situations that come out in my writing. Shaw’s unflinching determination to do what’s right doesn’t take away from the fact that he’s human and has flaws. His relationship with Sarah is one sort of example of such a flaw. A truly “good” man wouldn’t allow himself to become involved with his employer’s wife, regardless the attraction that exists between them. Shaw isn’t a “truly” good man. He can do bad things while trying to accomplish a good thing. Still, he wouldn’t dally with the boss’ wife unless there was an emotional involvement.
Matt is you?! How? Tell us more about yourself.
I’ve been a police officer, a Chief of Police, a retired federal agent with the Department of the Air Force Office of Special Investigations and now, as a second career, I’ve become a registered oncology nurse. I have a wonderful and supportive wife named Noreen and three lovely daughters, Lesley, Ashley (who designed the cover of this book and the one soon to be published) and Rachel. We live in Illinois, about thirty miles from St. Louis, MO. I’m an avid hunter, fisherman, guitar player and photographer.
Is this the first in a series? If so, can you tell us about the next book.
No, this won’t become a series, however I haven’t ruled out another book involving the same characters. Book #2, BATTLE OF FORTUNE WELLS is due out next week and it’s a traditional western. Book #3 is about half done and it’s a modern action/adventure. So, book #4 will probably be a return to Eagletown and Shaw solving a murder of a friend back in Denver. I can see where that might have an appeal to the many people who read and enjoyed THE LONG SHOOTERS. We’ll have to see.
What are you most proud of with this book?
Considering that it’s a debut novel and that the only real advertisement it’s had is my self promotion efforts, It spent nearly 6 weeks as Amazon Kindle’s #1 Bestselling western and it was never either widely promoted or offered for free. That, and the number of reviews it’s amassed to date. Currently it’s #6 Amazon “Top Rated” Western.
What self-promotion methods did you use?
Twitter is the only promotion I’ve used to date. The Amazon customer reviews have been gratifying and I tweet about them daily.
What is your twitter handle? And do you have a blog where we can follow your work?
My blog can be found at: http://daniel-chamberlain.com/ There will be a link to my books found there.
Soon to be released by Solstice Publishing, is my second novel entitled “Battle of Fortune Wells.” This book is more of a historical fiction, again set in the 1870s and centers around a very obscure event when a number of Comanche Indians left reservations in Oklahoma and North Texas and raided isolated ranches and buffalo camps. The history is cloudy as to how it turned out, so I wrote my own story about it.
Enjoyed this interview? Then check out Educated Injun by RL Kiser.