TBR: Welcome to TBR, J. R. Will you share a little bit about yourself? JRL: I’m a native of Pennsylvania. I had a talent for drawing early on and envisioned a career in art with writing on the side. When I was drafted, the Army decided I had the makings of a journalist and providing training. After military service I worked nearly 40 years in the newspaper business, on nearly all reporting beats and several editing desks. I published articles and short stories in a variety of magazines during the period, but the goal of a novel eluded me.
Since retiring, I’ve served as librarian of my county historical society, where I help patrons with genealogy and research. It keeps me in contact with people, hones my research skills and provides fodder for a weekly newspaper column on local history.
My children and four grandsons do their part in keeping me busy and out of trouble. When not writing, reading or occupied with family, I like to walk, draw, listen to music and learn something new everyday.
I’m a member of International Thriller Writers, EPIC and the Short Mystery Society.
TBR: Tell us about Sooner Than Gold and where it's available. JRL: The print edition was published April 4 by Wild Oaks, division of Oak Tree Press, and is the second in my Sheriff Sylvester Tilghman series. A Kindle version should be coming soon. It’s available from http://www.oaktreebooks.com/
And on http://www.amazon.com/Sooner-than-Gold-J-Lindermuth/dp/1610090837/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1368110180&sr=1-1&keywords=sooner+than+gold
TBR: Please tantalize us with a story blurb or excerpt. JRL: It’s the summer of 1898. The nation, just coming out of an economic slump, has been at war with Spain since April. And Sylvester Tilghman, sheriff of Arahpot, Jordan County, Pennsylvania, has a murder victim with too many enemies.
There’s Claude Kessler, who is found standing with a knife in his hand over the body of Willis Petry. There’s Rachel Webber, Petry’s surly teen-aged stepdaughter, who admits an act intended to cause him harm. Then there’s the band of gypsies who claim Petry is the goryo who stole one of their young women.
If this isn’t enough to complicate Tilghman’s life, add in threats to his job by McClean Ruppenthal, former town burgess; a run-in with a female horse thief; scary predictions by a gypsy fortuneteller, and the theft of Doc Mariner’s new motorcar.
There’s plenty of good eating, church-going and socializing along the way. And, before all is over, Sylvester solves the crime and even comes a little closer to his goal of finally marrying longtime girlfriend Lydia Longlow.
TBR: What inspired you to write about the theme? JRL: Sooner is a sequel to Fallen From Grace. Initially I hadn’t even thought about another series. A number of readers of the first had asked for more of Sylvester’s adventures and/or wondered if Lydia would ever give in to his marriage proposals. Then, too, characters have a way of nudging us with more ideas.
TBR: Are you a plotter or pantser? JRL: Definitely on the side of the pantser fraternity. I do have a general idea of where the story is headed and how it will end and usually will jot down some notes. But a formal outline? No. And those notes would look like Mayan hieroglyphs to anyone else.
TBR: How do you develop your characters? JRL: They often seem to have a knack for doing what they want rather than taking direction from me.
TBR: Did any music inspire your book? Do you have a playlist? JRL: I wouldn’t say music inspired the book, but it always is a part of my novels. You won’t find these songs on the current hit parade, but they were popular in the time period of the book. Some of these ‘hits’ include Hearts and Flowers; Faith of Our Fathers; When All Thy Mercies, O God, and After The Ball.
TBR: Which of your characters would you most/least like to invite to dinner, and why? JRL: I admire a woman with spirit, so obviously an evening with Lydia Longlow would be fun. Of course we’d have to invite Sylvester or he’d be put out. He’s a good sport anyway. I don’t think McLean Ruppenthal would be much fun.
TBR: What's next for you? JRL: I’m working on a seventh Sticks Hetrick mystery (actually his protégé, Officer Flora Vastine seems to want first-place in this one).
TBR: Any other published works? JRL: There are five novels in my Sticks Hetrick mystery series and I recently signed a contract with Whiskey Creek Press for the sixth. I’ve also published several historical novels and contributed a story to Four of a Kind, an anthology with a gambling theme. I also have a contract with Sunbury Press for a non-fiction book with an anthracite coal mining theme.
TBR: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Most rewarding? JRL: Let me turn your question around. The most rewarding to me is the act of creation, building and controlling (at least somewhat) characters and a world of your own. The most challenging is the horrid drudgery of marketing in the hope readers will discover your writing amongst all the other books out there.
TBR: Where can readers find you on the web? JRL: My website: www.jrlindermuth.net
and many other sites.
TBR: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers? JRL: For myself and fellow writers, if you read something by us that you like, please, please, spread the word. Be it in the form of a review (always appreciated), a mention online, or gossip over the backfence, the best publicity any of us can ask for is word of mouth.
TBR: Readers, J. R. Lindermuth will give away a copy of Sooner Than Gold to one lucky commenter. He'll pick a winner on Wednesday, May 22, and announce the winner here. Be sure to leave your email address so s/he can contact you.
Thanks for visiting TBR, J.R. All the best to you.