Q: Is MONTANA 1948 a true story or based on actual events?
LW: No, the plot and characters in MONTANA 1948 are fictional. Like many writers, I did take a detail here and there from my own life (my father and grandfather were both sheriffs, but before I was born), however the work is a product of my imagination.
Q: In MONTANA 1948, JUSTICE, and WHITE CROSSES you use the same location--Mercer County and the town of Bentrock, Montana. Is this a real place?
LW: Bentrock is a town that exists only in my imagination. I grew up in North Dakota and had family in Montana, so Bentrock resembles the small towns on the prairie that I visited (and lived in) as a child.
Q: Like David in MONTANA 1948, are you an only child?
LW: Nope, I have two younger sisters.
Q: How did Frank kill Marie Little Soldier in MONTANA 1948?
LW: I imagined that he killed her with some kind of lethal injection.
Q: Why did Frank kill himself?
LW: Well, this is a tough one for me. You might notice that Frank is a character whose mind I never got into, not in MONTANA 1948 obviously, but not in JUSTICE (the prequel) either. I imagined that Frank was looking to get out of a bad situation, to save himself the humiliation and shame that could come from a public trial or revelation of the accusations against him (even if it's likely that he wouldn't have been convicted). By killing himself--escaping, so to speak--he could also spare the family and its reputation. Or so he thought. I have characterized Frank's suicide as both a selfish and a selfless act.
Q: Why did you decide to write MONTANA 1948 from a child's point of view.
LW: I didn't. Not exactly. I wrote from the point of view of a man in his 50's who is looking back on a time from his childhood. That technique was a happy discovery in that it gave me a great deal of flexibility; I could offer the child's take on things, yet step back and offer the adult's commentary.
Q: Will there ever be a movie based on MONTANA 1948?
LW: The movie rights to MONTANA 1948 have been sold. I'm not sure if my experience is typical, but my work was optioned for many years before the rights were finally purchased (by Echo Lake Productions) in 2002. The last I heard they had a script and a director and were hoping to move forward with casting in the near future.