*Stephanie, it is exciting to have you here today and let’s say Don is with us since he is a big part of this book also. I’ll jump right in with a big shout out for your debut novel. Tell us a bit about the story. Did you and Don have any special reason for writing this particular book?
Thank you, Jude. Hubby Don and I co-authored Stranded: A Novel and we are sure having fun snoopy-dancing!
*Know you are and the book is doing well.
Don and I love survival stories (both of us were Tarzan fans as kids), so with Don being a Marine Corps reservist and a Vietnam veteran, the plot of Stranded was a natural for us. But, it’s not just the jungle our castaways have to survive—it’s also God. The island is sort of like the stomping grounds of the Holy Spirit (and symbolically it is), who pokes and prods the four characters into confronting the obstacles they’ve put between themselves and God. And then there’s the villain—moohoohwaha!—who still scares me to death. I tell ya’ writing a story with a Marine can be a bit unnerving!
You know, I thought about all those scenes which scared me too and began to wonder how on earth you two wrote such spine-tingling things. Can only imagine your brain storming sessions and yes, I can see the unnerving part. Big gulp here.
Look at this spectacular cover. It's chilling in itself!
Here’s the back cover copy of Stranded:
All Marine Corps reservist Jake Chalmers wants is to give his dying wife a last, romantic cruise to the Philippines. Unable to save her in a mass murder aboard ship, he washes ashore a jungle island, where he discovers three other survivors. Heartbroken that he failed to save his wife, he is determined not to fail these helpless castaways.
Federal prosecutor Eve Eriksson rescues a young girl and her elderly great-aunt from the same ship. They badly need Jake's survival skills, but why is he so maddeningly careful? She needs to hurry home to nail a significant career trial. And, please, before Jake learns her secret that she's responsible for his wife's death.
*Sounds compelling. Stephanie, I liked how your plot was full of action page after page. Would you say writing this book changed your life in any way?
Oh yes! Writing has pretty much become the center of our lives (next to God, children, and grandchildren, of course!). In our sunniest dreams, we NEVER would have seen ourselves co-authoring novels, so it’s been an unexpected joy to share this passion. It’s also been great fun going to writers’ conferences together to “learn how to write.”
Indeed, your retirement journey hasn’t been typical or ordinary has it? Did you have a favorite character in your novel? If so, which one and why? Anything else special with your characters? Any Hollywood cast for your characters?
Without question, Don’s favorite is Jake. He says Jake is who he’d like to grow up to be. Ha! Mine is eleven-year-old Crystal. Her young mind was a blast to create. As for a Hollywood cast, we’d get a kick out of hearing from our readers on that. We have a board at Pinterest they can put their candidates on.
Author Don Prichard
*Jake was my favorite also. Oh, I hope some readers give you feedback! I’m thinking of Hollywood types, but am not really very good at this. Author friend Stephanie Burkhardt is super at it. What is your wildest dream for this book?
I’d love to see it read all around the world and not just in the US. So far we do have readers in three other countries (Great Britain, Canada, and Australia).
*Wonderful. I think soldier types would love it. Okay, let’s talk about you now. Tell us anything you want us to know.
Don and I are sort of the country mouse and the city mouse. He grew up on a farm in Iowa whereas I, an army brat, lived in various countries around the world. We met in college, married when we graduated, and put down roots in Indianapolis. He’s an architect (now retired) and I was a stay-at-home mom raising three fatiguing … er, energetic kids. When the nest emptied, we began our quest to become authors. Our older daughter warned us that getting published was the equivalent of saying, “’Bye, Mom. I’m off to Hollywood to become a movie star.” Ouch, was she right! It has taken us ten years to reach the point of publishing our novel.
*But you had a passion and persevered. How wonderful is that? Any crystal ball predictions for publishing? Any parting words?
Don has five more novels ready for us to move on, but I’m a slow writer. It’s like harnessing the tortoise and the hare. But readers can stay in touch with us by signing up for newsletters at http://donandstephanieprichard.wordpress.com We’re also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/4u2readand Pinterest at www.pinterest.com/stephprichard
*Five more? What a challenge! Where can one find your buy links?
Stranded: A Novel is available for only $2.99 at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OQGJBUY. In a few more weeks it will be available as a paperback. Jude, thank you so much for the interview. Big hug!
*Caught that cyber hug! My thanks to you and to Don as well. Thanks for the author photo of him. I wish the very best with this super book.
*READERS, Stephanie and Don are giving away a copy of their new book. So jump in here and leave us a comment and a random winner with be drawn. My sweet husband always gets the honor of drawing the winner. Leave those comments.