Rick Steber announces newest novel about early high desert history
Award-winning western author, Rick Steber, recently announced the release of his newest novel, "Out Killing Indians."
The book considers the time in history at the end of the Civil War, when federal troops were sent to the High Desert of the Far West, with orders to kill any and all Native People who refused to give up their homeland and be confined to assigned reservations.
"I think that particular point in history—after the Civil War, when they sent General Crook—namesake of Crook County, out here for one reason—and all these federal troops—to kill every Indian that wasn't on the reservation," elaborated Steber of the content of the novel.
He added that the population in the high desert of the Native American people before the coming of the White man in the Northwest was approximately 200,000. In less than one generation, that was reduced to 2,000, or 90% of the Native Americans who died.
"I think it is important to tell that part of history, because it is basically a genocide of people—for what? One race," Steber stated with a heavy sigh.
The narrator of "Out Killing Indians" is the son of an Indian father and white mother. He returns home to the reservation after a couple decades spent roaming America, to discover his great-grandfather was a renegade chief who fought to his death against the federal troops and the encroachment of the white race. This revelation inspires him to embrace his Indian heritage and to acknowledge the genocide of his people.
Steber emphasized that his narrator was half Native American and half white. On one side, there was the side of the whites, who thought they had every right to go from the Atlantic to the Pacific. On the other side, they had people who were fighting for their homeland.
"We called those the ones who refused to go onto the reservation renegades. But really, they were the people who were fighting for what they had for thousands of years."
He added that barbaric things happened on both sides, as well. Steber emphasized that he chose to tell the story through the narrator, who has half white and half Native American to bring in the human factor for his story.
"I tell teachers, that if you teach history as names, dates, and places, it's boring. But if you bring in that element of people, suddenly it comes alive."
Steber, long considered the voice of High Desert country, has over fifty titles under his belt and more than two million books in print. He has won many national and international awards, five of his books have been optioned for movies and he is the only Oregon author to have been presented with the prestigious Western Writers of America Spur Award — Best Western Novel. He is a keen observer of the evolving American West and articulates these changes in prose that is boldly descriptive, invigorating and spectacularly creative.
Steber paused, and said with emphasis, "I feel like I have been blessed. I have been able to research and write a lot of books. But you never know how many books you are going to get, and so every one is a milestone and I am thankful for every one I get to introduce to everybody else. Somebody said one time that reading one of your books is like sitting around a campfire and heaving you read it to me."
For more information, or to get a copy of Steber's newest Book, "Out Killing Indians," it can be obtained through
Or contact Rick Steber at
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