The time it was about Retribution Rails

Posted November 3, 2017 by Stacee in Blog Tours, Giveaways, Interviews | 2 Comments

I was a huge fan of Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman and was ridiculously excited to see that there was going to be a companion story.  So when the blog tour sign up came for Retribution Rails, I couldn’t type fast enough.

Before we get to Erin’s interview, let’s check out the book!

Title: Retribution Rails
Author: Erin Bowman
Pages: 384
Pub Date: 11/7/17
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Find it: HMH | Indiebound | B&N | Amazon | Goodreads


When Reece Murphy is forcibly dragged into the Rose Riders gang because of a mysterious gold coin in his possession, he vows to find the man who gave him the piece and turn him over to the gang in exchange for freedom. Never does he expect a lead to come from an aspiring female journalist. But when Reece’s path crosses with Charlotte Vaughn after a botched train robbery and she mentions a promising rumor about a gunslinger from Prescott, it becomes apparent that she will be his ticket to freedom—or a noose. As the two manipulate each other for their own ends, past secrets are unearthed, reviving a decade-old quest for revenge that may be impossible to settle.

In this thrilling companion to Vengeance Road, dangerous alliances are formed, old friends meet new enemies, and the West is wilder than ever.

Sounds good, right?

1. Please give the elevator pitch for Retribution Rails.

An outlaw trying to escape the gang holding him hostage crosses paths with an aspiring female journalist who will either be his ticket to freedom—or a noose.

2. What sparked the idea for the companion book?

I had so much fun writing Vengeance Road that I knew I wanted to write another western. A big spark of inspiration for Retribution Rails was the railroad. It changed the landscape of Arizona Territory in the 1880s, bringing with it new industry and also crime. Reece (one of my protagonists in RR) is part of this crime. I knew he was an outlaw riding with a gang but that he wanted to break free, and as I thought more about life targeting the rails, I managed to fill out his backstory—which included a few details that would let me tie this companion novel back to VR.

3.Why do you love Charlotte and Reece and why should we root for them?

Well, I hope you’ll root for them for the same reason I enjoyed writing them. Despite doing some bad things, Reece is a better person than he thinks and I hope readers will cheer for him as he chases redemption. Charlotte is a driven, confident young woman trying to break into the male-dominated industry of journalism, and I hope readers can cheer for her as she chases a story.

4. What was the weirdest thing you googled while researching?

Honestly, I didn’t google anything too weird while researching this book, but I did learn some strange things in the process of researching. For example: while reading up on the Prescott & Arizona Central line (a key railroad in the book), I learned that the entire operation was built on a shoestring. The situation was so dire, a crafty maintenance foreman transformed half his work car into a portable hog ranch. I found a way to write this detail into the book and I’m sure some people will roll their eyes, believing it too far-fetched. But sometimes truth really is stranger than fiction!

5. Without spoilers, what was your favorite scene?

The entire climax was really satisfying to write—thrilling, tightly plotted, intense. But perhaps my favorite part of the novel is the very last line.

Speed {ish} round:

1. You find out that you’re being published for the first time. Describe the next 5 minutes.

It was April Fool’s Day. I panicked, thinking it must be some kind of joke, and then when my agent assured me it wasn’t, I spent the next few minutes convinced I must be dreaming.

2. What three things would you take to a desert island?

Waterproof matches, a multitool (Swiss Army knife or similar), and a spare pair of good sneakers. (Boring answer, I know, but I love survival stories and so this kind of question makes me super practical)

3. You can only read one book for the rest of your life. What is it?

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. (The best of all the HP books.)

4. What book character would you want to date and who would you want to be your BFF?

Teen Erin would have swooned pretty hard over Augustus Waters—sensitive, kind, clever, and just a touch of ‘bad boy’ (but not to the extent that actually spells trouble). As for BFF, Teen Erin would want to hang out with Hermione Granger and Luna Lovegood. (Heck, I still want to hang out with these girls!)

5. What is the one thing about publishing you wish someone would have told you?

This is something I was told, only not right away. Basically, I wish I’d heard it even earlier: THE ONLY THING YOU CAN CONTROL IS THE WRITING. Sales, awards, movie deals, merchandise, giant tours, best-seller lists… None of it is in your control. As an author, all you can do is write the best book possible. Polish it, make it shine, and then move on to the next project. You can control your words. The rest is a combination of luck and timing.

6. You wake up and discover you are Bella in Twilight. You know how it plays out. What do you do differently? {Huge thanks to Bookish Broads for letting me use this question}

Buy a ticket back to Phoenix and refuse to transfer schools. Forks was nothing but years of trouble, and I’d spend that time searching for the gold Kate was after in Vengeance Road. ;)


Erin Bowman used to tell stories visually as a web designer. Now a full-time writer, she relies solely on words. She lives in New Hampshire with her family and when not writing she can often be found hiking, commenting on good typography, and obsessing over all things Harry Potter.

Erin is represented by Sara Crowe of Pippin Properties, and is the author of the Taken Trilogy, VENGEANCE ROAD, and the forthcoming RETRIBUTION RAILS (Nov 2017) and CONTAGION (May 2018).

Website | Twitter | Tumblr | Instagram | Goodreads


Huge thanks to Rockstar Book Tours for the invite and to Erin for taking the time.  Make sure you’re checking out the rest of the blog tour and keep scrolling for a giveaway!!

**Good Luck!!**

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