Today, I'd like to welcome Steven Manchester, author of the recently published novel Goodnight, Brian.Q. Thanks for visiting! Who or what inspired you to become an author?
A. I served in Operation Desert Storm and it was a brutal experience. I promised myself that if I made it home alive, I would pursue my dream of being a published author. I began writing in 1991—upon my safe return—and have been writing ever since.
Since then—and today—the thing that inspires me most is my children. I’ve always taught them that they should chase their dreams because dreams come true. However, we don’t get what we wish for; we get what we work for. Every time I put pen to paper and pursue my lifelong dream, I’m inspired to teach them to reach for the stars.
Q. Can you tell me a little about your most recently released book, Goodnight, Brian?
A. Fate was working against little Brian Mauretti. The food that was meant to nourish him was poisoning him instead, and the doctors said the damage was devastating and absolute. Fate had written off Brian. But fate didn’t count on a woman as determined as Brian’s grandmother, Angela DiMartino – who everyone knew as Mama. Loving her grandson with everything she had, Mama endeavored to battle fate. Fate had no idea what it was in for.
An emotional tale about the strength of family bonds, unconditional love, and the perseverance to do our best with the challenging gifts we receive, Goodnight, Brian is an uplifting tribute to what happens when giving up is not an option.
Q. How did you come up with the idea for that book?
A. It was inspired by a true story (the cousin of a friend). The vast majority of the book, however, is fiction.
Q. What are you working on now?
A. A novel entitled, The Rockin’ Chair, scheduled for release summer of 2013.
“A compassionate farmer loses his lifelong love to Alzheimer’s. Deciding that she was cheated a lifetime of memories, he sits in his chair and remembers for them both. Before he can join her in eternal rest, though, he must tend to a few final chores and heal his family.”
Q. What are your strategies for making characters seem real so the reader connects with them?
A. My strategy on characters: Learn them. Know them. If they become real enough, your characters will tell the story for you. Think about it: The raised eyebrow from a well-established character is worth more than a paragraph or two. The saddest time for me is when a novel comes to its end. This is mostly true because I start to miss the people that I’ve grown to love and hate. And if you don’t feel that for your characters, then your readers won’t, either. When I'm completely vested in a story, the first thing I think about in the morning is the characters (what they’re thinking and feeling, and how they might act), and the last thing I think about before turning in at night is the characters.
Q. What sorts of relationships and experiences do you most like to explore in your writing?
A. Family dynamics that involve overcoming great obstacles—or coming to terms with the finality of death. My goal is always to move the reader—emotionally.
A. Everything. You name it!
Q. What do you enjoy doing when you're not reading?
A. Spending time with my wife and children.
Thanks so much for stopping by My Book Retreat!