Archive by Author | Susan Reichert

Maritza Martinez Mejia–Vanilla and Chocolate

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Maritza Martinez Mejia, a bilingual educator, author, and translator born in Colombia, lives in Florida with her husband and their two teenagers. For her active participation to the community, she obtained the Crystal Apple Award 2006. For her literary work, she received The VCB Award 2015, and Latino Book Awards 2016. 

Maritza published her memoir Hazel Eyes (2010), Vanilla and Chocolate (2012), Grandma’s Treasure (2014), Poems, Thoughts and More (2015), and Ojos Avellana (2016). 

Tell us about your latest book. How did it come about?maritza-martinez-mejia-vanilla-and-chocolate-2017-sw

Vanilla and Chocolate was published in October 2012 by WRB Publishing. This book was written to help children understand the virtue of tolerance and appreciate each other’s differences. In 2017, my illustrator and I, created new characters and fresh drawing to celebrate its five years of publication.

What is the story behind the creation?

Vanilla and Chocolate is an honor to all teachers who dedicate their lives to education. The story behind the creation is to reflect the hard work teachers endured and the responsibility behind teaching. This is the first book of Lessons for Living Collection. In summary, the tale is about a concerned teacher who helps two friends be together after their parents refused to let them play because of their skin color.

Was your book research intensive? Did you find some fun facts?

The research was not intensive, but the editing process was. The topic required a careful approach and delicate words to make the message clear to children ages 5 – 10 years old or Kindergarten to 4th graders.

Did you find not so fun facts while researching your book?

I didn’t find not so fun facts, but did find not enough children’s books about the topic to research. For this reason, I felt an important topic to address even though, racism, it is not an easy topic to discuss with young children.

Does coincidence play a role in your book? If so, what was strangest coincidence you experienced and did you use it in your book?

I didn’t experience coincidences in writing Vanilla and Chocolate first edition. I had a clear picture of my goal since the moment I wrote the first draft. The second edition was written as student’s request. The more I visited school classrooms to read the story, the more I noticed the need to include more characters in the story that represents them. I listened to my young audience and worked together with my illustrator to please their demand.

What do you like most about writing?

As a mother, educator and author, my motivating passion is to help children and teenagers through inspiring and creative stories. I write monthly reflections and quotes on my blog and social media “LuzDelMes” to inspire people to be good and do well.

What do you like least?

My writing style may be rejected since English is my second language after Spanish, but I love to write in both languages. What I like least is to translate from one language to another. Each tongue has its particular music and rhythm difficult to reflect in both languages.

Are you working on the next book?

Yes, I am working on my next book, it is a rhyming picture book. This is new to me, but I love writing challenges. I wrote Grandma’s Treasure, the second book of Lessons for Living Collection in 2014. Now, it is the time for the third tale: “Grandpa’s Box.”  I expected the book to be ready in the summer 2018.

Tell us how long it took you to write your book.

Vanilla and Chocolate took me a year from the first draft to the final, but the story was in my drawer for several years. I wrote the tale to my children who are now in College.

Tell us something fun you like to do.

This is not an easy question to answer. What I used to like the most, and have fun with it, was traveling. Now days, it is getting too complicated and the fun experience is turning into a scary situation. So, I think for me writing and presenting my books in different locations are my fun experience for the moment.

What’s next for you in writing?

My next projects are to complete the six tales of Lessons for Living Collection, and write the continuation of “Poems, Thoughts and More” a second bilingual poetry book (English & Spanish).

Thank you for visiting us today. Let us know when the new book is released.

 Be sure and drop by Maritza’s website and say hello and follow her on social medias. You can reach Maritza in all social media as LuzDelMes.
www.luzdelmes.com

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Molly Jebber Amish Historical Romance

molly      Welcome Molly Jebber, Amish Historical Romance author. We are delighted to have you today.

You have a new book releasing, January 30, 2018 titled liza second chance

 Tell us about your latest book.

Liza’s Second Chance” is the first Amish Historical Romance book in my Amish Charm Bakery Series. The sweet welcome of straight-from-the-oven sugar cookies and hot cocoa. The warm invitation of apple pie and fresh cold milk. In 1912 Ohio, the Amish Charm Bakery is the heart of a close-knit, faith-nourished community, where people can find a refuge, a place to start again—and love that can make their lives new . . .

For Liza Schrock, the bakery her late husband bought was an unexpected haven from their unhappy arranged marriage. Now she’s perfectly content to cook up mouth-watering delights for her hometown, give to those alone or in trouble—and remain happily unwed. And though she’s willing to give handsome, newly arrived widower Jacob Graber all the help he desperately needs, she is sure they can stay just friends . . .

But as Liza also tries to aid Jacob’s troubled teenage daughter, she starts caring far too much for his gentle ways and steadfast hopes. And when a wrenching secret she must keep comes between them, can Liza find the faith to risk opening her heart again—and reach for one more chance at real love?
How did it come about?

I visited the Amish community of Charm, Ohio, several times, and fell in love with the quaint, small town. The shops were filled with beautiful quilted items and unique ideas, and the Amish food was delicious at the restaurant.  I wanted to write a bakery themed Amish story and the community of Charm seemed to fit. miller's dry goods                               helping_hands_quilts__47726.1396578279.285.250

What is the story behind the creation?

I love making up my characters and stories. Although Liza, Ellie, Jacob, Hannah, and the rest of my characters are real now that I’ve formed their personalities, quirks, and brought trouble and happy times in their lives to keep readers entertained. I also loved adding an additional character insisting on causing my hero and heroine so much trouble!

Was your book research intensive?

The visit to Charm, talking to the Amish, and learning more about them was fun. I enjoy all the research.

Did you find some fun facts?

Writing Amish Historical Romance, I research the time period, and learn so many facts about what happened in that particular year.  “Liza’s Second Chance” takes place in 1912, the same year the Titanic met its demise. I learned interesting tidbits of information about it, and put them into the book.

Did you find not so fun facts while researching your book?

I did feel sad for the people who suffered the loss of their loved ones during the Titanic tragedy.

What do you like most about writing?

I love interacting with readers during Facebook parties, signings, speaking engagements, etc.

I can see God’s hand in all the exciting things that have happened since I first sat down to write my first book. He continues to amaze me, and I’m so grateful.

What do you like least?

That last edit!

Are you working on the next book?

Yes. Book 2 in the Amish Charm Bakery Series.

Tell us how long it took you to write your book.

Eight months, because I love walking on the beach, swimming, and the things I mentioned below. Sometimes I have to get on myself and say, “Time to write!” But I always make sure I’m ahead of my agent and publisher’s deadlines.

Tell us something fun you like to do.

I love to write, read, golf (but I’m not that good), travel on cruises and take weekend trips, spend time with my husband, Ed, and Misty, my daughter, and friends. I hardly ever turn down going to lunch or shopping! Now, skydiving is a different story. No way! LOL

What’s next for you in writing?

To finish out my contract for the Amish Charm Bakery Series with Book 2 and Book 3, and I already have an idea for a new Amish Historical Romance series to submit to my agent for my publisher.

Thank you Molly for visiting with us and sharing this information about your new book. Can’t wait to read it.

Be sure and check Molly’s website for more upcoming information on her new book.

http://www.mollyjebber.com

https://www.facebook.com/molly.morrisjebber

 

Lindsey Brackett~Still Waters

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Welcome Lindsey, we are delighted to have you  on Authors Visits.

I am axious to hear the story behind the creation of Still Waters.

This novel really started with a place—Edisto Beach, where my family spent most summers of my childhood. When I first decided I thought I could actually do this, write a book, all I knew was I wanted a story set on Edisto. From there I began to build characters who might be there and to discover what brings them back or makes them stay away. As I grew as a writer, and began to understand how little I knew about novel structure, the plot changed many times, but ultimately it has always been a story of homecoming, relying on the power of family that ties us to a place.

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What do you like most about writing? What do you like least?

I love writing as a craft. I love to trip over the words and find the best verb to suit an action or develop a way to make a scene seem to linger—without compromising my word count. I love to see the story escalate and the tension heighten. I love resolution, though plotting is a struggle for me. I’m 100% pantser. But the crafting of a story, nothing about that stresses me out. I even love editing and rewriting, though at times it gets tedious. What I don’t like is the after—the pitching and selling and marketing. I’d really love to have a personal assistant who could do all that for me.

How long did it take to write this book?

Forever it seemed. I started fiddling with this story in 2007. I had two really young daughters and I was teaching middle school. It was the height of the Twilight era and all my students (girls) loved that book. I read it with them so we could discuss it, and I thought, this writer is not that different from me. If she can do this, so can I. But then life happened (two more kids) and along the way, I lost momentum for much beyond sleep. When I picked the story back up in 2014, I still had no idea what I was doing, but I’d been blogging awhile and was more comfortable with my voice. I attended a writers conference, received some positive feedback, and over the next year, completely rewrote the book so it would be ready to pitch. It went under contract with LPC Books in November 2015. So it’s been a long road to publication.

Where did the characters come from?

Nan is modeled after my maternal grandmother whom we called Grandmommy White Hair. She died suddenly the Christmas I was ten, and so much of this story was motivated by the “what if she’d lived” scenario. What would she have been like for me to experience as an adult? She was a true Southern lady and my mother, aunt, and uncle make sure we grandkids remember her and our grandfather. Lou is much sterner and colder than my own mother, but my mom wrangled a passel of kids, too, so they have that in common. Cora Anne and I share a lot of the same qualities—that tendency to hold onto guilt and perfectionism, but she’s way more organized and self-disciplined that I have ever been. Tennessee’s patience and persistence with her are characteristics I borrowed from my own marriage.

What does this book mean to you?

I remember, the day Eva told me she would contract my story, crying so hard because when this story is read, it’s like my grandmother is living again. So much of what I remember—and it doesn’t matter if it’s fact, it’s an impression—is embedded in these pages. My grandparents lived in Colleton County and spent every summer on Edisto after the tobacco was brought in from the fields. We hunted snail shells and made homemade ice cream and she loved to play solitaire. It was so important to me that I get the pace of Edisto right, because it’s a slow place. There’s a phrase I use in the story “an invitation to linger hung among the Spanish moss of the live oaks edging the highway” and for me, that captures Edisto. It’s a place to linger and refresh and let your soul be filled with good food and fun family memories.

What was the hardest thing to write in this story? What was the easiest?

Probably, since I knew I was going to sell CBA, the spiritual takeaway was difficult. I didn’t want to be preachy and I didn’t want to make assumptions about anyone’s faith when they read my book. I just want them to enjoy the story, and if they want to talk about how Cora Anne found her peace, it’s there, but hopefully in a very organic way that rings true of the characters and setting.

The easiest part, for me, was indeed evoking the setting. I researched and read a lot of history, even though it’s not a historical novel. I used this as an excuse to go on vacation and I made notes about what I saw and heard and touched. Edisto is very much a main character of the novel.

What’s next for you in writing?

Well, I have several projects going, including a Christmas novella that gives Hannah and Ben (Still Waters minor characters) a story. I’ve also got a sequel for Still Waters in the works. But an agent gave me some valuable advice to pursue a completely different project because of its strong hook and sale-ability. The new project is more Southern Gothic, really strong narrative drive, teenage protagonist, and all the drama and conflict of a small community split down the county line by a tragedy. There’s football and fried chicken and country music and references to Friday Night Lights and Footloose. It’s really different from Still Waters—not nearly as lyrical—but I’m enjoying the process of creating a completely different world. It’s set in the North Georgia mountains, which is where I’m from, so that’s been fun to make people see what this culture is like, because Appalachia is not the same as the Lowcountry.

Be sure and get her new book, releasing September 2017.

Thank you for visiting today.  

Please visit Lindsey at: https://lindseypbrackett.com/

https://www.facebook.com/LindseyPBrackett/

https://twitter.com/@lindsbrac/

 

 

Diane Burton~Adventure and Romance

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Welcome to Authors Visits Diane. We love your books. I especially like the title on your website, Adventure and Romance–in this world and beyond. It intrigues my imagination. Thank you for coming today.

I won’t to know about your series. How they started, why you write different ones and why you’ve added two new genres-mystery and romantic suspense? 

Switched started as a fun story because I’d felt beaten down by rejections of my romances. My heroine is very fond of Star Trek. So when she’s transported aboard an alien starship and thinks it’s a gag pulled by her brother, she sees everything in terms of the TV show and movies. Switched was supposed to be a stand-alone book, not a series. When readers started asking when I would write Scott’s (a secondary character) story, I had to and that became Switched, Too. The 3rd book, Switched Resolution, wrapped up everything.

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My second series, Outer Rim, explores what strong women have to do to survive and flourish on the frontier of space. Each story is a stand-alone. Secondary and tertiary characters eventually get their own stories. This series was a lot of fun to write while exploring the heroine’s relationships—with their parents, best friends, romantic interests. I chose a different “world” for this series because I couldn’t do what I wanted to do in the Switched world.

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When did you join Romance Writers of America? How do you feel your association with them helps you as an author?

I joined RWA when I decided to write for publication in 1993. I learned a lot from the national conferences and the magazine Romance Writers Report. At the same time, I joined the local chapter, Mid-Michigan RWA. My fellow writers are super-supported. They are my rock when my confidence is shaken.

 

What three things do you do to make yourself successful in your writing?

I’m visible online—I blog (my own plus as a contributor to two others, Paranormal Romantics and The Roses of Proses), Facebook, Twitter, my website—I’m active in online writers’ groups and offer other authors spots on my blog.

 

One of your newest books is The Case of the Meddling Mama. This is book 3 in your Alex O’Hara Novels series.  Tell us a little about this book.

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Well, once again, Alex O’Hara is up to her ears in mysteries. After surviving an attempted murder, all she wants is R&R time with Nick Palzetti. But his mother leaving his father (“that horse’s patoot”) and moving in with Alex puts a crimp in their plans. Then Nick leaves on assignment and the teen she rescued from an abusive father believes his buddy is doing drugs. Meanwhile, Alex has two easy cases to take her mind off her shaky relationship with Nick—a philandering husband and a background check on a client’s boyfriend. Piece of cake.

This is great Diane. Can’t wait to read it.  I thank you so much for visiting with us today.

Every one can go to Diane’s website and keep up with her events. Just go to

http://www.dianeburton.com/home.html

Linda Phillips~A Beautiful Here

 

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We want to welcome Linda Phillips today. She is the author of  A Beautiful Here: Emerging From The Overwhelming Darkness of My Son’s Suicide.

Linda, thank you so much for coming today and sharing with us your story. Tell us about your book and the story behind it. 

Actually, A Beautiful Here is my first book. I’ve always loved to write essays, poetry and a sundry of other things. But in 1996, my life changed in such a way that led me all these years later to write this book.beautiful here

In 1996, my 22-year-old son, Nuçi, killed himself. He had suffered from major depression manifesting in his early teens. Now it’s true that in this country, someone takes his/her life about every 12.3 minutes. But this one is different.  It was my son. My family’s tragedy. It was up too close and too personal. I had to do something.

So you wrote your book, A Beautiful Here. Tell us about your son. 

Nuçi was one of the finest people I’ve had the privilege to know. He was kind, caring, smart, talented, sincere and though he couldn’t see it very handsome. Until the age of 16 years, he was, as far as one could see, happy and easy-going. But when major depression assaulted his brain, this happy young man morphed into a sullen, withdrawn doppelgänger of my son. With treatment, he struggled to feel good and as was his practice, he threw his whole self into getting healthy. Sadly, Nuçi was one of the minority of depressed people who don’t respond sufficiently to treatment. On Thanksgiving Day 1996, he ended his life. I’m sure he was tired. He had tried so hard but was not able to sustain a bearable life and as he told his psychiatrist, he didn’t want to spend his life in and out of hospitals.

As soon as I was at a point in the grief process (years later) that I could think clearly, I decided to create a foundation in Nuçi’s memory, one that would be fitting for an aspiring rock star. We opened for business in 2000. Now in 2017 Nuçi’s Space in Athens, Georgia is flourishing. We bought an old warehouse, restored it and turned it into practice rooms for musicians. With the money we make, we provide low-cost mental health counseling for those suffering from brain illnesses. We also depend on private donations, grants and benefits for support. Not only do we have practice rooms, we have a stage, a coffee bar, a library and a meeting place for support groups. Camp Amped is one of the programs I am most proud. Every summer, budding musicians ages 11 – 17 come and are mentored by some of the most talented musicians in Athens, including members of the Drive by Truckers, Widespread Panic and many others. And, most important, they learn life skills including how to get along with and respect others.

In 2016, after thousands of musicians, artists and music lovers have passed through our doors, many having received professional counseling through us, I’m privileged to say we have been instrumental in saving lives. In my work with a Survivors of Suicide Support Group, I have talked and grieved with a wide range of people who have lost loved ones to suicide. It finally became clear to me that I needed to write about my experience not because it is unique to me but because my experience is shared by so many like me who have lost someone they love to suicide. 44,193 Americans die each year by suicide. That’s a lot of people.

As a survivor, I have a story and I feel it is incumbent upon me to share my story. Hopefully, it will help another survivor or someone suffering from major depression. And perhaps, it will enlighten and educate the ignorant who contend that mental (brain) illnesses aren’t real. You know the ones! “What have you got to be unhappy about?”  My favorite: “He took the easy way out by killing himself! What a coward!.” And the list goes on and the stigma persists.

Your research must have been intensive

I am a Registered Nurse and my husband is a Radiologist. We’ve both had mental health experience. When we identified Nuçi’s depression, I read and researched everything I could find on the subject. But the bulk of my knowledge, Nuçi taught me.  The one positive fact is that 99% of people who get appropriate treatment do well.

So tell us what took place in order for this book to be written and published.

My husband and I moved to NYC about six years ago. Having never been published before, I wasn’t sure how to go about it. After speaking to an editor and discovering that she would charge what I thought was an astronomical fee, I was very disappointed. A few days later, I met my neighbor, an old newspaper man, in the elevator. I was bemoaning my experience with the editor. He emphatically said that I didn’t need an editor, I needed his wife, a literary agent! The next night, I met with her. She was great, had a particular interest in mental illness and held my hand through the whole writing process. Thanks to her and that old newspaper man, I found my voice and my confidence. Only in New York!

What do you like most about writing? What do you like least?

I happen to love the solitude of writing. Me, my thoughts and my desktop! Although I flooded my keyboard many times while writing this book, I learned a lot about myself. Finding just the right words to express my thoughts and my feelings clarified so much for me. Also, this writing reminded me and confirmed that there were many more good times than bad ones in our life with Nuçi. He was so much more than his illness!

Are you working on the next book?

At the moment, I’m not working on another book but I’m getting that itch which can only be scratched by my typing.

I understand your book, A Beautiful Here, is being translated into Albanian. How did that come about?

This is quite significant for my family. And here comes a coincidence. My husband and I have our ritual cappuccino almost every day. On one of these occasions my husband is standing in line to order. A woman in front of him is asked by another customer, “Are you Italian?” “No,” she responds, “I’m Albanian.” My husband’s ears perk up and he interjects, “I’m Albanian too.” It happens that her parents and husband are from the same towns as my husband’s parents. She then asks my husband what he does for a living. “I’m a radiologists.” With a look of surprise, she responds, “I am too!” She has a son named Pier and my husband’s name is Pierre. It goes on and on from there. Her husband’s father knew Pierre’s grandfather! We have all become good friends. Our friends mother is translating my book! Only in New York.

Tell us how long it took you to write your book.

Once I started to write, my story poured out in torrents. It took about six months to finish.

Tell us something fun you like to do.

I love to read and consider myself a chain reader. I must have a book waiting to pick up as soon as I finish one. Yoga is what keeps me grounded and healthy. And I love walks in Central Park with my husband.

What’s next for you in writing?

Not sure yet. Recently, I had a most interesting day at Nuçi’s Space. I think I’d like to write about some of those days, of which there have been many. I’d also like to delve into the stigma which continues to weigh heavily on mental illness.

Well I hope you do, and we want you to let us know when it releases.

Thank you for sharing your story with us. I know it will help many families who have experienced a loss like yours.

Come back and see us soon.

Linda’s website is: https://www.lindaphillips.org/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kay Chandler~Southern Fiction Author

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Welcome to Authors Visits Kay, we are excited about your latest book, The Keeper.

Tell us this book.

The Keeper is about a young woman, an abusive man, and the lies that bind. Mandy drifts from one homeless shelter to another, sometimes sleeping under bridges or staying in shady motels with the man she calls “Daddy,” although the affectionate term begins to stick in her throat. Wylie Gafford is obnoxious, cold-hearted and mean. Some folks have book sense and some have common sense, but Wylie appears to have neither. He forbids her to have friends.

When Mandy falls in love at seventeen, Wylie’s furious and takes her away. He compares her to a trash-fish and says a trash-fish is as much fun to pull into the boat as a nice bream, but at the end of the day the trash goes back into the cold waters, while the bream—a keeper—goes home with the fisherman. “When that ol’ boy gets ready to pick a wife, he won’t be picking the likes of you. You ain’t no keeper, girlie.”

Mandy’s goal is to become a Keeper and return to Alabama to the love she left behind. But fear, guilt, and a false sense of loyalty are the invisible chains that bind her to her domineering father. IMG_3541

How did it come about?

My husband and I had the privilege of getting to know a unique homeless couple who drifted into our lives several years ago. We listened to their stories of being without a home, and rejoiced when they moved into an old rental house, even though the only furniture was a mattress they found at the dump for their children to sleep on. He had a fourth grade education, had been in prison, but eventually joined our Sunday School Class. I learned through that experience that there is indeed a little bad in the best of us and a little good in the worst of us.

What is the story behind the creation?

The couple we befriended had three children, but one little girl looked very different from the parents and the other two children. When we first met them, the thought ran through my mind, “What if this child isn’t theirs?” After I came to know them, I knew it was a foolish notion, but the idea for a book lurked in the back of my mind. Mandy desperately wants to believe Wylie can’t be her father. After all, how could a daddy be so cruel to his own flesh and blood?

Was your book research intensive?

A great deal of information was gleaned from previous experiences. Years ago, I visited a single mother with a newborn who was staying at the Rescue Mission in Mobile, Alabama. When I wrote a scene that takes place at a shelter, I drew from that experience.

Did you find some fun facts?

Yes, I did. A character in the book wants to convince Mandy that her father is wrong, and she is indeed a Keeper. He takes her to a seafood restaurant and tells her the chef attends a Trash Fish Festival each year, because they’ve discovered previously labeled “trash fish,” are actually delectable dishes—real keepers. I had never heard of a Trash Fish Festival, but out of curiosity, Googled. Guess what? There really is a Trash Fish Festival, and I found some wonderful information that I was able to use in my book.

Did you find not so fun facts while researching your book?

I did. But to share it would give away a portion of the book that I’d prefer to let the readers discover for themselves. My books are called Southern Secrets, so some things must remain hidden. J

Does coincidence play a role in your book? If so, what was the strangest coincidence you experienced and did you use it in your book?

Actually, it happened after I wrote the book. There was an article in the newspaper, where a young woman gave her story, and it was as if my character had come to life and had written the article. It was eerie how much it sounded like Mandy speaking—same experiences, same thoughts and actions. It was confirmation to me that I got it right.

What do you like most about writing?

I love hearing from readers. I’m in constant awe at how God uses fiction to touch lives.

What do you like least?

I’ll have to come back to that one. At the moment, I can’t think of anything about writing that I don’t enjoy.

Are you working on the next book?

Yes. Book 4 in the Switched Series.

Tell us how long it took you to write your book.

I wrote The Keeper in three or four months several years ago, but put it away to write Lunacy, when the Publishers were asking for Historicals. I pulled it back out recently, tweaked it, and now I’m glad I did.lunancy

Tell us something fun you like to do.

I enjoy taking spontaneous road trips with my husband, stopping along the way to explore Mom and Pop shops, while getting to know the locals.

What’s next for you in writing?

I’ve had readers wanting to know what happened to Ludie, a character in Mercy, so I’m working on Kinfolk, Book 4 in the Switched Series.mercy

rick barry  If you haven’t met Rick Barry, then you definitely need to. He’s authored three novels: Gunner’s Run, Kiriath’s Quest, and most recently The Methuselah Project. In addition, he has hundreds of published articles and short stories to his credit.

But that’s not all, Rick speaks Russian, and served in the home offices of two ministries aimed at the former USSR. preaching

By God’s grace, I have visited Eastern Europe over 50 times and worked in Christian camps for children and teens.

His experiences have included skydiving, mountain climbing, rappelling, camping in Russia, kayaking, wilderness hiking, white-water rafting, visiting World War II battlegrounds, even prowling deserted apartments in the evacuated Chernobyl district of Ukraine. He believes that all experiences in life provide fuel for a writer’s imagination. And, he has also served multi-terms as president of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) – Indiana Chapter.

In your newest book, The Methuselah Project, was your book research intensive? Did you find some fun facts?

rick barry book

Definitely. In my experience, writing a novel set at any point in past history requires research, especially if the time period is World War II, which continues to interest the public widely. If your details are inaccurate, there are amateur historians who will shoot you down. As bad as that feels for the author, I believe it hurts worse for the reader, who can no longer enjoy the story knowing that the author hasn’t done the homework and doesn’t really know what he or she is talking about. Fun facts that I learned might bore others, but they include flight characteristics of a P-47 fighter plane and historical details concerning Plainfield, Indiana, the childhood home of my hero.

Did you find not so fun facts while researching your book?

The premise for The Methuselah Project involves a hush-hush German experiment that used Allied prisoners as guinea pigs. Although the actual experiment in my novel is fictitious, Nazi scientists truly did experiment on captives, particularly Jews in the concentration camps. Reading accounts of those experiments qualifies as “not so fun.” The experiment in my own story is much less gruesome.

Does coincidence play a role in your book? If so, what was strangest coincidence you experienced and did you use it in your book?

I’m not a big fan of coincidences in fiction, although some authors and scriptwriters lean heavily on coincidence. (For example, the first Star Wars movie. I mean, really? Princess Leia hides blueprints of the Death Star in an android, which “just happens” to end up in the possession of–of all people in the galaxy–her biological brother, whom she has never met or heard of? That’s a biggie. But fans swallowed it.) The closest thing to a coincidence in my book is the fact that Captain Roger Greene ends up in Atlanta, Georgia, where he meets the main female character, Katherine. But because they are not related in any way, and because the shadowy “organization” manipulates Katherine into keeping tabs on Roger, I don’t see this as coincidence. The organization simply used her proximity to give her a mission. If Captain Greene had been in New York, they might have put another member on his tail.

What is the story behind the creation of your book?

Since I grew up in the home of a pilot, I’ve had a lifelong interest in aviation. Also, WW II has interested me since 7th grade. A third spark for this tale is my interest in a well-told story about time travel. These three elements combined in my imagination. Even though Captain Greene doesn’t literally travel in time, he does end up looking young and still athletic many decades after the war, but with a biologically reasonable explanation that satisfies readers who don’t like sci-fi.

What do you like most about writing? What do you like least?

There’s a special literary adrenaline that feels great when the words and inspiration fuse to produce a hot stream of words flowing from my imagination to my fingers and then onto the computer screen. It’s a wonderfully satisfying experience. The least enjoyable? When I’m stuck in the Sahara Desert of imagination. My trail has led me thus far, and I know of another point in the journey I must reach, but am not sure how to get from this dry valley to that point in a way that will intrigue the reader to stick with me.

Are you working on the next book?

Yes, although with frequent delays as I (too often!) must set aside that project in order to freelance edit, or write an article, or translate something from Russian to English to keep money coming in to pay the bills.

Tell us how long it took you to write your book.

About a year. I wrote it in spurts–a half hour or so in the early morning. Fifteen or twenty minutes during my lunch break. Sometimes an hour in the evening. It’s frustrating to close the Microsoft program when you know exactly what the next line will be, but that’s the life of a part-time writer. Anyone who assumes authors are specially entitled people with huge blocks of spare time for writing is kidding himself. To get started as a writer, you must carve writing time out of your day, protecting and using minutes other people will fritter away with Facebook or Solitaire or TV.

What’s next for you in writing?

Many readers have wished for a sequel to The Methuselah Project. I plan to answer that wish.

Well, please keep us updated and let us know the release date. Thank you for visiting with us today. We have enjoyed learning more about Rick Barry.

Please be sure and check out Rick’s website and social medias.

http://rickcbarry.com/

facebook.com/AuthorRickBarry, or on Twitter (@WriterRickBarry)