Interview with Bob Stockton

What inspired you to craft this quite compelling tale of true-life historical fiction?
Counting Coup is really an extension of my second book, ‘Fighting Bob’. Kit Carson was a scout for my great-great-great grandfather Commodore ‘Fighting Bob’ Stockton during the California campaign of the Mexican -American War. In fact, the last two chapters of Counting Coup tie in with that era, this time from Kit Carson’s point of view.
What's the significance of the book's title?
Counting Coup is an American Indian term that the warriors gave to retelling the exploits of their victories over either enemy tribes or the early trappers and mountain men of the early nineteenth century. It was a sacred rite and no warrior was permitted to exaggerate their claims of bravery.
Did you perform considerable research prior to bringing the book to life?
Yes. I have included the most researched volumes in the Author’s Note at the book’s beginning.
Exactly who was Kit Carson, and why was his life so significant?
Carson learned at an early age that vigilance and determination were required to survive in the hostile environs of the Northwest in the early nineteenth century. While he was essentially apolitical his fearlessness and expertise in battle helped shape our country’s ‘manifest destiny’ doctrine that expanded the boundaries of early America. He was a loyal friend who would go to great lengths to demonstrate his loyalty. He would also exact a toll on any enemy that would cross him. Although Carson could neither read nor write, he was known and respected by Presidents, Senators and Military Officers. During the Civil War Carson, although he could barely sign his name was promoted to Brevet Brigadier General and achieved significant victories in Texas. He led his men from the front his entire life.
Precisely why is Captain Adams so determined to learn more about Carson?
As a boy on his parents’ Lancaster, Pennsylvania farm Adams had read many dime novel ‘Blood and Thunder’ pamphlets about Carson. He was keen on meeting his idol and compiling the true facts surrounding Carson’s adventures, both by meeting Carson himself and by speaking with those that had known and trapped with Carson in the early years of the western frontier. As he described it, this was his ‘Quest.'
How does Adams maintain his commitment to his quest in the face of such considerable adversity?
Adams was no stranger to hardship having been a Company Commander during the Civil War. His regiment fought alongside Custer’s Regiment at Gettysburg. From his first meeting with a true westerner Adams was determined to measure up to these brave and fearless pioneers. He admired them and wished to emulate their bravery.
What kinds of responses have you gotten to the book thus far?
The first review is in from the lead reviewer of the Military Writers Society of America. He loved the story and particularly admired the unique way of introducing characters to the book’s narrative. The first reader review is posted on Kindle page. The reader gave it five stars.
Is there a central message you'd like readers to take away from the book?
I’m not one for preaching to the readers. Read the book, hopefully enjoy the experience and take your own personal message, however profound or obvious from the read.
Please share more with our readers about your other writings.
My first book, ‘Listening To Ghosts,’ was a memoir of growing up in a blue collar northeast neighborhood and eventually enlisting in the Navy for a twenty year career. It has sold well in military exchanges but the reality is that it gets limited success in non Navy circles.

My second book ‘Fighting Bob,‘ is a work of historical fiction surrounding the exploits of Commodore ‘Fighting Bob’ Stockton beginning with the War of 1812 and ending with the Treaty of Guadeloupe Hidalgo in 1847. I have written this novel in what I think is a unique and fascinating fashion. For example, try to imagine having an extended conversation with your great-great-great grandfather and overcoming the differences in the spoken word between the nineteenth and twenty-first century speech patterns. I loved writing that one!
What are your future writing/publishing plans?
I enjoy writing historical fiction of the nineteenth century era and will do something along those lines. For the immediate future I plan to drink some beer and watch a lot of baseball while I decompress.
How can our readers learn more about you and your ongoing efforts?
I currently have two websites: . The surfer can view all of my work as well as some photography from ‘Listening To Ghosts’ that spans the book’s time frame. A second website, is dedicated to Counting Coup.
How can they contact you directly?
The navy site has a “contact me” button that can be used to send me a message. My working e-mail is: If a reader would like to speak with me I have a toll free number: 1-877-245-6420.
Any final thoughts you'd like to share?
Somewhere in the world it's five o'clock.
Published 2014-02-01.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Listening To Ghosts
Price: $7.99 USD. Words: 115,930. Language: English. Published: February 1, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Autobiographies & Memoirs, Nonfiction » Biography » Military biography
The author recounts his memories of growing up in the forties and fifties in a blue collar family, his escape to a twenty year career in the U.S. Navy and his service in surface (destroyer), sub surface (diesel electric submarines), patrol gunboat (Vietnam) and aviation reconnaissance squadrons in a moving and often emotional memoir.
Fighting Bob
Price: $3.03 USD. Words: 40,500. Language: English. Published: February 1, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Historical » USA, Fiction » Adventure » Sea adventures
Many things may be said about Bob Stockton, but one of them can never be that he doesn't have a copious imagination...Throughout the pages of Fighting Bob, Stockton takes the reader on a nonstop, action-packed literary thrill ride rife with danger, suspense, and the all-too-familiar machinations of political intrigue.
Counting Coup: The Odyssey of Captain Tom Adams
Price: $3.03 USD. Words: 57,050. Language: English. Published: January 27, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Men’s adventure, Fiction » Historical » Western & American frontier
An adventure novel of historical fiction based on the life and exploits of the famous trapper, scout and guide Christopher (Kit) Carson.