Search This Blog

Monday, May 8, 2017

Introducing Jake McCain - An Interview With My Hero by Tracy Garrett

Jake McCain walked in and sat down by my desk one morning as I was writing my second novel, Texas Rose (coming in June, 2017 from Prairie Rose Publications). The need for a Texas Ranger in TEXAS GOLD had me doing preliminary research on the Rangers – and there Jake was.

Jake's character let me explore prejudice, self-doubt, and honor in a man who answered to no one. Since there was no boss with him on the road, why would he stick to such a rigid code of honor? Jake shared with me why it was important, and also what it cost him.

Developing the right partner for him meant finding a woman with that same code of honor, but who approached it in a different way. Where Rachel tried to fit into the mold society made for her, Jake shoved the world out of his way. Jake McCain is one of the strongest (read hard-headed!) men I’ve created – and I love him as much as the readers do. 

Let me introduce you...


Jake ducked his head as he stepped into my office. A chilly autumn wind howled through the door with him, scattering papers around the room. He removed his black cowboy hat and smoothed his hair before approaching the desk where I waited.

JM:  Afternoon, Missus Garrett.

I stood and offered my hand.

TG:  A pleasure to see you again, Ranger McCain. Please have a seat.

He waited until I sat before taking the chair I’d indicated, then propped his right ankle on his left knee and balanced his hat there.

TG:  Thank you for agreeing to speak with me today. I know your wife, Rachel, had to convince you to do this interview. Please introduce yourself to the readers.

JM:  Name’s Jake McCain, Texas Ranger, C Company – at least until I resign my commission.

TG:  Why a Texas Ranger? Since it’s a volunteer organization, or was when you signed on in 1877, why did you become a Ranger?

JM:  Family obligation. I owed him a debt I will never be able to repay.

TG:  Who?

JM:  My father…my adoptive father. He…

After several seconds of silence, he cleared his throat and glanced around before continuing.

JM:  He saved my life, digging me out of that tomb in the rocks, raising me as if I was his own flesh and blood son. Gave me a reason to do some good in this world. Even more, he helped me shake off some of the guilt about my mother’s death. Or at least he tried.

TG:  He was a Texas Ranger, too, wasn’t he?

JM:  Yes, as was his father before him. My getting my commission made him proud.

TG:  You were only sixteen when you volunteered. Wasn’t that terribly young?

JM:  Jake smiled, a breathtaking lopsided grin that showed me a side he rarely shared with anyone. You’d think so, but I was tough, or at least thought I was. Tough in the head, my father called me. Jake brushed at a speck of dust on his hat. I needed to do something with my life, get out of this town, maybe let folks around here forget about me, so my folks could rejoin the community.

TG:  I take it the good people of Abilene had difficulty with your adoption.

JM:  You could say that. It wasn’t an easy childhood—but you already know that.

TG:  True. Time to change the subject. Tell us about Rachel. How is she doing?

JM:  His face lit up like the sun. She’s fine, truly a fine woman. Beautiful, smart…Well, I still don’t know what I did to deserve her in my life.

TG:  And her brother, Nathan? Your brother, too, now.

JM:  Bright boy. Nathan will be a fine man soon.

TG:  You’re proud of him?

JM:  Hell, yes. Begging your pardon, ma’am. As proud as if he’s my own son.

TG:  Have you and Rachel decided where you’ll make your home?

JM:  We’ve been talking about it. For now, Rachel and my mother are enjoying getting to know one another. I think I’ll leave them to it for a while, yet.           

TG:  When you resign from the Texas Rangers, what do you plan to do with yourself?

JM:  Besides enjoy being married, you mean? His grin makes an appearance again. There’s a need for the law in a lot of places in the Territories. I imagine I’ll find a place that needs my help, one that has need for a teacher, too.

TG:  Then Rachel wants to continue teaching?

JM:  She’s good with the children and I’m all for her teaching, if she chooses to. We’ll find a place that will overlook my beginnings, judge us on who we are now.

TG:  Just as Rachel said.

JM:  Told you she was a smart woman.

Excerpt from TEXAS GOLD:

West Texas, Early March, 1890
Whoever said hell was hot had lied. It was cold, bitter cold. Not that he’d live to tell anyone of the discovery. The snow came down sideways, so hard Jake McCain couldn’t see past the end of his horse’s nose. He had no way to tell where he was or where he was going. The icy pellets were like razor sharp knives, flaying his face until he figured he must be bleeding. Lucky for him the cold kept him from feeling much of anything. Death dogged his heels and he couldn’t find the energy to care.
He’d climbed from the saddle an hour ago—or was it only a few minutes—and started walking. He hated using his horse as a windbreak, but the animal’s hide could take the stinging ice longer than his own skin, no matter how many layers of clothes he wore. But Griffin was beginning to tire. If Jake didn’t find shelter soon, they’d find whatever was left of him and his horse at the next thaw.
Jake braced himself against the saddle before lifting his head enough to look around. The vicious wind stole his breath. He could barely force his eyes open against the onslaught. He usually had a good sense of direction and distance, but the blizzard and the vicious beating he’d taken at the hands of the men he was supposed to be arresting made it impossible to be sure of anything. He could be close to the mining town he’d been heading for, or miles from anywhere.
Narrowing his eyes against the blowing snow and ice, he studied the frosted landscape. Something flickered, only for an instant, in the distance. Was it his imagination? With his grip tight on the reins, he started for the spot. Real or not, he’d rather be going somewhere than standing around waiting to freeze to death.


  1. Loved the interview. You are correct, what a man! Doris

  2. Um...Tracy...I am thinking maybe Nathan might need his own story now, too...

    I loved Jake and Rachel's story--as you well know! Just an excellent tale and one that has its place right on my keeper shelf!

    1. Cheryl, I'm honored!

      And yes, Nathan and Calvin will both have a story--after Wolf!

  3. That was way too much fun for a Monday...or maybe it was just the thing I needed on a Monday. *grin* Either way, well done.

    1. Thank you, Kaye! I'm glad you enjoyed the "interview."