1. Have you always enjoyed writing?
I do not know if enjoy is the word I would use to describe writing. Writing is hard. Though I enjoy the finished product the sheer act of writing gives me little pleasure. It does give me an outlet for a lot of pent-up emotion and helps me deal with conflicting ideas. I do not like the act. Creating the story, I enjoy. Telling the story, I enjoy. Sharing the story, I enjoy. Writing, editing, researching, etc, is work.
2. What motivates you to write?
I have always been a striver. It has never occurred to me to be any less, not if I expected to survive and possibly thrive in this world. Reading a good book has been one of my few entertainments through the years. Since I do have a penchant for prose, I thought I should give writing a try before the end of my days, and see if I could add similar enjoyment to some other’s life along the way. Once I started, I was determined to see it through; so I write.
3. What books did you love growing up?
I was rather an unusual kid, as far as my love of books is concerned. I wanted, through what I read; to be challenged in my understanding of the world, inspired mentally, and yet, at times, comforted in my beliefs. I suppose for comfort, I found it in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, as well as his other works. Twain’s books stirred my love of history while MacKinlay Kantor delivered the grist to make it real, as in Andersonville and Spirit Lake. MacKinlay Kantor also introduced me, through Glory For Me, to the variety possible in story formating. Wind, Sand and Stars, by Antoine de Saint-Exupery let me lose myself in spirited philosophies of life. The various works of Henry Miller allowed me to understand that beauty can be found in the most unlikely of places or situations. His trilogy, Tropic of Cancer, Tropic of Capricorn and Black Spring are tough to disregard.
4. Who is your favorite author?
It is extremely difficult to pick a single author as my favorite, since most have their own voices and genres, and I enjoy their works without comparing them. Kantor, Steinbeck, Tolkien, Foote, are all great, in their own special ways, and their body of works are impressive, each in their own rights. But so many great books by authors less known or less prolific can be overlooked when compiling such a list, so I am reluctant to pick just one.
5. What book genre do you enjoy?
I am a man for all genres, as long as the issues are well written. Depending on my mood and circumstances, I will read anything from textbooks to romance novels. If I had to pick a genre that I most enjoy, it would be historical fiction.
6. What book should everybody read at least once?
If I could choose from all the books in my memory, just one, I would offer The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. My reasons are: it captures the romantic version of a period in American History that all can benefit from understanding; it appeals to the physically young as well as the young at heart; it is extremely well written; it allows a peek into the essence of one of the great literary figures of history, Mark Twain, and it is a darn good story.
7. Is there any books you really don’t enjoy?
I have no interest in the self-serving interests of politicians, and therefore no interest in what they write.
When Justin Thorne, coddled student and heir apparent to Sylvan Springs Plantation, is forced to find his heritage, his manhood, and his destiny, in the space of one brief spring, all hell breaks loose on the banks of the Ohio River. His Virginia of 1836 is a time of transition and enormous growth. Northern industrial might and southern aristocracy, abolitionist movements and slave cultures, collide in turmoil and lay bare the raw needs and desires of those intrepid spirits confronting the frontiers of the antebellum South. Coming of age is an expected result of time and circumstance.
It happens to all who live so long, but to each within the dictates of their own lives. The process is on-going and ever dynamic. Every person is a precious product resulting from the effects of nature and nurture. One's ancestry, culture, and environment collude in myriad ways to make us; all as different as each life's story, and as singular as snowflakes. This theme is played out over-and-over throughout the world and throughout history, in millions of places like Holderby's Landing; as similar and as different as each human is to the other.
Holderby's Landing is a single glimpse in time at the coming of age of a land, a community, and a few determined souls thrown together in love, strife and chance. What they make of the time, the opportunities and themselves is the story told and the living breath of this book.
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Genre – Historical Fiction
Rating – PG-13
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