Ebook Giveaway & Interview: Ray Saunders, Author Of Winds West

Folks, please give a warm welcome to Ray Saunders. He’s here to share not only his novel, Winds West, but also a mostly non-fiction account of frontier life in Colorado (Gunnison Country) written by his mother, Betty Wallace. Don’t forget to check out the ebook giveaway at the end of the post!

What mystery in your own life could be a plot for a book?

No real mystery in my past, but Alternate History would be me having decided to be a poet instead of a computer maven. It would be a very convoluted plot, involving Greenwich Village, off-grid living in the Rockies and becoming God.

The public library of your dreams has arrived! What special collections does it hold?

The lost contents of the Library of Alexandria and every poet since 500BC.

What decade from the last century would you pick to have been a teenager in?

I would prefer to forget my teen years, but if I had to pick it would probably be the 1920s for the radical politics.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?

Liza from Winds West would get along well with Sayward Luckett from Conrad Richter’s The Awakening Land trilogy. Both were strong women who knew what they wanted and had the courage to go after it.

If you could, what book or movie or TV series would you like to experience for the first time all over again and why?

The movies Amalie or Casablanca. And any of Maurice Walsh’s writingThe Quiet Man, The Small Dark Man, Trouble in the Glen, etc. (I love the way the Irish use the English language, both in prose and poetry. The Scots, on the other hand, use English like they still hold a grudge over Culloden).

What are the top 3 historical time periods and locations you would like to visit?

The Americas before European contact.
Central Asia before Islam.
Celtic Europe before Caesar.

If you could own a famous or historical art work, what would it be? Would you put it on public display or keep it privately?

Picasso’s Guernica – displayed as publicly as possible.

If you could sit down and have dinner with 5 dead authors, who would you invite to the table? What would they order?

John Masters, Maurice Walsh, Stephen Vincent Benet, Charles Bowden and A.A.Milne.

We’d all eat pizza. And drink lots of wine.

Care to share an awkward fangirl/fanboy moment, either one where someone was gushing over your work…..or one where you were gushing over another author’s work?

I always gush over my favorite writers at every opportunity, to the point of irritating those who’ve heard me for the umpteenth time. (I think it’s more awkward for them than for me). Don’t know if this counts, but a young lady wrote a glowing review of Winds West, albeit expressing surprise at my “uncanny insight into the female psyche”. LOL

Places to Find Ray Saunders

Website

Steele Park Press Facebook

Ray’s Facebook

GoodReads

Amazon

About the Author:

I grew up in a small western town, steeped in both pioneer culture and writing, my mother being a reporter, editor, English teacher and local historian. By the time I finished high school I was well versed in poetry and the Beat Generation, properly prepared to appreciate the ‘60s in Greenwich Village, which added folk music to the mix. To pay the bills, I spent 50 years doing cutting-edge computer work, then retired and now I’m back to writing poetry and songs and the occasional novel.

Book Blurb for Winds West

Home maker at 10, grown at 15 – what future awaits Liza as she head West? Young woman goes West on a voyage of self-discovery. “Winds West is a thoughtful account of Liza Woods, a young woman’s coming of age story set in early 20th century Ohio. At 13, Liza takes a job as a governess/housekeeper, but has a wisdom beyond her years. She yearns for the freedom generally afforded only to men, however, and what follows is her subsequent journey to Colorado, where she settles down, making a life for herself on the frontier.” – Granny’s Pantry review.

Book Blurb for Gunnison Country:

History of Gunnison Colorado and surrounding areas. Betty Wallace was born near Lake City, CO, in 1913. She spent her youth among the ranchers and miners who settled the Gunnison Country. Herself a child of pioneers, she understood the world they faced and how they coped. As a reporter and editor she worked to preserve the stories of those early days, from the displacement of the Native American by gold-seekers to the uranium prospectors of the 1950s. She researched the old newspapers and interviewed many Old Timers in a tireless effort to make sure their stories were preserved for future generations.

GIVEAWAY!

Ray is offering up one ebook copy of Winds West and one ebook copy of Gunnison Country. Do the Rafflecopter thing below or answer these questions in the comments to be entered into the giveaway. 1) What special collections would the library of your dreams hold? 2) Which book would you prefer to win (Winds West or Gunnison Country)? This giveaway is open world wide and ends August 1, 2017, midnight.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway & Interview: Peter Golden, Author of Wherever There Is Light

GoldenWhereverThereIsLightFolks, please give a warm welcome to Peter Golden. We chat about historical works, art, Paris, and much more. Don’t forget to check out the giveaway at the end of the post! Enjoy!

Are minions/sidekicks just throwaway devices in a tale? Can they become more? Do they need to become more?

The writer Anton Chekov observed that if a gun is hanging over the fireplace in the first act of a play, it must be fired in the next act. This is true of characters. Each one must have a role that fits in the story. No such thing as a throwaway character for the careful writer.

If you could, what book/movie/TV series would you like to experience for the first time all over again and why?

A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway. I’d like to re-experience my discovery of Paris in literature. It was magical. It sill is, but not like that first time.

Reality in my fiction: how important is it? Lengthy travel, cussing, and bathroom breaks happen in real life. How do you address these mundane occurrences in your writings?

Everything serves the story. Mundane events can help with pacing or reveal character, but if they don’t, then bye-bye.

It’s time for you to host the book club. Who do you invite (living, dead, fictional, real)? And what 3 books will you be discussing?

William Shakespeare, Flannery O’Connor, James Baldwin, and Ernest Hemingway. We won’t necessarily be discussing books. I’d want them to talk to me about writing, to teach me what they think is important.

GoldenComebackLoveConventions, book signings, blogging, etc.: what are some of your favorite aspects of self-promotion and what are some of the least favorite parts of self-promotion?

That’s easy. My favorite is communicating with people. My least favorite is blowing my own horn. I try to be reserved, because I find it embarrassing.

What has been your worst or most difficult job? How does it compare to writing?

I worked in a locked psychiatric ward right after college. It was heartbreaking. Writing can also be heartbreaking, but at least I’m the only one I see doing the suffering.

What nonfiction works have you found useful in building fictional worlds, cultures, and plots?

Too many to list here, since I rely heavily on books and archives for my historical novels. I will say this: I’ll read any new book about Paris, World War II, the Cold War, the 1950s, and the Holocaust.

Which ancient or historical works have you not read and periodically kick yourself for not having made time for them yet?

The six-volume set of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

If you could own a famous or historical art work, what would it be? Would you put it on public display or keep it privately?

Any painting by Picasso, Matisse, and Chagall. I’d keep it for six months and share it for months.

If you couldn’t be a writer, what would you chose to do?

I’d be a painter or photographer.

GoldenWhereverThereIsLightBook Blurb for Wherever There Is Light:

Julian Rose is only fifteen when he leaves his family and Germany for a new life in 1920s America. Lonely at first, he eventually finds his way—first by joining up with Longy Zwillman and becoming one of the preeminent bootleggers on the East Coast, and later by amassing a fortune in real estate.

Kendall Wakefield is a free-spirited college senior who longs to become a painter. Her mother, the daughter of a slave and founder of an African-American college in South Florida, is determined to find a suitable match for her only daughter.

African-American colleges rescued hundreds of German Jewish professors and their families from the Nazis, and one evening in 1938, Mrs. Wakefield hosts a dinner that reunites Julian with his mother and father, a famous philosopher. It also brings Julian and Kendall together for the first time. That encounter begins a thirty-year affair that will take the lovers from the beaches of Miami to the jazz clubs of Greenwich Village to postwar life in Paris, where they will mingle with Sartre, Picasso, and a host of other artists and intellectuals. Through his years serving in American intelligence and as an interrogator at the Nuremberg trials, what Julian wants most is to marry and find the joy that eluded his parents. Kendall craves her freedom, and after trading her oil paints for a Leica camera, becomes a celebrated photographer, and among the first American journalists to photograph the survivors of a liberated concentration camp. Yet despite distance, their competing desires, and the rapidly changing world, their longing for each other remains a constant in the ceaseless sweep of time.

Captivating and infused with historical detail, this is the epic tale of three generations, two different but intertwined families, and one unforgettable love story.

Author Bio:

Peter Golden is an award-winning journalist, historian, and novelist who, during the course of his long and varied career, has interviewed Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, and George H.W. Bush; Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger, Alexander Haig, George Shultz, and Lawrence Eagleburger; Israeli Prime Ministers Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres, and Yitzhak Shamir; and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev.

Golden’s Quiet Diplomat, published in 1992, was a biography of industrialist and political- insider Max M. Fisher. It made the Detroit Free Press bestseller list and was widely reviewed. Commentary magazine declared the biography a “meticulously researched and gracefully written book” that “gives us a concrete view of the emergence of American Jews into the mainstream of national politics since World War II.” In his review of the biography, historian and political analyst J.J. Goldberg wrote that Quiet Diplomat was “a disturbing, challenging book. It suggests, without answering, a wide range of questions about the relationship between the American Jewish community and its ‘leadership,’ and between the Diaspora community and the state of Israel. . . . In the end, [Golden] leaves readers free to draw their own conclusions.” One facet of diplomacy Golden uncovered was that during a 1965 visit Fisher made to President Dwight D. Eisenhower at his Gettysburg farm, the president told him that he regretted pushing Israel to pull out of the Sinai. This fact was essentially unknown to historians until Golden wrote about it, and the claim was backed up by President Richard Nixon, who told Golden: “Eisenhower. . . told me—and I am sure he told others—that he thought the action that was taken [at Suez] was a mistake.”

Golden returned to journalism and won, among other kudos, the New York State Bar Association’s Media Award. Some of Golden’s work has appeared in the Detroit Free Press Magazine, The Albany Times Union, New Jersey Monthly, Microsoft’s eDirections, Beyond Computing, The Forward, and Capital Magazine.

In 2000, Golden co-wrote the memoir, I Rest My Case, chronicling the life of J. Stanley Shaw, one of the preeminent bankruptcy attorneys in the United States.
Golden’s first foray into fiction were the five interactive novels for computers he wrote as part of a joint venture between Imagic and Bantam Books that became known as the “Living Literature Series.” His interactive computer novel, Another Bow, was a Sherlock Holmes mystery set aboard the S.S. Destiny and was a Waldenbooks bestseller.
In 2012, Golden’s traditional novel, Comeback Love, which explored the changes in America during the 1960s, was published by Atria Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. Reviews were excellent—“Golden’s breakout debut fiction is a passionate story of love, loss and reconciliation. . . Grab a handful of tissues. . . then start speculating on actors best suited to bring Gordon and Glenna to the big screen.” (Kirkus) “Glenna and Gordon’s romance rises and falls with the familiar but engrossing tempo of reckless, youthful passion.” (Publishers Weekly) “Golden’s first novel resonates with the great experiences typical of a life—love, sorrow, loss, lessons, resolutions. . . . The sometimes subtle, sometimes dramatic emotional dancing Gordon and Glenna engage in reads as honestly and accurately as any love story between two people who come together, come apart, then reconnect decades later.” (Booklist) “In this extraordinary debut, Golden unfolds the shimmering story of Gordon and Glenna, two joined-at-the-hip lovers, who meet and meld in the swinging sixties, only to be torn apart by the Vietnam War and Gordon’s draft lottery number. But Gordon never forgets Glenna, and years later, he tracks her down, fighting against the secrets of the past to struggle to rekindle their bond. A tumultuously wonderful novel about lost love, passion and regret.” (Caroline Leavitt, author of Pictures of You.)

That same year, Golden’s history of the Cold War and its relationship to the Soviet Jewry movement, O Powerful Western Star! was published by Gefen Books. Of the history, Professor Henry L. Feingold, the dean of American Jewish historians, wrote: “The rescue of Soviet Jewry was an enormously complex happening. Now Peter Golden has woven the entire story in a broad-ranging tapestry of historical incidents and processes. A talented novelist has been let loose to make sense of this crucial exodus with the result that a dense history has been magically transformed. O Powerful Western Star! reads like a good novel.” Publishers Weekly deemed the book “an extensively researched history” and observed that “given its politically-charged subject matter, Golden is remarkably even-handed.”

On November 3, 2015, Atria Books will publish Golden’s Wherever There Is Light, a sweeping, panoramic, historical novel that covers three generations in the intertwined lives of two families—the Roses, who are Jewish, and the Wakefields, who are African American. The novel delves into the little known history of the rescue of German Jews from the Nazis by traditionally African-American colleges. Julian Rose, a former bootlegger, and his love interest, Kendall Ann Wakefield, whose family founded the college and becomes a world-renowned photographer, are the main protagonists of the story. The novel looks at the problems of interracial love affairs starting in 1938 and takes place in New Jersey, South Florida, Greenwich Village and Paris. It concludes in 1966 by tracing the fate of all the characters, both major and minor, as they struggle to come to grips with the fact they were all as haunted by the times they lived in as they were by their own private battles.

Places to Find Peter Golden

Website

GoodReads

Twitter

Facebook

GIVEAWAY!!!

This giveaway is courtesy of Mr. Golden and JKS Communications. It is a blog tour wide giveaway. The prize is a VISA gift card equal to the number of entrants, up to $1000. To enter, do the Rafflecopter thing below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway