Monday, June 19, 2017

Interview with Bob Smith and Sara Rhodes

In the worn and tired town of Gulch Fork, Arkansas, certified nursing assistant Samantha Caminos heads to her patient Rob Dean's home and wonders how she can find common ground with the aloof, disabled Vietnam veteran who suffers from not only PTSD but also severe neuropathy caused by Agent Orange. As Samantha approaches the house, she has no idea that very soon their lives will take a new turn. Gulch Fork, a town once filled with Ozark tranquility, takes on an aura of evil when bizarre events begin to affect Rob and two other war-scarred veterans, Peter Ness and Ron Woods-Samantha's father. But when Samantha learns that two elderly couples without living relatives in the area have fallen prey to fraud and embezzlement by a man who claims to be a pastor, she sets out on a quest to piece together a complex mystery fueled by those hell-bent on taking advantage of citizens too fragile to defend themselves. In this compelling novel based on true events, three veterans seeking peace and serenity from PTSD fall victim to injustice, prompting a young health care worker to investigate the evil that has infiltrated their once peaceful Arkansas town.


What was the craziest or insane thing that happened to you in the book publishing process?  

Bob- The craziest thing that happened to me was having the people at iUniverse finding better ways to express an idea in some sentences than what I had originally written. I was truly thankful for their help. I have always heard that a writer absolutely must have someone else go over what has been written. Even though I know what I mean, it doesn’t always come out that way when an experienced proof reader corrects it. 

How about the social networks? Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid? 

Social media didn’t seem to be of any benefit to us. There aren’t any I can think of to avoid, we had no negative experience. 

What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about? 

Bob- What really makes me mad is when the so-called experts or professional reviewers write something but fail to substantiate it. For example: In our manuscript the villain, Smokey Jones, is almost a classic, textbook example of someone with Asperger’s syndrome, yet one reviewer claimed he didn’t make sense. Our villain has moderately severe autism, yet is extraordinarily clever in math and rooking anyone he does business with. The reviewer had apparently never heard of this syndrome. 

What is something people may be surprised to know about you? 

Bob- Before going to Vietnam I used to have many friends. 
Sara- Apparently I’m smarter than I look, according to Bob. 

What are 10 words that best describe you? 

Bob- Taciturn, aloof, snarky, animal-loving, impatient, dreamy, empathetic, wishful, health-conscious, and motor-mouth-avoider 

Sara- Kind, artistic, sarcastic, chubby, honest, spiritual, mouthy, loving, impudent, soulful

Bob Smith is a naval officer who had Agent Orange spilled on him in Vietnam and suffers from severe PTSD in addition to disabling neuropathy. After living in Spain, he returned to America and settled in the Ozarks, where he is happily pursuing his dream of writing. Sara Rhodes is a wife, mother, and certified nursing assistant who originally lived in Alaska before moving to the Ozarks with her family. Bob is her former patient whose teachings about PTSD helped her recognize her own father's battle with it. Both Bob and Sara find animals to be a great source of comfort.


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