Blog Tour: A Cast of Stones by Patrick W. Carr (Interview + Giveaway)
Today we’re chatting with author Patrick W. Carr, who’s debut novel A Cast of Stones made its appearance on shelves January 1st.
1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. -- Besides teaching Geometry – that’s my day job. I’m a high school teacher in Nashville. I can almost hear the groans over 2-column proofs now.I spend a lot of time around the activities of my sons. I have two in college and two in high school, so that’s starting to slow down a bit. I do a bit of woodworking, but would really like to go back and pick up piano lessons again. I’d like to learn how to play jazz. I have this amazing wife, Mary. Everyone always tells me how sweet she is. Some people have this really surprised tone in their voice. I’m not quite sure what to make of that.
2) What inspired or prompted you to write A Cast of Stones? -- I was reading a passage from the Bible that said “God is in the lot.” It really stuck with me and I started mulling over all the times I’d read about people in the Bible who drew lots trying to discern God’s will. Then my imagination just sort of ran wild with the idea and all these “what if?” questions started going through my head. I had actually started the book about five or six years ago. I even had three or four chapters that I really liked, but the direction just didn’t feel right. So I shelved the story for a few years and let it gestate while I worked on other things. Then one day, I had this inspiration that took the tale in a totally different direction that really excited me. That’s when “A Cast of Stones” really started to take form.
3) Describe your main character, Errol Stone, in 140 characters or less. – Errol is a man of nineteen, though his drinking has temporarily stunted his growth, making him seem younger. But he also possesses a talent Illustra desperately needs.
4) How are Christian values incorporated into your novel? – Some of the incorporation is thematic. There are many instances of redemption, second chances, and forgiveness. Others are more symbolic. There are a lot of examples of this that I tried to weave into the structure of the book, even down to my choice of POV characters. That’s one of the things that made writing it so much fun. It’s the kind of book you can read more than once. Each time you pick it up, you’re likely to see something you didn’t notice before.
5) As a debut author, tell us the hardest part about writing your novel. – Self-doubt. There were times when I despaired of being able to bring the images and feelings I had in my head out to the keyboard. I struggled to find the right combination of words to communicate what I was trying to say and what I was trying to have the reader feel. A good example is in the second chapter. I really fought to get everything just so. When Mary read it and cried, I knew I’d hit the mark. She’s not one to be overly sentimental that way.
6) What was your first reaction when you discovered you were going to be published? – I found out while I was at school, getting me classroom ready for the 2011-2012 academic year. I ran out into the hallway and screamed. The orchestra teacher must have thought I’d lost my mind. Of course, with as tough as public education is getting these days, she might not have thought anything of it.
7) What are you currently working on? -- I’m almost done with the first draft of the final installment of “The Staff and the Sword.” I’ve only got about 10k words to go. After that, I’m toying with the idea of a detective series with a twist.