Welcome to WOLF NOTES, where interview questions stray from the rest of the pack. It’s nice to know the usual stuff like where an author gets their inspiration and why they write, but sometimes we need a little fun in our lives.
After 35 years peering into the future in his many Star Trek stories, New York Times bestselling author Howard Weinstein turns to historical fiction in Galloway’s Gamble, his new novel from Five Star Publishing.
Inspired by high-spirited classics like Maverick, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and The Sting, Galloway’s Gamble is an Old West coming-of-age romp about bickering brothers Jamey and Jake Galloway, who grow up to be poker players in 1860s Texas. Can these two young gamblers outfox a ruthless cattle baron and shady banker bent on destroying their Texas hometown—without getting themselves killed? Galloway’s Gamble is the first of a possible series, and Howie is working on the sequel.
Howie’s most recent Star Trek story is “The Blood-Dimmed Tide” in Star Trek: Mere Anarchy. Other writing credits include “The Pirates of Orion” animated Star Trek episode; many Star Trek novels and comics; and Puppy Kisses Are Good for the Soul, a charming account of life with his legendary Welsh Corgi, Mail Order Annie.
Howie also runs Day-One Dog Training, using Annie’s valuable lessons to help dogs and humans have the best possible life together. You can findowieHowieSeSee Howie’s writing news and blog at http://www.howardweinsteinbooks.com, and dog training info at http://www.dayonedogtraining.com.
Wolf: I think I know the answer to this, but do you consider yourself a cat person, or a dog person?
Howie: Team Dog, all the way. I understand why cat people appreciate/love/worship their cats. But I’ve been scratched by enough cats who were friendly until they weren’t to know I don’t trust ‘em. I can size up a dog and know whether it’s friendly in a couple of minutes. And I can become pals with most dogs in a couple of minutes more. Dogs are not good at hiding their feelings, so I trust dogs.
Wolf: I’m with you on that. While walking in the woods you come across…
Howie: Trick question! I’m highly unlikely to be caught walking in the woods. There’s creepy things in the woods, like snakes up in trees. I never liked snakes anyway (me and Indiana Jones), but it was a very disturbing day when I learned SNAKES CAN CLIMB TREES!!
Wolf: So besides the ability to repel snakes, If you could have a super power, what would it be?
Howie: The ability to suspend the passage of time, so I could get more (any!) work done. A few extra hours a day would help.
Wolf: I hope that one is shareable. I’m always running out of time. There is a door at the end of a dark, damp corridor. You hear rumbling. What do you do?
Howie: I send somebody (preferably somebody I’m not that fond of) to take a closer look. Delegation is an underrated skill (especially in horror movies).
Wolf: The world is about to end. What is the first thing you do?
Howie: Shrug, then curse. Or do both together. Then again, does it even matter?
Wolf: Which of your characters is your favorite?
Howard: Well, I didn’t create him, but Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy from STAR TREK shares the top of my list. He’s a hopeful, cynical, romantic, sarcastic curmudgeon – which is pretty close to my own personality.
Of my own characters, I guess it would be Jamey Galloway, from my new novel GALLOWAY’S GAMBLE. When he and his older brother Jake are caught in a Civil War skirmish against superior Union forces, and Jake suggests charging into pointless battle, Jamey resists: “Better a live coward than a dead hero.”
Wolf: Describe a meal you would be served while visiting another world.
Howie: You can’t go wrong with a good burger!
Wolf: Hope you don’t mind the occasional dragon burger. What story are you working on now?
Howie: Historical fiction – a literal turnaround from writing about the future in 35 years of STAR TREK novels, comic books, and non-fiction. Why the change? I no longer feel very optimistic about the future. After decades in which humanity made some real strides (race and gender equality, social justice, end of the Cold War), the world took a turn for the worse with the rise of global terrorism and economic inequality. Laws may change, but human nature not so much. People fall prey to the same flaws and failings as centuries ago.
So, I decided to write about the past, hoping to find some useful perspective on today’s world, and tomorrow’s. The first of what I hope will be several historical novels is GALLOWAY’S GAMBLE, an epic tale of two young brothers (Jamey and Jake Galloway) who grow up in 1850s Texas to become gamblers. After a variety of adventures, with fortunes won and lost, they come home to find their hometown threatened by wealthy cattle baron Wilhelm Krieg and shady banker Silas Atwood – forcing Jamey and Jake to cook up with a scheme to outfox the bad guys, without getting themselves killed. It’s a timeless David vs. Goliath tale about battling greed and corruption, as relevant today as in 1873. With high stakes and serious themes, GALLOWAY’S GAMBLE is also lots of fun.
My new publisher (Five Star Publishing) asked for a sequel. So, I’m starting a new cross-country story with Jamey and Jake, involving horse racing (dominated by black jockeys until the early 1900s), Spiritualism, Gilded Age greed and chicanery – culminating in a big match race at Baltimore’s then-new Pimlico race track.
Wolf: Where shall we deposit the first installment of your billion-dollar lottery prize?
Howie: My bank account would be fine.
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A. L. Kaplan
Eighteen-year-old Tatiana is running from her past and her star-touched powers eight years after a meteor devastates earth’s population. Her power to heal may be overshadowed by more destructive abilities. Fleeing the persecution of those like her, Tatiana seeks refuge in a small town she once visited. But this civil haven, in a world where society has broken down, is beginning to crumble. Will Tatiana flee or stay and fight for the new life she has built? Only by harnessing the very forces that haunt her can Tatiana save her friends…and herself.
“A unique and finely crafted debut novel, the characters touched my heart as I was drawn into their plight and compelled to finish!”
— New York Times bestselling Author Maria V. Snyder