Monday, June 26, 2017

SANCTUARY - T M Brown - One Free Ebook

Welcome, T M. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
First of all, its important to share that I hold all fiction is not created “ex nihilo” — “out of nothing.” All our characters, settings, and storylines are rooted in reality, just disguised or rewritten to paint the desired story we wish to write.

In Sanctuary, family and friends chuckle as they recognize parallels between the main characters, Theo and Liddy Phillips, and my wife and me. Likewise, other characters in the story have inspiration from family and friends, especially my two sons and my grandkids. Of course, they were the reason I launched into this endeavor nearly four years ago.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Over my decades as a student of the Bible, I realized that parables and Bible stories have earned the most attention, so I took my bevy of sermons, Bible studies and devotional expositions and surprised my family and friends by announcing that I would transition to writing contemporary parables as a legacy for my grandchildren from their “Poppy,” ergo Sanctuary and its sequels.

When did you first discover you were a writer?
A lion’s share of my mother’s clover-green Irish blood flows through my veins. As a result, I’ve always been blessed with the gift of the blarney. At least that’s what my family attest. However, seriously drafting my words onto paper did not become a reality until I returned to college and then seminary late in life. There I became enthralled with the value of writing and ever since written far more sermons, Bible-studies and inspirational blog posts than I dare recount. But the notion of writing a novel came from my wife insistence. Of course, I fretted and fussed in the early months as I discovered writing a novel required far more than my Irish gifts could supply. Thankfully, God introduced a fantastic writing coach/editor to me. She became an indispensable mentor and encourager throughout the arduous process.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I am a history major and love all forms of history books, but I also have become fond of mysteries and thrillers by the likes of John Grisham, David Baldacci, Nicolas Sparks, and Charles Martin, to mention a few. In the foreseeable future, I hope to set aside more time to reading after my writing days begin to wind down again. I find myself too engrossed in my writing to fully enjoy leisure reading, and I do miss sitting on the porch with a good book that stirs my imagination.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
A sense of humor! I try not to compare myself with others. This is what I shared with my sons when they were growing up and competing in athletics. “There’ll always be others who are faster, stronger, and smarter than you. Strive each day to be the fastest, strongest, and smartest you can be, and you’ll be surprised how successful you’ll become just being the best you can be.”

How do you choose your characters’ names?
Well, you’ll have to read Sanctuary before I answer that question in total. But I will hint if you study the names of the main characters in the town of Shiloh close enough, many of the readers will find the underlying source of their names. Besides, at the end of Sanctuary, the preacher in the story supplies a strong hint.

I will confess, some of my characters in the sequel, Testament, were named after I took a suggestion from an author friend. I ventured into a couple of cemeteries to scout out unique, memorable names from long ago. Also, to honor my dad, his veiled first name becomes the name of a key older character in the sequel.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Completing two novels and actually working on the third had gotten my attention, but what stands high above that is my marriage of forty-four years this August to my beautiful wife Connie, our two sons and their families.  

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
The answer depends on the time of day and situation. Of course, I’ve been called more animal names than I dare to put into print.

What is your favorite food?
I’m a fan of God’s message to Peter in Acts - “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.” Kind of makes me a fan of most anything, but Southern barbecue, grits, biscuits, collards, and of course, peach cobbler with vanilla ice cream, all washed down with sweet tea, rank right up there!

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Transitioning to writing a novel filled with believable dialog, and learning to “show versus tell” after all my years of expository writing. Thank God for a great writing coach and my wife’s encouragement.

Tell us about the featured book.
SANCTUARY begins a series of stories that affirms the possibility that life often winds its way by personal perseverance with the aid of God’s providence influencing our choices along the journey we find ourselves on. Like Theo Phillips retells his story in SANCTUARY, each of us has particular personal stories that we most often share among friends and loved ones. You know, those stories that evolved over a course of time in our life, and after looking back and taking stock, we discovered that the choices we made along those particular journeys impacted far more lives than what we likely envisioned before we began the journey.

SANCTUARY introduces newly retired publishing executive, Theo Phillips, and his wife, Liddy, to the time-lost South Georgia town of Shiloh as they leave the shadows of Atlanta and move into a quaint home of notoriety. While making new friends, they discover twenty-first-century challenges threaten the town’s laid-back lifestyle. Theo's journalistic curiosity launches him into investigating tragic events that have left Shiloh unsettled. Theo and Liddy’s retirement dreams take a turn that could unravel both them and the idyllic life they and many others look for in Shiloh.

Please give us the first page of the book.
A prolonged Indian-summer gripped Georgia. Though already the first Sunday of November, hot and humid weather more suitable for early September caused sweat to trickle unabated down my neck, dampening the collar of the fresh cotton polo I had just yanked over my head. The moving truck pulled away as I latched and locked the trailer doors. Liddy patiently watched from her passenger window as I walked up the sidewalk and locked the front door of the colonial brick suburban house we had called home for the last seven years.
I jumped into the driver’s seat, buckled up and squeezed the hand of my wife of forty years, then reached for the gearshift. “Any regrets?”
Liddy raised her window and turned her gaze straight ahead as a silly smirk appeared. “Nope. Let’s roll! We’ve got a moving truck to meet in Shiloh tomorrow.”
I dropped the gearshift into drive, and my foot slid from the brake to the accelerator. Our Expedition jolted forward with the packed trailer in tow. Liddy stared straight ahead for the first few minutes while she caressed the manila envelope stuffed with photos, brochures and paperwork pertaining to the house we contracted to purchase for our retirement. Liddy dozed off soon after we turned south onto US Highway 19, and I settled in for the afternoon drive to our destination an hour south of Albany.
The all-too-familiar gated communities and shopping centers thriving under Atlanta’s ever-present shadow faded in my rear-view mirror…

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Sanctuary - paperback - Kindle

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T.M. Brown said...

Once you've read a little about me and my Southern mystery, Sanctuary. I invite you to check out a couple of my web pages and then answer this question: How would you define someone who has a Write Spirit?

I welcome comments and questions and promise to respond over the next few days. If you are an aspiring writer still chipping away on the story inside you, "never, never, never quit!" The journey is not for the faint at heart. Look to the finish line not behind you. Everyday you are that much closer to goal of sharing that special story that God has stirred up within you to write.

TM 'Mike' Brown

Melanie Backus said...

T M Brown is a new author to me and I am intrigued by Sanctuary. Thank you for sharing, Lena

Melanie Backus, TX

T.M. Brown said...

I pray you will enjoy investigating Sanctuary and a little about me. Feel free to ask any questions you may have.

Connie said...

Sanctuary sounds intriguing. Thanks for sharing and I wish you and your Connie an early Happy Anniversary wish.
(Another) Connie from KY

Patty said...

Sounds intriguing! As someone who's a transplant to the south I enjoy reading books set here .

Charles Martin is one of my favorite authors!


T.M. Brown said...

Welcome Patty. My wife's a converted Yankee but loves to cook collards, cobblers, casseroles, but can't get to her to switch from creamed wheat to grits. Hope you'll try Sanctuary.

T.M. Brown said...

Thanks other Connie. FYI our youngest son and family lives in NKY.