An Ahwatukee Foothills author is bringing back the West in a new fiction novel based on Arizona history.
The book "The Portrero" follows the hero of the tale, Jake Hanson, as he travels through Arizona during the beginning of the Civil War.
"It was a perfect storm," said Daniel Click, author of the tale. "The chief was going on a rampage so you had the Indian wars; military pulling out of the state because of the Civil War, the Butterfield stagecoach was pulling out. It was the Civil War so everybody's tapped for resources and it had just been a couple years since we'd acquired Arizona from Mexico so the border is still being disputed."
One safe haven for travelers at the time was the Portrero, which is the title of the book. Pete Kitchen was an actual man who owned the Portrero and became famous for protecting travelers during the Indian Wars. The character of Jake Hanson is on his way to help Kitchen protect the Portrero.
Click said he has always been interested in Arizona history. It's one of the reasons he moved here after growing up in California.
"My family, we're all kind of like archeologists," Click said. "We used to go on digs. That's all we did growing up. We'd go different places around the nation and join archeological clubs. You'd be camping but also look up history. You go out and you find stuff. Even like a horseshoe. It's handmade and the last person who touched it was 200 years ago. These people probably just missed it and all of a sudden their horse was missing a shoe. A lot of people would look at it and think it's a stupid horseshoe but it's really important. Someone took a lot of effort to make that."
This fascination with history made writing the book exciting for Click. He searched through old newspapers to make the journey as real as possible. Even though the book is fictitious, Click believes the events in the book are exactly what his characters would have been doing on that exact day in time.
The book is not only for history buffs. Click said he has received a positive response from people of all ages who've just enjoyed all the action that the novel is packed with.
Click hopes his book will show people how much history Arizona holds and maybe people will understand how important our state parks are. Twenty-five percent of the proceeds from his book sales will go to the Arizona State Park Foundation to try and stop state parks from closing down.
"This is Arizona's history, it's our economy, it's the reason so many people come out to visit," Click said. "Nothing changes in Arizona. When you go out to the Butterfield Stage line you can see back to where the trail was. There's not a lot of other places that have that where you can walk in the actual footsteps of pioneers of history and be part of that."