Westerns are in his ‘Blood’ | PostIndependent.com

Westerns are in his ‘Blood’

Stina Sieg
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Kelley Cox Post Independent

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” A good guy, a bad guy and a smart, beautiful woman.

What more would you want in good, old-fashioned Western?

Surely, “Kincade’s Blood,” a new novel by Glenwood’s Michael Chandler, has complexities and levels, twists and turns, but, at its heart, it’s simple. It’s about morality and adventure ” and, in Chandler’s words, “A surprise ending that will hopefully shock the reader. They’ll never see it coming.”

Here’s a sampling of what else he had to say about this historical piece, which recently hit bookstores, nation-wide.

“Oh, I think I’ve always liked to write. English and writing have always been a passion of mine. I’m sure that journalism school at CU encouraged me some. I have a very active imagination, and being pretty much a loner as a little boy, because I was overweight and very shy. So, back in the fifties, long before you were born, on television there were a lot of Westerns. And because my dad was in television, TV was a very big part of our household. So I kind of grew up where my best friends were the good guys and bad guys in TV Westerns. They became my role models of, you know, good guys wear white hats and they always win. And bad guys wear black hats, and they always lose. It was a very clear world to comprehend and be a part of. So I think that had a big influence on me. And then my vivid imagination, just over the years. I played a lot of cowboys and Indians growing up.”

“I guess the character of Kincade is a compilation of all the good guys that I’ve ever watched in movies ” Westerns or television Westerns. And Will Logan, the bad guy in “Kincade’s Blood,” is all black, and he is as bad as they come. And it’s a classic confrontation. I wanted to have a female with the story, not so much for a romantic thread, although there is a romantic thread. But I wanted to show that women, I think, are, in the final analysis, much stronger than men. Men may be physically stronger, but as far as matters of the heart, matters of the soul, women trounce men over and over. So I wanted to show the female character, Josephine, as being certainly appealing and gorgeous and very feminine, but she’s strong, courageous and focused, and an inspiration to all those around her. … ‘Kincade’s’ Blood’ is really a story about balance in a human being’s life. The challenges that you face every day and the successes that you face and enjoy every day. And how they balance each other out, which gives you depth of character and perspective on life. And enables you to move forward and enjoy this day, no matter what it brings.”

“Well, the book takes place probably in the, oh, it probably starts about 1865 and probably goes through the 1880s. It’s in the American West and American Southwest. It is a tale of the frontier and the lawless American West. I have every influence in my own life. A great part of the book’s actually true. Some of the stories and situations and stories that Josephine gets involved with are real. Now, I don’t say it’s a true story, but there are many parts of it are true.”

And many he experienced himself, he explained. Stunt gun fighting, cattle drives ” you name it. His family history, too, is full of pioneer experiences ” wagon trains, tragedies and all. Of course he incorporated all he could into his novel.

“Yes. I don’t know if, as human beings, we’ve all been on this world for many, many times, and if you get a lesson right, then you get to move on to whatever else is up there. If you don’t learn your lesson, your primary lesson of why you were here, I don’t know if you return to try it again, see if you get it right the next time. … I’ve been, I’ve existed in the lawless American West, and this person as I see as Kincade, I was that person. And I must not have gotten it right back then, because here I am again (laughing). So maybe the book gets it right.”

“I want them to be satisfied. I want them to be entertained. I want them to feel strongly about each character. As they meet each of these characters, I want them to be able to say to themselves, ‘I feel something about this character. I feel like I almost ” no, not almost ” I feel as though I know them.’ When Logan does the things he does in that book, I want you to be frightened, like if I were in that situation, I would be frightened for my life, because if you met him you would be. And if you met Kincade, I hope you would say, ‘You know what? He’s not perfect,’ but he’s fundamentally a good man that you would be pleased to call a friend, and you would be very comfortable around him. Josephine, I would like to think that women would want to be Josephine, because she represents all the things that I think women have as a species. I think women are magical creatures. I actually think all men in today’s world ought to be jailed and not released until they learn how to behave with women. And women get to decide when they get released.”

“Oh, perhaps fulfilling my own dreams. … I guess there’s a phrase ‘Everything is unfolding exactly as it should.’ And in the book, maybe I fast-forwarded that for me a little bit. Everything in ‘Kincade’s Blood’ unfolded exactly as it should. I just got to plot it out, so it made sense to me as I wrote it. And I wish I could make that sort of sense of my own life. But, in the case of ‘Kincade’s Blood,’ I did. And that gives me hope for this life, which is a good life.”

“Nothing. There is no worst part. It’s all good in the ‘hood.”

“Having empathy, compassion. Probably most of all, the art of forgiveness. Those are the most important things in my life.”

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