A retired Santa Clara County Sheriff is writing his first novel

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Retired Sheriff of Santa Clara County Robert Winter has written his share of crime reports and technical literature over 35 years of work in law enforcement.

But his first attempt at fiction, “Hill to Home,” which was recently released, was probably the last attempt to do so, said Gilroy’s native, who now lives in Amador County.

“Hill to Home”, which takes place during the American Civil War, tells the story of Jesse Logan, a native of East Tennessee who returns home after growing up in the West. Logan, who serves as a sniper in the Union Army, is romantically attracted to a young woman, but finds out that she is a double agent in the north and south.

Winter, who served as sheriff of Santa Clara County in 1978-89, said many of the novel’s characters are based on real people as well as some members of his family because the novel is a fictional story about his own family history.

“My impetus for writing this book was my father, who was one of my favorite storytellers, and my interest in American history, especially the Civil War,” he said. “While I was starting out trying to portray friends and associates for my characters, the people in the book often took their own personalities and wandered in directions I didn’t expect.”

Winter added that he spent ten years researching and rewriting the novel as problems continued to arise.

“My research has often revealed conflicts and inconsistencies in the written stories of some companies, characters and battle stories,” he said. “I took what was smartest for me and used it in my story.”

For information on “Hill to Home” visit ahilltowardhome.com.

Eric Chalhoub is the editor Gilroy Dispatch.

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