First of all….
1. What are your hobbies?
I run – not a marathoner or anything, but I will run up to six miles at a time. For me, running is when I can remove myself from every demand in my life and center my place in this world. I never run with anything like music or talk radio pouring into my ears. Always I need to be outside. I listen to my feet hit the ground on a trail somewhere and feel the earth hold me steady as I pass. I hear the wind replying to my breath. Deer and squirrel and bat and owl move with me at times and it is while running that I sense the effort it takes to be in this world. My body aches from that effort. Yet even when it rains or snows or the sun beats down heat upon my road and I grow weary, I feel with most clarity the absolute wonder of life.
2. What inspired you to want to write Here and Again?
A couple things inspired me to write this novel. One was the terrible but honorable cost military families pay for their service. Remember, when a family member joins the military, the entire family joins the service in one way or another. I wanted to acknowledge that service and honor that truth. The other was to walk into the Civil War. I study this time in our history. I consider myself a serious student of it. So as I was driving through the Shenandoah Valley one day, I finally had a character from that time enter my head and finally had a story to write that would lead me wandering those pivotal years in our history.
3. Can you summarize the book for us?
Here And Again is a story of two people who have lost their future. Both are wandering around as ghosts, stuck between their beginning and their end. For Ginger Martin, widowed by the Iraq War, the struggle to keep living in her husband’s dying dream carries only the hollow pain of his loss. For Samuel Annanais, a soldier lost in the Civil War, the duty of service has left him a wandering specter without an end. These two souls meet on the banks of the great Shenandoah and realize, though separated by time, they are essential to each other as they seek a future in their own lives and find their purpose in each other’s.
4. What are your future writing projects?
Currently, I am working on a novel that deals with Sherman’s Special Field Orders, No. 15, which, back in the Civil War, was a military order that allotted 40 acres (and a mule but that is questionable) to the newly freed black slaves in Georgia, South Carolina, and several other states. This history has become the tale the Red family of Antres Vast, Georgia tells each generation as to how they came to own the property on which they live and that same 40 acres is now at the center of a major family battle. As with most family stories, the telling changes in time and is rarely reflective of the reality way back when. In fact, sometimes family history is nothing but a myth and the truth is deeper, darker, and more defining of who we are than even we ourselves can possibly imagine
5. Any tips for aspiring writers?
Find the purpose. Every story has a purpose. To finish a story, there must be the purpose to bring it into being. For me, I never finish a story unless I have the end. Sometimes the end changes a bit, but without it, I have no road and no horizon and with no horizon, there is no purpose and so, no story. When you have the purpose, the story lives. Find the purpose.
6. Could you share your website with our readers?
Thank you Nicole! It was a real pleasure getting to know you better. What a wonderful person you are and a GREAT writer as well. I am SO enjoying reading your book, and will have the book review here shortly.
All the best of luck!