I Live Its Evolution

J. Arthur Moore Author Interview

Blake’s Story follows a boy who sets out on a quest for revenge but unknowingly embarks on a transformative journey instead. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

On a visit from his home in South Carolina, at age 10, my great-grandson, Bryson Brodzinski, asked it I would write a story he could be in and help to create. I agreed and we went out in the back yard for a photo shoot. This became the back cover of the book.

The following year on the weekend of his eleventh birthday, I went down to visit him and his family. He sat down at my computer and typed in the plot line for the story. That afternoon we went to Historic Brattonsville, a southern plantation at McConnells, South Carolina, for a photo shoot. This became the front cover for the book.

Thus, the setup for the story was created by Bryson. While it was intended that we would develop the story together through email, his schedule precluded this and I agreed to research and write the story based on his plot line, and include those pieces he had written the first time he came up with the request that I do the story.

Blake is an interesting character that I enjoyed watching develop throughout the story. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

I was guided by Bryson’s plot line with additional influence from my research into the history and the units involved in the story. Preconceived driving ideals are not so much a part of my writing. When I sit down with my manuscript my mind focuses on the story and I live its evolution and write what comes to mind. I have mentally gone into the world of the story and it evolves accordingly. I write as it evolves. There is little preplanning. Therefore, as the story evolved, Blake’s character evolved. There are times when something after the fact influences the story. In the case of Blake’s Story, that happened as a result of the photo shoots. Eight boys, in addition to Bryson, came to represent major characters within the story. My neighbor’s older boy became

Matthew. His brother became Tyler. All boys had connections from my neighbors who mowed my lawn to brothers who were Civil War musicians, to brothers who were members of the train club, to a boy who was the grandson of fellow member of the friends board for a National Historic Site, to another who was a volunteer persona at the site. The photo shoots took place after the book was first published and resulted in a minor character becoming a major character, thus resulting in a rewrite of part of the book. A second printing included the character photos and a rewritten story.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

The most important “theme” was to stay true to Bryson’s plot line. Otherwise, I focused on the main character, Blake [Bryson’s middle name, by the way] and how he interacted with those around him and with events as they unfolded. I have been faulted by reviewers for not delving more into slavery. True, slavery was part of the culture in which Blake lived, but I chose to leave out any political issues and focus on family and the relationships that were more common to the times. Blake’s family and their slaves respected one an other and accepted their stations in life as the way things were during their times. By the nature of the story, revenge and forgiveness were driving themes from the beginning. It was up to me to see that they developed and the story evolved in a fulfilling manner. I am honored that some reviewers agree.

“Despite the relatively simple plot, the greater strengths of this book include the resonant theme which emerges from the book, and the stirring revelation that the common threads which bond the boys (and humanity) are far greater than the temporary divisions of war.” Hollywood Treatment “This well-crafted collaboration is engrossing, memorable and an excellent conversation-starter about the war’s ills, the drive for revenge, and the profound power of friendship and forgiveness.” Blue Ink Review

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

My most recent work has included the release of Summer at Stewart Creek, written 40 years ago and recently published December 1st 2020. It is a train themed story, which takes place in the imaginary realm of the Virginia and Truckee Railroad of West Virginia. The setting is recreated in miniature through my model railroad with photography of it being used to illustrate the book. A 40-page photo album of the railroad is included in the back of the book. Two other books have followed, both from manuscripts begun 40 years ago and related to the same setting and to another book, previously published in 2014 and republished in its 3rd edition in 2019, Summer of Two Worlds. Twelfth Winter, the sequel to Summer of Two Worlds was published June 1st 2021, followed by Stranded in Snow Shoe, the prequel to Summer of Two Worlds, on June 1st 2022. Both take place in the same setting as Stewart Creek and include overlapping characters. No new projects are planned for the foreseeable future.

Blake learns of his father’s death at the battle at Shiloh. He has to do something about it and decides to go to the war and kill the soldier who killed his father. But it’s not as simple as he thinks. Entering the war during the Kentucky Campaign of 1862 with the 2nd Tennessee under Brigadier General Patrick Cleburne, he later finds himself with the 31st Indiana under Brigadeer General Charles Cruft when he falls at Perryville. Friendship with an enemy soldier has unexpected consequences.

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on September 17, 2022, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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