A book for the children

Feldmann's story draws from experience as Marine prosecutor

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A father longs to leave something behind for his children.

One Steamboat Springs man decided to leave his children a story about himself. But what began as a story for posterity is now in paperback.

"The Sons of Sheriff Henry" is fiction, but author Charles Feldmann drew from his own experiences when writing the book.

"It was written to tell a story about myself to my children some day," he said.

When Feldmann sat down four years ago to pen his story, writing was uncharted territory.

Feldmann is an attorney who worked as a Marine Corps prosecutor and defense attorney and deputy district attorney before opening his own practice in Steamboat Springs.

He doesn't claim to be a writer, but he had a story and wanted to share it.

The challenge of getting his story in print provided a little incentive. Everyone harbors dreams of writing a book, he said; he merely acted on his.

"I often do things in my life that I believe that I really cannot accomplish," he said.

"The Sons of Sheriff Henry" follows a Marine Corps lawyer assigned to prosecute his first death-penalty case.

Captain John Henry is a high-minded attorney whose world is shaken by politics, injustice and the loss of loved ones.

Feldmann enjoyed creating a character to which he could relate. Henry is far from the infallible hero. Through the course of the book the chinks in his armor come to light.

The young prosecutor's absorption with the high-profile case steals his attention from the people and things in his life that matter the most.

The book explores family relationships. Sheriff Henry is the captain's father, a well-respected man in a small mountain community in Colorado who hopes his son wears his badge one day.

John Henry's brother is a Denver detective who helps with the investigation.

The book was a family affair.

Feldmann asked his brother, a Denver detective, to illustrate the cover. Before the story unfolds, he credits his wife, Luanne, and children, Chas, 5, Isabel, 4, and John Henry, 3, for teaching him what life is really about.

It's a lesson Captain John Henry learns, as well. Henry discovers the importance of letting go of things more temporal and holding tight to the people he loves.

"Writing this book made me feel very vulnerable, now that is public," Feldmann said. "It shares with the public some of my greatest failures and successes."

The first-time author hopes his readers glean something from his and the captain's shortcomings and triumphs.

"The Sons of Sheriff Henry" is for sale at Yampa Blue or online at www.BarnesandNoble.com.

Yampa Blue, Steamboat's newest bookstore and coffee shop at the corner of Eighth and Yampa, will host a book signing from 2 to 6 p.m. July 5. Those who want a signed copy but cannot make the date should call 871-4614.

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