In The News
Sept 21, 2019. Natasha Murray author, playwright and founder of the UK Southern Book Show, posted an author interview with me on her terrific blog. Check it out at:
Natasha's web page http://www.nmurray.
Here is more contact information for Natasha:
Facebook (please like her page) https://www.facebook.
Twitter (please follow her) https://twitter.com/
Oct 27, 2019 5 STAR REVIEW FROM Literary Titans!
I blush at the descriptions in Literary Titan's editorial review of The Best That Can Happen The Grand Trek. Such as:
"...energetic, engaging and evocative..."
"...the narration itself has it’s own character and charm"
"This is the kind of book you reread every year just to relive the experience."
Golly! Thanks to Thomas Anderson, Editor In Chief, Literary Titans.
You can read the full review at: https://literarytitan.com/2019/10/27/the-best-that-can-happen/
Nov 1, 2019 Literary Titans Give The Best That Can Happen: The Grand Trek its Gold Medal!
"The Literary Titan Book Awards are awarded to books that have astounded and amazed us with unique writing styles, vivid worlds, complex characters, and original ideas. These books deserve extraordinary praise and we are proud to acknowledge the hard work, dedication, and imagination of these talented authors."
Nov 12, 2019 Lou Hur tells us why she enjoyed The Best That Can Happen: The Grand Trek
Lou' review is posted on the reviews page here, on Goodreads and on her blog, https://randombookreviewsweb.wordpress.com/. You may find other books you'd like on her site. Thanks, Lou!
Nov 17, 2019 Author Interview posted on Literary Titans' website
Picking the Right Dreams
The Grand Trek follows a unique journey to Arizona and the people encountered on the way. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thought provoking memoir?
(WIth the caveat that Arizona was the original idea but the actual Trek turned out differently) The seed for what I came to call The Grand Trek was planted over the breakfast table one morning just after I graduated from high school while living at Horst and Harriet’s farm in Scales Mound, Illinois. Harriet speculated that one of their horses looked like he might not make it through another tough northern Illinois winter. As a (bad) joke, I suggested she ride him to her sister’s place in Arizona. Most folks would have taken this as a jest. Instead, Harriet went to get an atlas.
I found this story to be energetic, engaging and evocative. What were some themes you wanted to capture while writing this story?
The main theme is fulfilling the dreams we have for our lives, and picking the right dreams to follow. Another theme is the contrast between urban and rural life, which is something that has been part of my life story. A third is the connections with my horses and dogs and the natural environment. Perhaps increasingly relevant these days is how basic is the need for water. Not a theme as such, but frequently having only a general idea of where I was and where I was heading came up a lot! That is to say that I spent a lot of time basically lost, and learned not to worry about that as long as I kept heading west.
I enjoyed the interesting and varied characters introduced throughout your novel. What were some ideas that you wanted to explore with your characters?
I wanted to relay the way folks I encountered go about their lives, which is more interesting than may be obvious at first sight because it isn’t always dramatic or extraordinary. For example, a lot to think about arose when asking for some water from a mother hanging out laundry to dry. On the face of it, that encounter seems mundane in comparison with the time I asked for some water from a fellow who kept exotic animals like yaks. On reflection, though, the apparently more mundane encounter told worlds about how thoughtfully and innovatively that family approached their lifestyle. I didn’t have a particular plan about what to explore about my encounters. They each had their own significance.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
The Best That Can Happen: The Grand Trek wraps up with my stepping off the corporate ladder to re-open a horse training operation at a once well-known facility in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC. I’m deciding on how best to approach it. I’m presently leaning toward researching the lives of the people who have occupied that property over the years. The property has some historical relevance, as it was part of the Fairfax Grant of over 5 million acres in the mid-1600’s. There are no doubt a wealth of interesting characters and social development themes to explore, including how America looked pre- and post-European settlement! Lots to research, so it’ll be a while before that’s done. I’m also considering a fictional murder mystery at the farm. That could be fun!