Interview with author and Retired Sheriff Robert Earl Winter “A Hill Toward Home” #amazonbooks

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About the book: Retired Sheriff Bob Winter (Santa Clara County, California) now lives in the Sierra Nevada foothills, with his wife, Carolyne and their dog, Molly. He is as comfortable in his workshop with home improvement projects, wood carving, exotic wooden chests, garden art, and bird houses, or in his garden with plants and masonry projects, as he is with researching American and family history.

Bob was raised on a ranch in southern Santa Clara County, facing many of the same experiences he ascribes to his principal character, Jesse Logan, a name he borrowed from a great-grandfather. To some extent, the story Bob writes mirrors his own life story, finding his way from a deputy sheriff amongst the 5,000-member force of Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to the position of Sheriff of Santa Clara County (Silicon Valley), California. Like many of our readers, he has never been without hostile opposition in his own career, whether it be from a disgruntled, but politically connected co-worker, or a superior officer critical of his sometimes impulsive approach to his work as a peace officer.

The story he has provided weaves history, family tradition, and fiction as Bob follows the life of a young man from boyhood to adulthood and from the Great Smokey Mountains to Carson Valley, Nevada, through the course of the Civil War. His experiences as a boy in ‘Carson County’, Nevada put him in a position to take an assignment in the Union Army as a rifleman, or ‘sharpshooter’ leading him through some near-death experiences to finally survive the war. The story follows actual events throughout the Civil War, using authentic members of the opposing armies as supporting characters for the adventures and misadventures of the principal characters. The author has used the character and personalities of people in his own life to provide authenticity to the players in his tale.

Many of the characters in Sheriff Winter’s story are recreations of real people, including some of his own family, who settled first in Guilford County, North Carolina, where his 4th great grandfather, a second-generation colonist, was a colonel in the British occupational army, leading the British forces against members of his own family in the American Revolution. Later in the family history, they settled in the Carson Valley, leaving their mark in both of those places.

One product of (3rd great grandfather) Ben Jones’ handiwork can be seen in the Mormon Station Museum in Genoa, Nevada, and the ‘town’ of Spurgeon, Tennessee was named for some of Bob’s own ancestors. Bob’s family has been in cattle ranching for generations, and several of the supporting characters in the story are taken from tales of the old west as conveyed by Bob’s father Rowland Winter. In some places he has used the actual names and personalities of real people in his past, and in other places, he uses pseudonyms for obvious reasons.

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