Entertainment writer Austin Fuller sat down with News-Journal Managing Editor Derek Catron to discuss the publication of his second novel, “Angel Falls,” which comes out this week. In a pre-publication review, the Historical Novel Society said, “This well-written western has suspense in every chapter. … A page-turner that is difficult to put down.” The book ($25.95 from Five Star Publishing) is a follow up to last year’s “Trail Angel” and is available locally at Barnes & Noble as well as online retailers.
What is “Angel Falls” about?
“Angel Falls” is a story of love and war. It’s set in Wyoming in 1866 at the height of Red Cloud’s War, which climaxed with the army’s deadliest defeat to that point in the Indian wars. The story focuses on Josey Angel, a Union cavalryman who finds redemption and some degree of healing through his love of Annabelle Rutledge, a Southern war widow who’s come west to rebuild her family’s fortunes. They must come together to survive the threat of a Lakota war leader determined to preserve his people’s way of life at any cost. In the end, the triumph of love is offset by the tragedy of war, which brings great costs even to the victors.
With “Angel Falls” coming out just a year after your first book, were the ideas for it coming together during “Trail Angel?”
By the time I finished “Trail Angel,” I knew I would need to write a follow-up. The first book shows Josey and Annabelle falling in love despite their differences on the journey west at the outset of the war. “Angel Falls” tells a deeper story, with much higher stakes. Falling in love turns out to be the easy part. Making it work, especially when the Lakota are on the warpath, proves the real challenge. Writing the second book also gave me the opportunity to expand the scope of the story, exploring day-to-day life in the forts, gold mining towns and even Indian villages.
Will people who did not read “Trail Angel” be confused…