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Telling Him to Return Home

Jerry J.C. Veit Author Interview

Jerry J.C. Veit Author Interview

Days Gone By follows Caleb as he struggles with agoraphobia and the loss of his nephew in a car accident. What made you want to write a story about this topic? Anything pulled from your life experiences?

There are a few things that are taken from my past. At the time of my writing Days Gone By my nephew was five years old. He is now seven and a joy to be around. No tragic car accident; however, I wanted to write a heartfelt, emotional, character-driven story and if I had to go through what Caleb did, I don’t know how I would deal with it, but hiding seemed like a safe choice; and that’s exactly what Caleb is doing.

Many of Caleb’s visitors are based on real people in my life. His grandfather, for one, is based on my Mother’s father who did live in The Azores, Portugal. His story he shared about a possible angel telling him to return home due to a dangerous road ahead was true. Since he also lived so far away I did not see him that much and do wish I had more memories with him.

Caleb’s Irish great, great, great grandmother is also mine from my father’s side who also emigrated to the U.S. from Cork, Ireland. Miss. Di Coco was my second grade teacher and Jessica was my real life childhood friend.

The writing in your story is very artful and creative. Was it a conscious effort to create a story in this fashion or is this style of writing reflective of your writing style in general?

To date all my books are adaptations from my screenplays. So they all share this style of writing. I also marketed it to a local theater to be a play, but my character list ended up being too long. The stories I’ve written before my scripts and now after will follow more traditional book layouts.

Caleb’s has physical and psychological difficulties, but the spiritual burden of guilt for being the cause of his nephew’s death is overwhelming. What were the driving ideals behind the characters development throughout the story?

I knew Caleb’s journey was going to be a hard one. Feeling sadness because of a tragic event is one thing, but Caleb is terrified of it. He’s afraid to feel that deep sorrow and face that reality. This fear became an illness that spread to all aspects of his life. He put up a wall to protect himself and now everything outside of his home and daily routine is scary.

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

My next book will be written as a regular novel and takes place in 1885, but further advanced than in our own history. I think I’m on page five. 🙂

Author Links: GoodReads Twitter Facebook Website

Days Gone ByThree days after Christmas an auto accident left Caleb partially disabled and took the life of his five year old nephew. Now on the anniversary, four years later, Caleb is afraid to leave his house; even to attend his brother’s upcoming wedding.

Soon past friends and deceased relatives mysteriously begin showing up in his home to deliver their messages and help him through his phobia by showing him glimpses of his past, present and possible future. 

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Days Gone By

Days Gone By

Days Gone By is a heartfelt tale of loss, memory, and acceptance. Jerry Veit writes a heartwarming and wholesome tale that is startlingly intimate.

We follow the main character, Caleb, four years after a car accident that occurred three days after Christmas and left him partially handicapped and terrified of leaving his house. The accident also took the life of his five-year-old nephew. The fallout of the event is not only Caleb’s physical and psychological difficulties, but the spiritual burden of guilt for being the cause of his nephew’s death. We find him now, four years later, unwilling to leave his house, even for his brother’s wedding. It is only after the mysterious arrival of past friends and deceased relatives, who give him messages that help him out of this fog of phobia and grief.

At first glance, Days Gone By may seem to echo some of the beats of A Christmas Carol, but in some ways, it brings us back to the classic fable in a nostalgic glance. Veit chose to write this story in play format, but considering the story and themes it allows the reader to enjoy the dialogue and characters even further. The reader can feel a part of the action this way and considering that the story bespeaks more fabel qualities, than a usual novel, Veit gets away with it.

The story has an almost Lifetime channel or Hallmark qualities, considering the history and cause of Caleb’s problems. What should not be left out is how Veit chooses to tackle these issues and instead seeks to bring his hero through these tribulations. It calls on the long tradition of other Christmas story classics such as It’s a Wonderful Life.

Once the reader gets used to the format of the story, it reads quite easily and fairly quickly. It is perfect for the short winter days and may be a perfect thing to pick up around the holidays. As Caleb struggles with agoraphobia readers will find it easy to connect with the sense of loss and how memory often haunts us. We all long to speak with loved ones who have since passed and Caleb is lucky enough to experience this for a short time. Hopefully, we can cherish that gift and not take our time for granted.

Pages: 106 | ASIN: B0175A7258

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