Tuesday, July 25, 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.

Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author? 

Bob- I enjoy using words to express a wide range of emotional feelings and reactions. 
Sara- I didn’t. 

Tell us (we won’t tell promise!) is it all it’s cracked up to be? I mean what are the perks and what are the demands? 

Bob- I knew it would be extremely difficult, but I had nothing else to concentrate my mind away from the burning pain of the chronic demyelinating inflammatory polyneuropathy (CDIP) cause by Agent Orange being spilled on me in Vietnam. 

Sara- Well, this was my first experience writing anything outside of papers for school, so I had no idea what to expect. It was definitely more challenging than I’d expected, but worth the hard work to see the end product. 

Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like? 

Self-published. Actually a very easy process, not cheap, but flowed smoothly. 

Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you? 

Bob- My cats couldn’t care less. 

Sara- Daughter felt a little neglected, husband got tired of cooking dinner every night, but my mom was very encouraging and supporting, even enjoyed proofreading parts of it. 

In writing your book, how did you deal with the phone ringing, your family needing dinner or your boss calling you saying you’re late? 

Bob- My only family consists of cats, I live alone. The most dreaded interruptions were telephone interruptions, particularly telemarketing calls. 

Sara- I apologized profusely, ignored the phone and wrote when I wasn’t needed at work.

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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