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Friday 2 August 2019

ℚ The Ornery Gene - Warren C. Embree

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about The Ornery Gene (, Down and Out Books, 215 pages), an Amateur Sleuth Mystery.

"The author has an authentic understanding of living in that part of Nebraska. The story is well-written and kept me guessing to the very end."  ~ Amazon review

"If you like a "who done it" with realistic characters then this books is for you. The main characters are relatable, believable, and full of personality.  [...]
If you like westerns or western settings then you are going to enjoy this book. It gives an insightful look into life in the Sandhills of Nebraska, ranching, and rodeo. All the details are here from the way the rain works in the sandhills to the love of the cinnamon roll.

If you want something to entertain you then this book fits the bill. You will find yourself wanting these characters to get to the bottom of the mystery of both the murder and of their own past, which is all wrapped up together in a very well thought out story." ~ Amazon review

|| Synopsis || Teaser: KCR Preview || Author Q&A || About the Author || Giveaway & Tour Stops ||

A very warm welcome to Warren C. Embree; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!

What was the inspiration for 
The Ornery Gene?
"I have been writing fiction off and on for over fifty years but, with a few exceptions, I never took it seriously.  Even those exceptions were half-hearted.

Then, a number years back, I ran into an old college classmate at the University bookstore, and he wondered if I was still writing.  He said he had always enjoyed what I had written in the classes we had taken together and told me I needed to write a novel about the Nebraska Sandhills.

I wrote a couple of novels after that, but I wasn't happy with them.  However, a few years ago I finished one I rather liked.  After numerous rewrites, I let it sit for a while with the intention of making a final version.  Then my older sister, Paula Horii, wanted to read it, liked it, and said I should get it published.  It was her dogged persistence that got it finished.   
So I was inspired to write the book by one individual and motivated to finish by another.  Unfortunately, the gentleman passed away last year before he could see results of his "charge" to me."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"Although I drew upon my experiences working on ranches and farms, I self-consciously tried to keep myself out of the story.  There are those who knew me all my life and tried to identify characters in the book with people from the past, but no one has pointed out anyone and said, "Hey, there's Warren.""
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover.  Can you tell us about your cover for The Ornery Gene - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"The cover was provided by the publisher, Down & Out Books and was designed by JT Lindroos.

I do not know the artist, but I am pleased with the outcome.  It represents well the atmosphere and characters of the book."
Why should we read The Ornery Gene and what sets it apart from the rest? What makes your book unique?
"It is simply a well-written novel, with a satisfying story, set in a little known part of the United States, and populated by interesting and compelling characters.

The Sandhills of Nebraska is the largest grass-stabilized sand dune region in the Western Hemisphere and sits atop the largest aquifer in North America (the Ogallala estimated at 174,000 sq. mi.--450,000 sq. km.).  Its culture is as unique as its geography."

Can you tell us something quirky about 
The Ornery Gene, its story and characters?
"Some might find it quirky to focus on rodeo rough stock, cattle breeding, bull riding, and rodeo bull fighters.  Outside certain parts of the United States, these are relatively unknown.  Also, the threat of rattlesnakes and river sink holes is unusual.

I highlight the normal activity and characteristics of the culture in order to draw the reader into the story, and I think a reader from outside the region will find numerous things quirky."
Who would you recommend The Ornery Gene to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"I would recommend this book to anyone.  There should be nothing alarming, other than death."
If you could / wished to turn The Ornery Gene into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"Location: Sandhills of Nebraska

Ron Howard or
Clint Eastwood

Cast of main characters: "
Buck Ellison:
Jeremy Lee Renner
Sarah Watkins:
Ellen Tyne Daly
Travis Martin:
Kodi Smit-McPhee
Diane Gibbons:
Chloe Bennet
Goff Hansen:
Robert Duvall
Sheriff Harvey Lynch :
Joshua James Brolin
Tom Anderson:
Kurt Russell
Eleanor Anderson:
Annette Carol Bening
What do you like to write and read about?  Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"As I note in the next question, I am a rather haphazard writer.  That said, I am usually working on different projects at the same time, either writing or researching.

I enjoy both fiction and non-fiction writing.  Most of the fiction writing has been murder mysteries.  "The Ornery Gene" is the first one picked up by a publisher, Down & Out Books."
What is your writing process?
"I'm afraid my routine in writing is "fits and starts."

Although I work full time, I do daydream a lot about characters and storylines.  I enjoy the process of research immensely and even enjoy rewriting once I have something to edit, but the actual business of writing takes place in a rather haphazard fashion.  At one time I did force myself to write 2 to 4 pages a night, but I neither liked the process nor the results.  I hope to be a little more dedicated once I retire."
What is in store next?
"I am working on another novel, plus a couple of other books.

My sister wants to know about one of the minor characters in the "The Ornery Gene," Peggy Williamson, who did not make the final cut of the novel.

Buck knew her from the time he worked construction in Gordon, Nebraska and roomed with her boyfriend, John Lambert.  She had left Gordon under suspicion of having had a part in the death of a classmate and ended up working in a bar and grill in Tryon, a small town north of where Buck was working at Sarah Watkins ranch.

When Lambert turns up dead in Tryon, Buck gets reluctantly involved in finding out why Lambert was killed and why Peggy has vanished.

The background to the story is, of course, the Sandhills, but more specifically the county fair, show cattle, 4-H, trucking, and whatever else I might be able to weave into it.

I do not know when it will be done or if it will be picked up to be published."
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"Here is a photo of my cat, Scampers and one with Scampers and me."

Hello gorgeous Scampers! Lots of head-scratches to you!
We do love all animals, but do have a soft spot for kitties...

Warren, thank you so much for sharing Scampers with us!

Nature or nurture?
Either way the last go-round is murder...

The Ornery Gene
Available NOW!

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CMash said...

Great interview. This book just went on my TBR list.

Unknown said...

Thank you for giving me the hosting my book and granting me an interview. It means a lot to be able to explain some of the thoughts and processes that went into creating the novel. If any of your followers have further questions, I would be happy to answer them.

BooksChatter said...

Hello Warren, thank you so much for popping by, and thank you for the great interview, we loved finding out about The Ornery Gene, the Sandhills, and meeting Scampers :-)

We hope you are having a great tour!