On Fridays right here, writers talk about their books, their process, where they’ve been, and where they’re going. Today ROAN POULTER joins us to celebrate the launch of his novel, THE LONG ROAD HOME, a Kindle Scout winner published by Kindle Press.
Jordan Carter’s mother was more than famous, she was a literary icon. Her death leaves him alone in the world and feeling diminished. When he meets Siena, he thinks he may have stumbled upon the love of a lifetime.
But when larger questions of Siena’s past and Jordan’s unfinished task of scattering his mother’s ashes separate them, can they endure the length of road that divides them? As the miles roll on, Jordan is forced to face the reality of who his mother was and discover the man he will become.
- What were the most challenging aspects of writing this book, and what came easily?
Writing is an organic process for me, which means I only write well while the juices are flowing. This works well most of the time because I enjoy writing, but when a block or boring section weighs on me it can take weeks or months to get through it. Editing, well, I’d rather re-tar my roof. What kept me stepping forward was the hope that a couple of people would catch all the interwoven threads between not only THE LONG ROAD HOME and the prior two books in the series, but the writings (under pseudonym) of a main character. The idea of creating a world with call backs and Easter eggs still puts a smile on my face.
- Tell us about your main characters and what drives them.
THE LONG ROAD HOME is Jordan’s story; he was a minor character in the first two books (THE END OF THE ROAD and ALL ROADS SOUTH). He’s been mainly luggage, in his life and in the books, so to take him out to find what really made him tick was a great pleasure. He’s the dutiful son, following all the rules and regulations his mother loathed. Yet he is still his mother’s son, and it’s those glimpses of her in him that really give him depth. Death has been a major feature of his life. The death of his father and brother at ten derailed his happy family life; here his mother’s demise sets him on a different path shortly after he thought his course was set. I hate to admit it, but I cried a couple times writing this book–Jordan is so desperate for someone to give him that missing fatherly/motherly affection that it overwhelmed even the storyteller. As with the two prior books, the journey is not only a metaphor for the change and progress he makes, but a main character, protagonist and antagonist.
- Can you describe your journey to publication: the torment and elation, the times none of it made any sense, the moments when it all came together?
I sent my letters to agents, many of which rejected me within a minute or two. The rest took a day or two, or never responded at all. I never even got asked to send a sample. The rejection started to get to me, dissolving the joy I found in writing. The thought that I might write something beautiful, yet never see it in print because I lacked salesmanship almost killed my writing career at book one. I looked into vanity presses, but quickly discovered that most of them were predatory in nature. Amazon and CreateSpace are really what brought it together for me. I won an Honorable Mention in the Utah Division of Arts and Museums Original Writing Competition in 2012. A few people actually read my book and told me what they thought, good and bad. Spurred by that I’ve been writing since. My greatest joy is being able to autograph a copy of my book.
- You get to the end of your life, and there to escort you through the tunnel to the light beyond and show you around is a philosopher / author / artist / scientist / celebrity you’ve always revered. Who is it, and why him/her?
I love stories and epic conversations. I relocated to the South partially because of how much I enjoy it. I would love to speak with Ernest Hemingway. I realize that’s an uninspired answer, but FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS changed my life. His masculine and detailed yet unflowery style caught and kept my undivided attention for a decade. I still reread FWtBT and A FAREWELL TO ARMS on an annual basis. I think Mark Twain might also be an interesting fellow to meet.
- Tell us about your other books, past or in the pipeline.
My Trilogy, of which THE LONG ROAD HOME is the final book, consists of THE END OF THE ROAD and ALL ROADS SOUTH. Each book follows a main character on some sort of trip as they deal with some tragedy or hardship. They say write what you know, and as someone who took a year off work to travel the four corners of the U.S. in a motorhome with my family in tow, the constant barrage of chaos that comes with endurance travel is a great mechanism of change. I wrote a satirical self-help book called SelfHelpLess (Under pseudonym Dr. Richard Cranium) which might just be the best thing I ever wrote. I also wrote a series of erotic short stories (Under pseudonym Anne Carter) called EROS’ GAME. I have about a half dozen books in the 1/4 to 1/3 complete stages.
Roan Poulter is a native of Utah, recently relocated to remodel and refurbish a Bed and Breakfast near Cape Canaveral Florida. He spent a year travelling the US in a motorhome with his wife, two teenagers and a criminally overweight Chihuahua. Heaven holds nothing for him beyond ten thousand miles of unmapped roads, a motorcycle and a spare can of gas.
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