Q&A: Stacy Henrie
Author Stacy Henrie gives us the tale of an unlikely heroine - a beautiful, young lady who robs robbers - in her newest novel, Lady Outlaw.
WHAT WERE YOUR GOALS WRITING LADY OUTLAW?
I knew early on with this story that I wanted a twist to the typical outlaw tale—I wanted a female outlaw as my heroine. And certainly not someone you’d suspect of putting herself in danger to rob stolen loot from stage bandits. The idea I wanted to explore was what would make someone desperate enough to break the law and justify it. For Jennie, with her fledgling faith in the beginning of the story, that something is the need to save her ranch and provide for her brother and grandmother. I hoped too to create characters with depth who have to deal with tough things from their past, but first and foremost, I wanted a high-adventure, fast-paced, historical romance.
WHAT ARE SOME EXAMPLES FROM THE STORY WHERE YOU DREW ELEMENTS FROM REAL LIFE?
Though certainly in the minority, there were female outlaws in the Old West as well women who aided outlaws. Stagecoach and train robberies weren’t uncommon either. So Jennie’s story, while fiction, is plausible. Like many outlaws, including my home state’s most famous Butch Cassidy, Jennie was raised in a religious home but chooses a different path out of desperation. Unlike Jennie, most outlaws of that day didn’t return to an honest life.
FACT VS. FICTION - WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT SOME EXAMPLES IN YOUR NOVEL WHERE YOU TOOK SOME LIBERTIES WITH THE FACTS?
The bank in Fillmore that Jennie frequents is my creation. There likely could have been a private bank in the city at that time, but it was a liberty I took for the sake of the story. Another liberty would be her mortgage with the bank. Owning land in Utah Territory at the time was different than owning land in other states, but again for the sake of story, I had her father take out a mortgage on the ranch and had the bank president call that loan due.
WHAT DO YOU WANT READERS TO TAKE AWAY FROM YOUR BOOK?
I hope readers will first enjoy the romantic, adventure tale for the fun story it is. Second, I hope they’ll take away from these characters that forgiveness and change are possible, though it typically requires great courage and a dependence on God.
WHAT PROJECTS ARE YOU WORKING ON NOW?
I have a WWI inspirational romance series that will be published by Grand Central Publishing in 2014. The first book is about a schoolteacher and a German-American handyman who fall in love even as anti-German hysteria divides the population of their small Iowa town. The second book is about a nurse and a wounded soldier who meet in a hospital in war-torn France. And the third will be set in England after the war.