Monday, August 5, 2013

Featured Debut Novelist: Patrick W. Carr

Patrick W. Carr teaches high school math and is the author of the fantasy series The Staff and the Sword from Bethany House Publishers.

Patrick was born on an Air Force base in West Germany at the height of the cold war. He has been told this was not his fault. As an Air Force brat, he experienced a change in locale every three years until his father retired to Tennessee.

Patrick saw more of the world on his own through a varied and somewhat eclectic education and work history. He graduated from Georgia Tech in 1984 and has worked as a draftsman at a nuclear plant, did design work for the Air Force, worked for a printing company, and consulted as an engineer.

The following is an August 2013 interview with Patrick.

Be in to win one of two sets of
A Cast of Stones and The Hero's Lot
Contest open to entrants in the USA only.
Contest runs from 1-15 August NZDT

Tell us a little about yourself.

I was born in 1961 and was raised as an Air Force brat. We moved every 3 years which explains why I haven’t moved much since. I’m married to this incredible woman named Mary and we have 4 sons I admire very much: Patrick, Connor, Daniel, and Ethan. We also have this dog we kind of adopted named Mel. He looks like a throw pillow with legs so I call him Mr. Fruffles.

I’m a teacher in my day gig (Geometry) and Mary is a nurse. Patrick, Connor, and Daniel are all in college and doing great and Ethan is starting his junior year at Hume Fogg High School here in Nashville.

What inspired you to become a novelist, and did you always want to write?

I’ve wanted to write since I was in college, but the bug didn’t really hit me until about ten years ago when I decided to write a book with my kids as the protagonists. I’d read them a ton of books and thought it would be cool if I could read them a story in which they were the main characters. I’ve been writing pretty steadily since then.

What do you think is significant about Christian fiction?

What’s amazing about Christian fiction is how quickly it’s matured as a genre. The label doesn’t really work anymore. Christian fiction used to mean a certain type of romance, but now you have nearly every type of genre within Christian fiction that you have in secular publishing. You can find everything from Fantasy to Suspense to Historical to Romance.

How do you hope your readers react to the stories you write?

I hope it makes them think. My goal is that everyone would read each of the stories in my trilogy twice: once for the story and the second time for the allegorical/symbolic references. I tried to write them so that they could be read on two levels. I’ve seen a few of the reviews where people have caught that and they seem to have really enjoyed what they found.

What has been the most surprising aspect to becoming a published novelist?
Having somebody ask me unexpectedly to autograph their book. The first time it happened I was caught completely off guard and laughed so hard I nearly went into hysterics.

How has being a novelist impacted your relationship with Christ?

It’s deepened it, but, then again, pretty much everything does. Jesus is the ultimate everything. What I love is the infinite, subtle complexity with which God writes each of our life stories. I’ve spent a lot of prayer time asking Him to help me to be a better writer, to understand all the craft books I’ve read and how everything works together. I’m still praying that.

Other than being a novelist, what other goals do you have for your life?

I’m glad you asked. I will be starting back to school this fall to get my Master’s in educational administration. My goal there is to become an assistant principal and then a principal. Also, after a layoff of 25 years, I’ve started taking piano lessons again with the goal of being a decent jazz pianist within 9 years. Oh yeah, I’d also like to lose 30 pounds. Mary and I have promised each other we’d be more accountable in our eating/exercise habits.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Writing is my spare time. Other than that I like to play piano and just hang out with my family. They are all so fun and they make me laugh.

What can you tell us about your debut novel?

It’s an allegorical story of a young man who gets caught up in the war of succession of the kingdom he lives in when the current king draws near to the point of death. It’s an adventuresome book with a warm tone. People tell me it’s a quick, fun read despite being 432 pages. Oh yeah, it’s called “A Cast of Stones.” I came up with the title myself and I have to admit, I’m really fond of it.

A Cast of Stones

In the backwater village of Callowford, Errol Stone's search for a drink is interrupted by a church messenger who arrives with urgent missives for the hermit priest in the hills. Desperate for coin, Errol volunteers to deliver them but soon finds himself hunted by deadly assassins. Forced to flee with the priest and a small band of travelers, Errol soon learns he's joined a quest that could change the fate of his kingdom.

Protected for millennia by the heirs of the first king, the kingdom's dynasty is near an end and a new king must be selected. As tension and danger mount, Errol must leave behind his drunkenness and grief, learn to fight, and come to know his God in order to survive a journey to discover his destiny.

What stories can your fans expect from you in the days ahead?

I will finish the “Staff and the Sword” trilogy and then begin work on a medieval/fantasy/suspense series. I have a lot of the characters roughed out and the structure. All I need now is a plot.

The Hero's Lot

When Sarin Valon, the corrupt secondus of the conclave, flees Erinon and the kingdom, Errol Stone believes his troubles have at last ended. But other forces bent on the destruction of the kingdom remain and conspire to accuse Errol and his friends of a conspiracy to usurp the throne.

In a bid to keep the three of them from the axe, Archbenefice Canon sends Martin and Luis to Errol's home village, Callowford, to discover what makes him so important to the kingdom. But Errol is also accused of consorting with spirits. Convicted, his punishment is a journey to the enemy kingdom of Merakh, where he must find Sarin Valon, and kill him. To enforce their sentence, Errol is placed under a compulsion, and he is driven to accomplish his task or die resisting.

A Cast of Stones (The Staff & the Sword #1)
[Purchase: | Amazon Kindle | The Book Depository]

The Hero's Lot (The Staff & the Sword #2)
[Purchase: | Amazon Kindle | The Book Depository]

A Draw of Kings (The Staff & the Sword#3)
[Pre-Order: | Amazon Kindle | The Book Depository]

A Draw of Kings

The journey to Merakh should have made Errol and his companions heroes of the realm. Instead, much is changed on their return. In the wake of the king's death, Duke Weir is ruling the country--and his intentions are to marry Adora to bring an heir.

With Errol and the others imprisoned and the identity of the rightful heir to the throne still hidden in secrecy, Illustra is on the verge of civil war--and at growing risk from the armies of Merakh and Morgol.

A dangerous mission to free Errol succeeds, but the dangers facing the kingdom are mounting with every passing moment. The barrier has fallen, ferals are swarming toward the land, and their enemies draw near. Will the revelation of Illustra's next true king come in time or will all be lost?

What would you like to say to your upcoming fans in New Zealand and around the world?
G’day mate! Did I do that right? I would love to come visit New Zealand some day! All I’ve seen so far have been pictures, but it looks beautiful. The fact that they filmed "Lord of the Rings” there is a nice draw for me as well. Plus, I loved “Babe.” The movie about the pig.

Do you have any parting words?

This was fun! Thanks for the opportunity to jot down some thoughts. Your readers can find me on Facebook or at my website. I’d love to hear from them.

Buy Patrick's Books at The Book Depository

Free Delivery on all Books at the Book Depository


Be in to win one of two sets of
A Cast of Stones and The Hero's Lot

Contest open to entrants in the USA only.

Contest runs from August 1-15 NZDT


Read Previous Featured Author Interviews

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