Growing up in the colorful, multicultural, state of Louisiana, Bruce was reared with an appreciation for diversity and a love for small-town life. After high school and a couple of years of college, he began his twenty-eight-year career as a Louisiana State Police trooper, retiring as a sergeant in 2009. During that time, he witnessed the humorous, the sad, the tragic, and even the unimaginablre. These life experiences give him tremendous credibility when writing about the many aspects of the human condition.
Welcome to Authors Visits. We have Bruce A Stewart visiting us today. Bruce is the author of Hurt Road which just released in March of this year.
Bruce, tell us something you would like your readers to know about you they don’t.
I am a music lover. Everything from bluegrass to rock and roll. I like some of it all. Or is it all of it some. Anyway. Many times, when writing a tense scene, I’ll put on the soundtrack from The Last Samurai. A piece of music I absolutely love. Hauntingly beautiful and inspiring.
In your travels what is the most unusual place you’ve ever visited and did you put something about it in one of your books?
I’ve had the opportunity to visit some unique places but, as far as my writing goes, I stick with the one I know best. My home state of Louisiana.
In a prior life, what did you do before becoming a writer?
In my prior life, I was a Louisiana state trooper for almost thirty years.
Do you still do that, if not how difficult was the decision to give it up? If you still do it, how do you balance that with writing?
When I retired from the state police, I knew it was time. Then, I started to write. Or try to, anyway. It didn’t take me long to figure out I didn’t know what I was doing. And, I’m still a work in progress. I have a part-time job now but write as much as I can each day.
Does coincidence sometimes play a role in your books? If so is there a particular example you can share?
As a police officer, I had the opportunity to witness quite a few things over the years. Some good, some bad. Some of these have worked their way into my writing. Of course, the names have been changed to protect the innocent. And, in a lot of cases, the guilty.
Favorite Hobby? Does it by chance have any impact/influence on your writing?
My favorite hobby is crappie fishing. The past few years, though, my writing has taken priority. I manage to squeeze in a fishing scene from time to time.
While writing, do you snack? If so, do you prefer sweet or salty snacks?
I tend to snack on copious amounts of coffee.
What are you working on now that you can share with us?
Right now, I am wrapping up a three-book series about a small town, Louisiana sheriff.
Tell us how your newest book came about; the Story behind it so to speak.
When I was twelve, two young Marines from our small community were killed in Vietnam. Five days apart. One was our next-door neighbor’s son. So, I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for Vietnam veterans. My latest book, Hurt Road, is about Hank Goodman, a young man from Michigan. When Hank’s mom and dad are killed, he must move in with his grandparents in Louisiana. But after getting settled, situations change and take him away for five years. After a couple of tours in Vietnam, Hank returns to Louisiana to find a lot of things have changed. Many of them, not for the better. When Hank takes a job as a deputy sheriff, he must try to stop a killer while battling demons of his own.
What was the easiest part of writing it and what was the most difficult.
The book starts in 1967 and ends in 1972. My coming of age years. So, it’s a time period I’m very familiar with. And setting it in Louisiana, I drew a lot from personal experience. Writing about someone suffering the effects of war, coming home and trying to adjust, had to be the hardest part.
Which is the easiest for you? Writing dialogue, creating characters, plots, and or scenes?
I personally think I have a knack for creating interesting personalities. I’ve gotten quite a few complimentary reviews from readers who say they really connect with my characters. As far as writing scenes, I can make myself laugh and I can make myself cry. I hope my words have the same effect on readers.
What advice would you give to writers?
Keep writing. And read. Reading will make you a better writer. And never, ever give up. If you get rejected or someone writes a negative review, don’t let it get you down. Those things are going to happen. I have an assignment for you. Pull up the most popular book in the country right now and see if it doesn’t have a ton of one-star reviews. What? The book so many people love, some absolutely hate? That’s right. Because not everyone likes the same thing. The story one publisher passes on, another may love. Just remember, only you can write your story. Write it well and then get it out there.
A ‘fun fact’ for your readers.
To date, I have completed six novels and my grandfather, Alex Stewart, makes a cameo appearance in each one. He’s been everything, from a dentist to a car salesman. Just a little shout-out to a man I thought the world of. A big-hearted guy with a love for life and a great sense of humor.
Thank you Bruce for visiting us today. We’ve enjoyed getting to know more about you the person and the author.
Congratulations on your new book. Excellent book. Let us know when your next book releases. I know your fans don’t want to miss that one.
Be sure and visit Bruce at: http://www.bruceastewart.com/
And don’t forget to visit www.southernwritersmagazine.com
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