Chasing Demons by John Hansen
Chasing Demons is a Western by John Hansen.
The Army had been Gus O’Grady’s home for thirteen years. Fighting and killing, it was all that he’d ever known as an adult. Day after day, living – if you could call it that, with the threat of kill or be killed. Long hours for little pay under the arbitrary rule of often uncaring officers had come to be the norm. Whiskey had become a way of coping but now it had betrayed him. His once good name and sergeant’s stripes were gone. There wasn’t much reason to stay but, deserting? Others had done it. Still, would it be any better in the civilian world? Gus was about to find out.
A Word from the Author
I have, since I was a little kid, had a strong interest in the history of the West, particularly the Army. Life for an enlisted man during the nineteenth century was often harsh. Poor food, low pay, loneliness, danger, and strict rule were about all that he had to look forward to. The disparity in living conditions between officers and enlisted men was dramatic. Compared to the Spartan accommodations for enlisted men, officers lived a life of luxury on post. As a consequence, desertion was common and rates as high as twenty to thirty percent were reported. It was from these ranks of deserters that I chose to create my main protagonist in CHASING DEMONS, Gus O’Grady. The accounts of how hard some of these men were pushed, especially by officers like George Custer, compelled me to believe that Gus O’Grady could be a character that the reader would empathize with. In turn, my objective in writing has always been to make my characters believable, with real problems and plausible solutions. I want my reader to say: “Heck, a hundred and forty years ago that could’ve been me.” I believe it makes the events in CHASING DEMONS come to life for the reader if he can visualize himself as Gus. So, I’m hoping the reader of, CHASING DEMONS, will find a quiet place and let his mind go to the mountains along the Arizona-New Mexico border. I think you’ll like it there.
(John Hansen, November 2016)
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