Fiction author Pat Jaeger held an interview session with Dan Halloran, sheriff of Lund County, Missouri. Sheriff Halloran has the leading role in Jaeger's soon-to-be-released thriller/suspense novel, DAN: Book one in the Hilldale series.
Jaeger: Sheriff Halloran, it's nice to meet you face-to-face. I've read a lot about you. Do you mind if I give our audience a short bio on you before we begin?
Halloran: Not at all. This is your debut novel, so whatever you need to do, I'm right behind you.
Jaeger: Thanks, Sheriff. Let's see, you are 32 years old, grew up right here in Mid-Missouri, served in the special forces branch of the Army, and upon discharge it looks like you attended the University of Missouri, in Columbia. Your bachelors is in Criminal Justice, and this is your second term as sheriff. And for you young ladies reading this, Sheriff Halloran just happens to be single! May I ask you about your heritage, Sheriff? You are African American, but do I detect a bit of Oriental background?
Halloran: Actually, my father is African American, born and raised on a Georgia tobacco farm. My mother was born on the largest island in the Pacific chain of islands commonly referred to as Palau. The islands were an American Trust after WWII, but before that it was under the control of the Germans and then the Japanese. My mother, Rikael, is of native Polynesian and Japanese descent.
Jaeger: That's fascinating. Have you ever visited your mother's village?
Halloran: No. Mom always wanted to go back to Medorm, but never made it. Both my parents have passed away.
Jaeger: I'm sorry, your parents seem to be a touchy subject for you. Let's move on. Can you give me a little insight on what it's like to be the sheriff of the smallest county in the state of Missouri? Is there a lot of crime?
Halloran: Thanks. I don't talk much about my parents. There are things you've probably written in DAN about my growing up years, so I reckon we can leave it at that. Anyway, I can't help but smile when you ask me about crime in Lund County. I've lived here all my life and know most of the folks that live in the Hilldale area. Hilldale is the county seat, though we lost some of our services back in the 80's when the economy took a nose dive. We're mostly an agricultural community, and back in the 80's our farms took a big hit. We're coming back, but many of our county services were teamed up with Boone or Cole County. We've been blessed to be able to keep our courthouse and sheriff's department intact--so far.
As far as crime goes, we're pretty laid back here. Most folks don't lock their doors, even when they go on vacation. Neighbors still look out for neighbors, and folks know if they go getting themselves into trouble, they'll be the topic of conversation for a long time up at Neely's Cafe.
Jaeger: Neely's Cafe?
Halloran: Neely's is what you might call the hub of communication here in Hilldale and the surrounding towns. Not much goes on around here that doesn't make it up to Neely's.
Jaeger: I'm not laughing at your small town cafe, but it does remind me of the old Hub Cafe that used to be a hangout for the local farmers and folks in Ashland. My mother grew up in Ashland--she's a Harmon--and said there weren't too many secrets that went untold at the round table.
Halloran: That's about right. Neely's is the next best thing to having the old telephone party lines. But folks look out for each other here, and I hope we never lose that caring attitude.
Jaeger: Well, Sheriff Halloran, I've enjoyed talking with you, and hope to read more about you in DAN. Seeing as how you're the main character, can you tell me who the bad guy is?
Halloran: I'm laughing because, you're the author, and me--I'm the poor county sheriff left in the dark. Remember, it's a thriller--you'll know who the bad guy is before I do! Somehow that doesn't seem fair, does it?
Jaeger: Sorry, you're right. I will tell you though, you live through book one and still have a starring role in book two of the Hilldale series. Thanks for giving me some of your valuable time. I know you have to get back to work, so we'll call it a day.
Halloran: You're welcome, ma'am. It's always a pleasure to talk to the author who developed my character into a good-looking, 6'2" easy-going county sheriff. I wouldn't trade my life for anything. Y'all have a good day.
Jaeger: Folks, don't you love his sense of humor? He is good-looking, and kind, and well, you'll read all about Lund County's sheriff, Dan Halloran this fall when DAN: Book one in the Hilldale series is released by Tate Publishing. Thanks for stopping by.