Monday, March 24, 2014

Kathleen Gibbs, Journey of the Cheyenne Warrior

AUTHOR:  Kathleen Gibbs
BOOK TITLE:  Journey of the Cheyenne Warrior
GENRE:  Historical Fiction
PUBLISHER:  4RV Publishing LLC

Please tell us about yourself.
I’m from Oklahoma.  I was a teacher for thirty years and taught German, English, humanities, and history.  I now do substitute teaching part time and enjoy it very much.  I have three grown children.  My eight grandchildren keep me busy going to lots of ballgames and school programs.  I love to travel and keep my passport up to date so I can continue going to interesting places like Alaska, Australia, Peru.  I am interested in archaeology, belong to the OK Anthropological Society, and have been on many digs around the state of Oklahoma (I was state president of OK Anthropological Society for four years.) I love history and Native American culture, and I dance at Powwows.  I do beadwork and make Cherokee double weave baskets.  I am interested in the Civil War and belong to two Civil War Organizations.  I love animals and walk dogs twice each week at the local animal shelter (and I have three dogs).  And I write…

What inspired you to write your first book?
When I was doing work for my Master’s Degree in SW Studies, I had to read a lot of books to get the information for tests, study sheets, and discussions.  I thought back then about how nice it would be to have one book in which to get most of this information -- a book that was interesting and informative at the same time.  So, I decided to write “history” books that were a story but had factual historical information in them too.

What was the toughest criticism given to you?  What was the biggest compliment?
Criticism: When I sent some of my chapters to the editor, she told me I needed to go back and write more details, to give her the feeling that she was there with my character.  I then had to rewrite my chapters and really think hard and do more research into what I wanted my character to feel, see, think.  I ended up with the original five page chapters each to now a couple of really good chapters that were twenty pages long.  But, boy, were those chapters good.  She made me get into that place where you can draw out your feelings.  Compliment: When I got my reviews back after the book came out --  that was the reward for all that hard work.  When a reader says what an amazing story you have written and how it is his favorite book, when is the next one coming out?  That is a wonderful feeling.  You have done your job well.

Did those change how or what you did in your next novel?
Yes.  I took more time to really write those little details that make the story more interesting and more personal. 

Who is your publisher and how did you connect with them?
4RV Publishing LLC. I met Vivian Zabel at the Oklahoma Writer’s Conference and interviewed with her.

What are your current projects?
I have written my next book, The Last Real Cowboy, and hope that I get a contract on it.  I also worked hard to put lots of detail and information into my cowboys and story line.

How can we find you?
My web page:  I have some excerpts from the cowboy book on my page along with excerpts from the next book of the Indian trilogy, Sunshine’s Journey.

What genre do you write in and why?
I write historical fiction because I love history.  When I write a story using historical information, I get a history lesson in with a story about people.

Tell us about the current book you’re promoting.
My second book is called The Last Real Cowboy.  It is a story about the early day cattle drive, cattle towns in Kansas, the Johnson County Range War in Wyoming, and then the Cherokee Outlet Land Run in 1893.  My main character is from New York and comes to Texas for a job assignment.  He meets up with cowhands Rattlesnake and Whiskey Bill and because of his life changing experiences, decides to stay on as a cowboy.  The reader learns about The Old West by reading about Jonathan and his adventures during his life.

What comes first: the plot or characters? 
I look at the time period I want to write about, see how I can make my characters fit into the history events and live through an interesting time, then I come up with the characters.

How did you decide how your characters should look?
I have a beginning idea of each character in my mind, then I look at pictures in books and magazines, paintings, or sometimes I see a person who looks like my character.

Did your book require a lot of research?  If so, what kind?
Yes.  I have to read many different historical books about each event I want to write about, then fuse all the information together to get the real story.  It’s a lot of hard work, lots of reading, but well worth the time and trouble because I know that the reader can get a true feel of what my character is going through at that particular time and place.

What do you look for in a book when you sit down to read for fun?
My favorite genre to read for “fun” are murder mysteries and spy/intrigue adventure.  I want a book with a good plot and a surprising ending.  And not too many main characters.

Describe your writing space.
I use my dining room table because I can spread all my research notes and books all around the table in piles and immediately see what papers I need to read over.  It’s really frustrating when I have to clear the table for dinner guests.


Brave Eagle grows to manhood amid the constant changes and turmoil on the Plains.  Now, in a world full of choices, Brave Eagle must make many decisions, some for his very survival.  This was a time of exploration, discovery, and settlement in the West, intervention and treaties with the U. S. Government, leadership issues between the peace chief Black Kettle and the war leader Roman Nose, the Dog Soldiers, the Sand Creek Massacre, the Massacre at Washita.  Was Brave Eagle to be a man of war or a man of peace?  Was he to be a fierce frightening warrior or a wise peacemaker?  Could he learn to adapt to the white man’s world, or would he be able to hold on to the rich traditions of the grandfathers?

In the middle 1800’s, the white man’s world collides with the world of the Native Americans.  How would this affect the people of the Plains?  Where would this life journey take Brave Eagle?

This book will be available at,,  Barnes & Noble, Full Circle, and other book and mortar stores, E-books.


I am a proud Oklahoma native … except for the short times living in Texas and Louisiana in my childhood and then two short times living in Missouri and Wisconsin in my early adult life. I am the mother of one son and two daughters and grandmother of eight. I now live with my two crazy dogs, Marley and Staten. Because I was a stay-at-home mom, it took me fourteen years to get my BS of Education Degree in Language Arts from Oklahoma University, but only three years to get my Master’s Degree in Southwestern Studies at the University of Central Oklahoma. I have had a thirty year teaching career with most of my focus on teaching German and some years of an English or history class added in between. My passions besides my family are: archaeology, history, Native American culture, and travel.

My passion for archaeology came to fruition when I went on my first Dig with the Oklahoma Anthropological Society at Kubic Site near Ponca City in 1998. When I held in my hand a 6,000 year old Calf Creek arrow point, I felt the thrill of discovery of an artifact from prehistory – I was hooked. This feeling came after the events of the first night of camping when a tornado blew through the area, forcing our whole group to spend the night in the safety of the cement block restroom. That was how I met my fellow crewmembers. The next day most of us spent at the local laundry mat bonding and trying to dry out or wash our mud and rain soaked bedding.
I went on many interesting Digs around Oklahoma over the years and learned that archaeology is 90% digging, digging, and only about 10% glory of finding something well worth all the digging. I became very involved in the OAS in my free time and summers and was chosen as State President of the Oklahoma Anthropological Society. I served a four year term. It was a time consuming job, but I met some wonderful people from around the state. I even helped set up the American Indian exhibit at the Sam Noble Museum in Norman. I made mud for the early native dwellings – my thumb print is still there today, hidden in a wall.

I was not always interested in history, but when my relative sent me family house and business papers from the Revolutionary War and later eighteen letters that my great-great grandfather wrote home to his wife, Laura, I realized that my ancestors participated in American history – and I discovered a love for history. From there, I became involved with Native American culture with my Master’s Degree program. Southwestern Studies is the history of cowboys and Indians. I joined the American Indian Cultural Society and started dancing at Powwows and making Native American crafts – Cherokee double weave baskets, beaded moccasins, fans, fringed dancing shawls – and I came to appreciate the early-made items in museums. It is all tedious work. My interest in Native American history and culture grew from this. Not only was I German Club Sponsor but also Native American Club Sponsor for about twelve years at our high school, even though I was teaching only German classes during this time. I was “German Frau” by day and “Native American” after school.  And my students and I from both clubs had many fun experiences together.

I love to travel and have been fortunate enough to go to some fascinating places in the US and around the world. It’s the “wunderlust” gene I got from my mother who also loved to travel. I have been all over the Hawaiian Islands six times. I have climbed Machu Picchu in Peru, stayed in the beautiful hotel at Lake Louise in the Canadian Rockies, and because of teaching German, I have been all over Europe about sixteen times – either taking students on tours or visiting family and friends. One summer I studied German in Klagenfurt, Austria.

When I had only two granddaughters, I made the promise that when each graduated high school, I would take her on a trip anywhere in the world. Well, I took Jessica to Europe for two weeks and then Rachel to Australia and New Zealand last summer for two weeks. (The most thrilling day was when we snorkeled off the Great Barrier Reef.)  My next grandchild wants to go to Africa, and I have three more who want to go to China. The other two are still undecided, but I have a few years to save for them. I think I will be travelling for several more years. I am planning a trip to Alaska this summer – ferry hoping in the SE part, then flying from Juneau to Anchorage to check out the Denali Park and Kenai Peninsula regions.

When I retired the first time a few years ago, I went to work for the Oklahoma Historical Society for two years in the Photo Archives Department. Oh, the wonderful photos I inventoried and worked with and more fascinating people I encountered. Now I have retired a second time and enjoy substitute teaching. I have more time to write and travel and spend time at my grandchildren’s sports events. I also walk dogs twice a week at the local animal shelter.

I have even tried acting.  I was in some crowd scenes for a movie, made a trailer for a movie idea, and belong to an agency which sends me job offers for commercials from time to time., 

Not too many dull moments – that’s how I would describe my life. Family and friends and passions keep one going, and I am lucky to have all three. 

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Sounds like you're really busy! I'd have to give up writing if I did all that!