Tracie Peterson: Forgiveness on The Texas Frontier
Her latest novel is Taming the Wind (Bethany House), the third volume in the Land of the Lone Star series.
1. What sets Taming the Wind apart from other books you’ve written?
Taming the Wind has some elements that my readers will recognize—issues of forgiveness being at the forefront. However, there are other aspects that will have a different feel. I don’t often write novels with a widow or widower situation, and in this story we have Carissa, who was an abused wife and is now a widow with a child. She has to learn to trust and love again. We also have issues of faith for the hero, Tyler, who must come to terms with vengeance and seeing the past made right. The setting starts out in Texas, but this time I take the cattlemen on the trail as they drive steer to Kansas.
2. The setting for this book is 1868. Why was this time period of interest to you?
This is the time period when cattle drives take off. The years of cattle drives aren’t that numerous, since the railroad moves in and soon makes the long drives obsolete, so I wanted to show a story that has a bit of this flavor. It’s also interesting to see the way the states are recovering from the Civil War.
3. Did you do any special research for this book?
Yes, I made a trip to Texas and visited several museums. I spoke with cattlemen and also studied the journey along the Chisholm Trail. I found it very interesting and even managed to get ideas for future books.
4. Was there anything unusual about writing this series?
There was something humorous that happened during the research stage of things. My husband and I were at a museum researching and found an old photograph of a cowboy being thrown from a steer during a rodeo. The way it was posed made it look like he was purposefully sliding under the steer. We started joking about steer sliding, and that turns up in the book as a joke on a greenhorn.
5. What do you want the reader to take away from this?
There are so many people out there who have been wounded by their pasts. I want them to find healing and the freedom to let go in Jesus. Jesus is all about liberty—He said the truth would set us free, and He is the truth. I hear from readers all the time about the bondage they find themselves in, how they long to be set free. This story offers insight into characters experiencing much the same.
6. This is book three in your Land of the Lone Star series. Will the reader need to read
the other two books first?
Not really. The overall experience will be richer for having read books one and two, but I strive to make my series books stand alone. I want the reader to be able to pick up any of the books and through the storyline get caught up to date, while still enjoying a brand-new journey.