Welcome back, Bruce. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
I enjoy reading and writing historical fiction and contemporary fiction that has historical roots, such as novels with paralleling contemporary and historical storylines. Aside from the fascinating research, I love sharing what I’ve discovered, because I believe it’s as important to learn something from a book as it is to be entertained by it.
Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
On December 27th, Jeannie and I celebrated for the 43rd time the best day of my life—and she has done everything in her power to make every day since our wedding another best-day-of-my-life. The days she failed to do so were completely my fault.
How has being published changed your life?
It’s made me a lot busier. J It has also immensely elevated my respect for those intrepid souls who have done it so much better than I.
What are you reading right now?
Fiction: I just finished Sibella Giorello’s latest release in her Raleigh Harmon series. (You all really need to read Sibella’s work—she’s one of those intrepid souls.)
Non-fiction: The Rhetoric of Revelation in the Hebrew Bible, by Dale Patrick. Fascinating perspective on how God communicates through the Scriptures.
What is your current work in progress?
I’m working on the “The Marble Falls Legacy – Part 2,” the sequel to Quimby Pond which is featured in this blog interview. How fun! There’s a sneak preview at the end of Quimby Pond for the more curious among your readers.
What would be your dream vacation?
A river cruise in
Okay, so while we’re dreaming, an all-expenses-paid river cruise in Europe.
Good luck with that. J How do you choose your settings for each book?
The historical hook chooses it for me. I’m more interested in a really interesting premise for the story than I am where it takes place. For example, I would never have thought of
, as a setting for a novel (Quimby
Pond) if such an intriguing historical event had not taken me there. Rangeley,
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
The same person I spend every evening with—that 43-year helpmate I mentioned earlier. But then, I don’t think that’s what you meant, so I’ll try to be a little more innovative. I’ll also assume you don’t include fictional characters—who are very much alive—because I’ve created some whom I’d love to spend an evening with just to see what they’re really like. J So, given those constraints, I suppose it would have to be Peyton Manning. He has nothing to prove to me, so he can be genuine (i.e., no need to force any “image”). I appreciate his work ethic and what I understand to be his perspective on living his faith.
What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I enjoy camping, prospecting for gold, and playing the 12-string guitar. Sometimes all at the same time, which can get a little confusing. But it’s still fun.
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Finding consistent time to write. I have a full-time job and a home life that I must prioritize. Writing sporadically hinders growing in the craft. I do edit manuscripts, though, so I’m able to stay in the discipline from that perspective, although creating my own work sometimes suffers.
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Establish your goal as a writer up front. What do you really want to do? Do you want a writing career, an avocation, a one-time work to share with family and friends? If you don’t decide that up front, you’ll waste a lot of time, money, and frustration in seeking the proper path to publication (sorry about the alliteration, but hey, that says it all. J) Can you change your mind at some point? Sure, that’s the stuff of life. But in the publishing industry, making a drastic change in trajectory can be ungainly.
Tell us about the featured book.
Ah! J I absolutely love Quimby Pond. It’s my first contemporary mystery/suspense—but still with that true historical hook—and so the genre is a little new to me, although I’ve written elements of mystery in previous works. Quimby Pond takes place in northern
Maine. It centers on a
young woman who has come to Marble Falls (a fictitious representation of the lovely town
of Rangeley) to
escape her past. When she begins to restore an antique trunk for a friend, her
past resurges, thrusting her and her friends into mortal danger.
Please give us the first page of the book.
This is the Prologue, which sets the historical backdrop for the story. It’s actually 1-1/2 pages, so be advised that I’m going to cheat. J
Thursday Night, August 20, 1896.
. The Train Station. Marble Falls, Maine
Arthur Dunsley, reporter for The Lakes newspaper, tapped a stubby pencil against his chin as he circled the abandoned steamer trunk. It seemed sad, lonely, if such a thing could be. A bridal trunk with no bride? Just wasn’t right. He stooped and fingered a delicately inscribed card affixed to the lid, then jotted a word or two in his pocket notebook.
“So, what ya make of her?” Stationmaster Charlie Turner tipped up his billed cap and scratched behind an ear.
“Dunno. Suppose it was loaded on the wrong train?”
“On the line from Phillips?” Charlie shook his head. “Came off the one o’clock, nobody with it. Word got around town. Folks came for tonight’s train too. Still nobody.”
Arthur tugged on the hasp. “Locked.”
“Aye-uh. Already tried that.”
The reporter closed the notebook and rose with a half-smile. Finally, something more exciting than who-is-visiting-whom-in-the-lakes gossip and depressing obituaries. “I’ve got an empty corner in today’s edition. This oughta add a little mystery to the humdrum.”
“And I got an empty corner in the stationhouse where she’ll go ’til somebody comes ta fetch her.”
“Let me know if they do, would ya, Charlie?”
“Surely.” Charlie grasped one of the trunk’s leather handles and dragged it toward the stationhouse door.
Arthur pocketed his pencil and notebook, and strode toward town.
The dim glow of a cigar ember flared beyond the empty train platform. Among the shadows, a lone figure leaning against a knobby evergreen hacked a hoarse cough into his sleeve. A flick of his finger, and the stogie’s chewed stub arced onto the narrow-gauge railroad tracks, erupting sparks over their rough-hewn wooden ties.
The man pushed away from the tree and set a stealthy course toward the station. He drew up at the platform as the stationmaster’s bulky silhouette appeared in a window against the yellow glow of an oil lamp. The stranger backed against the station’s turret, one hand pressed against the rough stone, the other reaching toward his belt. When he withdrew it, the pitted steel blade of a hunting knife flashed in the weak lamplight.
The stationmaster moved from view.
The man palmed the knife and edged toward the door.
Nice hook. I am eager to find out what happens next. How can readers find you on the Internet?
I have a blog and a Facebook author page. I’d love to interact with any of your readers on either of those venues.
Thanks so much for the interview,
It’s been fun!
Thank you, Bruce, for sharing this new book with us.
Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.Quimby Pond - paperback
Quimby Pond - Kindle
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