Western Story Wins International Book Award
Nevada silver rush thriller was 100 years in the making
MIDVALE, Utah, Oct. 16, 2016 – What if you came home after a journey and your family was no longer there? What if someone else was living in your house, running what you used to manage — and trying to kill you? So begins the thriller “To Swallow the Earth,” which won this year’s International Book Award for western novel.
“It’s really my grandfather’s story,” says co-author Karl Beckstrand. “My grandfather grew up exploring the Sierra Nevada Mountains on horseback a hundred years ago. He used that setting for his mystery–set in the Nevada silver rush,” Beckstrand said.
After his grandfather passed away in 1992, Beckstrand inherited the manuscript. “My challenge was to tighten his story and develop the characters while preserving the action, suspense and earthy vernacular.”
Beckstrand, who grew up in San Jose, California, has won other literary awards, but this one is special. “It kind of validates my grandfather’s vision — gives him a nod — even beyond the grave.” The thriller also was named a finalist for the Laramie Award and garnered Literary Classics’ seal of approval.
“It’s getting great reviews online as well,” Beckstrand said. “The main character is an outcast, half-Mexican, raised by American Indians. But he’s fearless and loyal to his friends and family.” In addition to a tough, dark hero, there’s a gutsy heroine who is unintimidated in the worst kinds of opposition. Beckstrand’s multicultural stories usually have characters of color and surprises at the end.
Bestselling author Beckstrand, who has a bachelor’s in journalism from BYU and a master’s from APU, will present on publishing Tues. Nov. 1 at 6:30 p.m. in the Weber County Library 2039 W. 4000 South, Roy, Utah and Sat. Nov. 5 from 1 – 4 p.m. at the Viridian Center 8030 S. 1825 West, West Jordan, Utah. His fifteenth book may be found at http://PremioBooks.com and via major booksellers and distributors. The e-book will be temporarily free on Kindle and other platforms beginning Oct. 14. http://tinyurl.com/js6g6tj. Book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CzbQKuLVr8