Updated: Dec 5, 2018
Award-winning author, Christi Corbett, joins us today with news of her latest release in the Whitcomb Springs series, "Retribution Road."
Welcome, Christi! You've experienced considerable success by winning both a Rone Award and the Laramie Award for your debut novel, Along the Way Home. Writing a short story must be somewhat of a challenge. What was your experience transitioning from novel to short story?
Retribution Road was my first attempt at a short story. I’ve already written two full-length books and one novella, and now it’s nice to have a short story to round out the collection. I enjoyed the challenge of packing a lot of character and storyline development into only 13,000 words!
Will you tell us what led you to write in this genre of western historical fiction?
When I was in second grade I was fortunate enough to find a copy of Little House on the Prairie at a yard sale. I read it so many times the front cover actually fell off. Then I learned there were more books and soon I’d read the entire series. I became fascinated with life in the “old times”, which over the years led to me playing endless rounds of the computer game, The Oregon Trail.
Then, on a road trip from Green Bay, Wisconsin to Seattle, I figured out I could put my love of reading to good use and write a book!
Will you be writing more short stories for this series?
I’m not certain if future books will be short stories or novellas, but I enjoyed writing Retribution Road so much I definitely think I’d like to write more in the series.
Excerpt from "Retribution Road"
Friday, November 1, 1867
Graham hid in the shadows, his hand resting on his pistol while he considered the rising flames. Normally he’d take a wide path around a stranger’s camp, but the glowing coals promised warmth and the pot the two men had hanging over the fire smelled of beans. Eating nothing for three days made a man consider a lot of things.
Even worse, he was lost.
In Seattle, taking a wrong turn had meant simply backtracking or trying another street. Deep within the wooded and ankle-busting terrain of Montana Territory, it meant he could die.
His stomach growled again, and he took another swig of icy water from his canteen to quiet the rumbling. Graham’s numb fingers fumbled with the metal cap and a clang broke the silence.
The younger man leapt to his feet. “Pa, did you hear something?”
The older man rose and swung a Henry rifle into firing position. “Who’s out there?” he demanded, his voice raspy from years of hard liquor and harder living.
Graham sighed. Unless he wanted to start a fight with strangers, he’d best answer. “No need to get riled up. I’m just passing through.”
“You alone?” shouted the younger man, planting his legs wide while shucking off his coat.
“Yes,” Graham replied, his fingers lowering to test the knot securing his holster to his leg.
They exchanged whispers, then the older man called out, “You cold?”
“Yes.” Graham grimaced. Late fall out here was a lot colder than his brother’s letters had led him to believe. The frigid winds seemed to blow right through his clothes—a blanket-lined coat, flannel shirt, wool pants, long socks, and high boots—and settle deep in his bones. He’d been cold for the past month.
“Better come in then. Keep your hands where we can see them.”