I received a free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.
When I was offered the opportunity to review Frontier Preacher, the setting piqued my interest. Last summer my family spent part of our vacation in that part of Wyoming, visiting Devil’s Tower. So, although this book was not one I’d typically pick up off the shelf (I don’t read many westerns), I agreed to review it because the premise interested me.
The book, a western historical fiction, told the story of Hollis Winget, who traveled to Gillette, Wyoming, to serve as preacher and fulfill a promise to his uncle.
I was slow to become engrossed, but partially because the book’s descriptions of winter in Wyoming were torturous to this Texas girl. Sometimes I found myself shaking my head at Hollis in his early interactions with townsfolk, but as the story unfolded, I was captivated. The main conflict of the story was based on a reality that was and is brutal and hard to stomach. David handled scenes with delicacy, and there were no vivid, gory descriptions, only what was necessary to convey the story.
As expected in a book about a preacher, it had strong elements of faith, lived out faith. I learned as I read that it was more than a story about a preacher fulfilling a promise. It was a story of courage, love, and redemption.
When I curl up with any book, it is in the hope of being swept into it. If you like a book that makes you cry, mourn, laugh, and fume for people that exist only on the page, you’ll like this book.
I highly recommend this book.
David Millican III is the author of Frontier Preacher. I had a chance to ask him questions about the book
Tell us about Hollis. Was there a real-life inspiration behind him?
Hollis is a composite of three Frontier Preachers and a dash of me. These men, two of which I don’t even know their names only stories related to them, braved situations that you and I couldn’t even imagine. I wanted to tell the story of the Wild West dying and the Civilized East moving in like a storm. But it was the idea of a preacher that made it work. Any other protagonist would have lacked the moral authority in the eyes of the other characters to make it believable. I played around with a railroad worker but it was something about the refined preacher in the savage west that made it work. The crisis of faith endured by many preachers in that situation, including those who inspired Hollis framed the story perfectly so it could be told without being heavy handed or in the reverse too predictable. As for the name, Hollis Winget(pronounced win-jet), that is my grandfather’s first and middle name. This was my first published book and I wanted to honor him. I wanted to honor my other grandfather as well, but the “third” after my name might help you understand why that would be awkward.
What about Minnie?
Minnie. Minnie is…Minnie. She isn’t inspired by someone as much as inspired by what others want to be. I don’t want spoilers so I will just say that Minnie is a true Wyoming woman. (If you don’t know what that means, look up our State Motto after you’re done reading the book.)
What was the hardest part of writing this book?
Again, no spoilers. There were two scenes in particular that I had a hard time getting past. I couldn’t see my screen through the strange liquid that seemed to form in my eyes. Weird. Beyond that, the writing was pretty straightforward. Frontier preacher had been a short story in its previous incarnation and it flowed well into a full-length novel. Everything that happened after the writing was finished, that was the chore for me. Covers, editing, formatting, editing, advertising, editing, beta-readers, editing, publishing, editing, and republishing.
If you could have dinner with any character from your book, which would you choose?
Eunice Getz (though that is not her real name in real life). She is the grandmother of a woman I knew as a child. The woman (name withheld) had wonderful stories of her grandmother and I would have loved to have met the old hard Wyomin (that’s how to pronounce it correctly) woman and learned about my home from someone who tore her success out of its stubborn dry ground.
Have you written any other books?
Written? Yes. See question three as to why they are not published yet. I have a mystery series set in my current town of McKeesport, PA that I hope to have out by the end of the year and a book of studies titled “I Never Thought of it That Way” that should be out…yeah, it should be out.
Is there a message in your novel that you hope readers will grasp?
Yes, the darkness lies, live in the light. On one level, as a Christian, this means something very specific to me. But as I tell people over and over again, this is not a “Christian” book. This is first and foremost the story of conflict between two ages. The old and the new cannot coexist together and it so happens that Hollis was the perfect person to tell the story through. And that means my statement that the darkness lies, is true for everyone who reads this book. The darkness comes only to steal your joy, to twist your mind, and to corrupt your innermost being. Live in the light. The light is truth, it is love, it is power, and it is happiness. Some are dragged into the darkness, some walk in willingly. Just know, whoever you are, and whatever you are facing, the light is there for you.
For more information about the blog tour, click here.
You can get your copy of Frontier Preacher…
David is offering a 50% discount for the paperback book! To get your copy, go to the Createspace estore and enter this code when you checkout: GYM7ACWX.
From May 27-31, Frontier Preacher will also be on sale for just $1.99. That’s a $3.00 savings!