Thursday, July 20, 2017

Interview with Bob Smith and Sara Rhodes, authors of Iniquities of Gulch Fork

In the worn and tired town of Gulch Fork, Arkansas, certified nursing assistant Samantha Caminos heads to her patient Rob Dean's home and wonders how she can find common ground with the aloof, disabled Vietnam veteran who suffers from not only PTSD but also severe neuropathy caused by Agent Orange. As Samantha approaches the house, she has no idea that very soon their lives will take a new turn. Gulch Fork, a town once filled with Ozark tranquility, takes on an aura of evil when bizarre events begin to affect Rob and two other war-scarred veterans, Peter Ness and Ron Woods-Samantha's father. But when Samantha learns that two elderly couples without living relatives in the area have fallen prey to fraud and embezzlement by a man who claims to be a pastor, she sets out on a quest to piece together a complex mystery fueled by those hell-bent on taking advantage of citizens too fragile to defend themselves. In this compelling novel based on true events, three veterans seeking peace and serenity from PTSD fall victim to injustice, prompting a young health care worker to investigate the evil that has infiltrated their once peaceful Arkansas town.

How has your upbringing influenced your writing? 

Bob- Since I was 10 I worded seven days a week at a corner drug store in a small Oklahoma town. This kept me busy. I had to write 5000 times “An idle mind is the devils workshop”, when my sixth grade teacher caught me rolling bb’s across the floor each time her back was turned away from the students. In addition, my mother was a school teacher and constantly corrected me each time I made a mistake in the use of the English language. 
Sara- I don’t think my upbringing really had much to do with my writing style. 

When and why did you begin writing? 

Bob- I started writing when I was in the second grade. Why? Because I like the creative sensation that writing seemed to nourish. 
Sara- I started writing when we started this book, because Bob asked me to help him. 

What do you consider the hardest thing about writing? 

Bob- Making a sentence or paragraph sound interesting. 
Sara- Staying focused. 

Do you intend to make writing a career? 

Bob- My career ends with this book, my final endeavor. 
Sara- Heck no! 

Do you have a specific writing style? 

Bob- I like much variation from one paragraph to the next. I particularly dislike dialogue with merely “he said, she said,” but rather prefer many different methods to indicate who is saying what. 
Sara- I don’t think so.

Bob Smith is a naval officer who had Agent Orange spilled on him in Vietnam and suffers from severe PTSD in addition to disabling neuropathy. After living in Spain, he returned to America and settled in the Ozarks, where he is happily pursuing his dream of writing. Sara Rhodes is a wife, mother, and certified nursing assistant who originally lived in Alaska before moving to the Ozarks with her family. Bob is her former patient whose teachings about PTSD helped her recognize her own father's battle with it. Both Bob and Sara find animals to be a great source of comfort.

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