Thursday, April 10, 2014


Title: Walls for the Wind
Author: Alethea Williams
Genre: Western historical
Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
Date of publication: April 2014

Alethea Williams:
Hello, I’m happy to be here on ActuallyAlethea today. Even though I wrote Walls for the Wind, I still have a few questions for some of the characters. Let’s try to interview the newspaperman and photographer for the Evening Post who came west from New York City with the orphan train, Mr. Henry Rawlings and Mr. Joshua Simpson. Gentlemen, let me start by asking if you feel you present a true picture of the West for your readers?

Joshua Simpson:
Photographs don’t lie, Mrs. Williams.

Perhaps. But they can be staged. And the words that accompany them can be slanted in whatever direction the writer wishes the reader to lean.

I think we’ve just been insulted, Henry.

Henry Simpson:
Are you referring to anything in particular that I have written, Mrs. Williams? Or do you just enjoy indulging in general character assassination?

I had no idea your feelings were so easily bruised, gentlemen. I just wanted to know if you dressed up your reports a bit, in order to attract readers or perhaps even to assist the government in its efforts to settle the vast interior of this continent. Do you confess to smoothing the rough edges sometimes?

I usually do the interviewing, Mrs. Williams. I never realized until this moment that I don’t much like being interviewed.

Nor I being put in the glare of the footlights.

“All the world’s a stage,” as has been noted.

And you think we serve up the news As You Like It, eh, Mrs. Williams? All right, I acknowledge that upon occasion I leave out the ugly bits in order to polish up the bright spots. Didn’t you do as much with your little book?

My book is fiction, sir. I tried to show the bad as well as the good of a train of orphans leaving charitable institutions for distribution to settlers.

Yes, well, we haven’t the luxury of thousands of words like you. Newspapers measure words by column inches, and we have a deadline. If there is a certain point I wish to make, I must make it in a few hundred words. I haven’t the freedom to invent the facts, as, for instance, fiction writers are permitted to do.

And just one picture can convey in just the briefest glance the feeling, background, and circumstances of a situation that would take many hundreds of words to describe.

Do you ever consider that your words inspire people, especially young people, to come west with unrealistic expectations?

Don’t all words inspire expectations of some sort in the reader? Whether that expectation is to be instructed, inspired, or merely entertained, there is a definite bargain struck between the writer and the person who takes the time to read and digest the writer’s words.

Well said, Mr. Rawlings. I can see that’s as far as we’re going to get on this subject today. So on that parting note, I thank you gentlemen for bearing with me and my questions as much as you have done. And thank you to readers from all of us connected with Walls for the Wind!

Walls for the Wind buy links:

Author bio:
Western history has been the great interest of my adult life. I've lived in Wyoming, Colorado, and Oregon. Although an amateur historian, I am happiest researching different times and places in the historical West. And while staying true to history, I try not to let the facts overwhelm my stories. Story always comes first in my novels, and plot arises from the relationships between my characters. I'm always open to your response to my writing and you can reach me in many of the social media.

Twitter: @ActuallyAlethea

The Romance Reviews author page:

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