Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Legend of Garison Fitch: Interview and Giveaway with Samuel Ben White

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First Time: The Legend of Garison Fitch

"What if history didn't happen that way ... the first time?"

Garison Fitch was one of the most revered scientists in the Soviet Americas until he left fame behind to work on a secret project in his log cabin in the mountains of Marx.

But something went wrong. Instead of traveling interdimentionally, Garison has traveled through time ... twice.

Now, he's in something called "The United States of America" and a woman he's never met before is calling herself his wife. It it a hoax? Or, has he somehow changed history?

If so, can he return the world to what he believes is "normal", or must he live in this strange world he created?

What others are saying . . . 
"Sam continues to weave his magic as a storyteller. I always find myself anxious to find out what will happen next and what kind of twist will befall the adventurers. It helps to be familiar with the places that the heroines go, which adds to the story."
~Labdaddy, Texas

"I've had a few very unproductive but enjoyable days thanks to Samuel Ben White. If you haven't read Sam's books you have been missing a treat. These were funny, suspenseful, spiritual and kept you turning the pages."
~Karen S.

"Just wanted to say how much I have enjoyed your books. I have a Kindle and I have purchased all of the Garison Fitch novels. I am in Saudi Arabia and your books have really helped take me away from here."
~Scott, Saudi Arabia

Also Part of the Series

Saving Time
Two years ago Garison Fitch traveled through time and rewrote history. An accident in the eighteenth century created a whole new world, and even gave Garison a wife he had never met before. Now, he’s got a daughter and he’s coming to enjoy this world he created. Until he’s attacked by men masquerading as Indians, and a funeral procession from out of the past enlists his help, and a tree grows from sappling to full-grown in a matter of minutes, threatening his daughter’s very life. Time itself is unraveling and Garison’s trips through time seem to be the cause. Garison must go back in time once again and keep himself from making the original trip that started the problem. But he can’t use his time machine to go back. How does one sew up a rip in time?

Lost Time
Jason Kerrigan and Brownwyn Dalmouth are pilots with the Republic of Texas Army Air Corps. A world war is going on and bombs have just brought an end to Crockett Air Field in south Texas. Jason and Bronwyn, though, are called away from the battle to be test pilots for a new aircraft that-they're told-will bring the war to an end. The experimental craft lives up to expectations in early tests, but then it lands them somewhere it never should have sent them. Another place? Another time? Another dimension? Somehow, they've taken a trip to the future and changed the past. Or did they? The answer to their change of reality may be known to a Justice of the Peace in Colorado named Garison Fitch. To figure it out, though, Garison may have to team up with his least favorite person: Bat Garrett.

In the author's words . . . 

What inspired you to write this book?
A conversation with my Dad back when I was a teenager and we got started talking about time travel.  I remember us pondering the question, “What if a modern person went back in time and took the place of someone like Patrick Henry?”  That conversation stuck in my head and bounced around for several years before I started trying to turn the idea into a story.

Did you plan to be a writer or did it just happen?

I’ve wanted to be one for as long as I can remember.  My parents read to me as a child and I thought it was be great, even then, to be the guy that told the story.  Before I could even write, I would draw cartoons and get my sisters to letter them for me.  I almost never left them enough room to get in all the words I wanted to say, though.

What is your favorite non-writing pastime?

I draw the comic strip for the local newspaper.

If you had to sum it up “First Time: The Legend of Garison Fitch” in 30 or less words, what would you say?

What if history were different and someone changed it to what we know?  Should it be changed back?

What inspired the idea behind your book?

See first question above.

Do you have a favorite character in “First Time: The Legend of Garison Fitch”?  Who and why?

Sarah.  She’s a woman who has become independent because she had to.

Without giving it all away, please tell us a little something about how Garison Fitch is going to get through their biggest challenge.

Garison Fitch is a very smart, talented person who has always done everything himself, in his own way.  To get through his challenge (changing history) he’s going to have to learn to trust other people—and trust the right people.

What message do you hope readers take away from the book?

Even our insignificant acts can have enormous consequences—for good or evil—and every person is important.

What is your favorite scene in “First Time: The Legend of Garison Fitch”?

The moment when Garison Fitch changes history.  It seems like such a “small” moment at the time, then he (and, hopefully, the reader) keeps looking back at it and the significance gets larger and larger.

Do you share any personality traits with Garison Fitch?

His allergy—which my be psychosomatically induced by fear—of horses.  Love to watch them, get scared when on one for some reason.

What kind of research was involved for “First Time: The Legend of Garison Fitch”?

I read some books and articles about the possibilities (or non-possibilities, depending on who you ask) of time travel, like Brian Greene’s “The Elegant Universe”.  Also read about the customs of the 18th century.  First and foremost, though, I like to walk the paths my characters will walk to “get a feel” for the atmosphere and terrain.

Do you have to be alone or have quiet to write?

Alone, yes (though I like the sounds of my family being elsewhere in the house).  I do like to have some instrumental music going, though sometimes I tend to type in time to the music.

What kind of research was involved for the series? Did you find it became easier with each book?

I find that the research gets easier in that a direction has been established, but harder in that the story is being taken further so more (and new) details are needed.

As a multi-genre author, how do you juggle going back and forth between the different genres? Do you have a preferred genre?

Once I start on a particular story, I am pretty much locked-in on that genre.  So if this one is fantasy, that’s where I am mentally.  The next novel may be a hard-boiled detective story (OK, soft-boiled) and I am fully immersed in that.  It probably would be confusing if I were trying to write both at the same time, so I don’t.

Do you have plans for a new book?  Is this book part of a series?

Yes and yes.  There’s still so much to say about Garison Fitch.  Plus, I am working on a novel about Garison’s grand-daughter and her experience with time travel.

What do you have in store next for your readers?

I would like to say “more of the same” but that’s going to read wrong.  My novels—whether time travel, western or detective—are primarily character-driven.  My next planned novel to be released is a detective novel.  A good ol’ fashioned who-dunnit.  What my readers, even those who like my time travel novels best, are the characters in the novel and their development.

What has been your greatest pleasure or personal success as an author? 

Every time someone writes to me and says the book touched them in some way.  Even those who write and are angry because a character died or something didn’t work out the way they wanted, it’s gratifying to know that the characters and situations were real enough for the reader to be that drawn in.

What type of hero or heroine do you like best?

The relatable man or woman next door who is in over his or her head.

Do you write your friends or family members into your books? If so, did they figure it out?

Yes, I do.  My wife seems to be the only one who has picked up on a] where she has influenced a character and/ or b] where someone else we know has shown up.  I think this is usually because the characters are generally composites of several people—some I know and some I just made up—and the traits of real people that show up in the story are pretty small or seemingly inconsequential.  But my wife will read it and ask, “Heather’s conspiracy theory, you got that from xxxx, didn’t you?”

Is there any place and time in the world and in history that you would like to visit?

The old west, especially the gold-mining days.  But only if I get to come back to the present when a restroom is needed.

Who or what has most influenced your writing?

Louis L’Amour.  He’s my favorite author.  I love the urgency with which he tells a story, as if it’s happening now!  And I’ve really taken to heart his practice of walking the ground that his characters walk.  From La Plata Canyon to Dallas, I’ve walked where these characters have walked.

            I am probably influenced, to a certain extent, by everyone I read because when I like something, I go back and read it again and ask myself what it was about that sentence or passage that appealed to me.  Same with stuff I don’t like.  While I don’t usually read those passages again, I’ll ask myself what it was about it that rubbed me the wrong way.

Do you have a favorite author? Who and why?

Louis L’Amour, for the reasons stated above.  I tell people I’m a flamingo when it comes to LL.  Baby flamingos aren’t pink.  They turn pink as they grow because of the shellfish in their diet.  I tell people that if my writing in any way resembles Louis’s, it’s because I’ve read everything he ever wrote (most of them many times over).  I love not just his storytelling ability, but the way he tells every story that makes it seem so real.

What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve received?

Keep writing. Try to improve, learn from other writers, but above all, keep writing.

Does where you live or have places you’ve been influenced your work?

All of my writing is set in places I have been and walked.  Cities and canyons and parks, etc. all have their own “feel” and I think walking through them in real life helps me to portray them accurately in fiction.

What challenges did you face in getting your first book published?

One publisher told me it was good enough but “too clean”.

What is your favorite movie based on a book, where you preferred the movie?

“Field of Dreams”.  In all other cases, the book is far superior to the movie (even in the case of movies I loved, like the Lord of the Rings and Narnia trilogies).  “Field of Dreams” is based on the novel “Shoeless Joe” by W.P. Kinsella.  It’s an excellent book and I had read it a couple years before the movie came out.  When I heard they were making a movie of it I was skeptical—being of the general opinion that “Hollywood ruins all books”—but I saw “Field” on opening night in Dallas and was blown away.  Not only had the film-makers captured the spirit of the book, they had improved upon it by creating visuals that put me right in the corn field in an even stronger way than the book had done.

Laptop, desktop or notebook and pen/pencil for writing?

Yes.  When I’m in that zone where I can’t help but write, I write with whatever is available.  I prefer a desktop PC, but I’ll use a crayon on a restaurant napkin if I have to.

Is there a book you’ve ever read more than five times? Which book and what drew you back to it?

“The Lord of the Rings” by Tolkien, “Mustang Man” by Louis L’Amour, “The Chronicles of Narnia” by CS Lewis.  In each case, though the books are different, I go back because it’s like going on a vacation to a familiar and beloved spot.  The characters have become old friends, the places are places I’ve walked (figuratively for some of those books, but literally for L’Amour).

And I’ve read the Bible through at least that many times, finding it to be the lifeline I need throughout life.

Favorite place?   Breckenridge, Colorado

Best Christmas present?  No one present comes to mind, but probably has something to do with Snoopy

Favorite author?  Louis L’Amour

Favorite smell?  Mexican food

Favorite series?  The Chronicles of Narnia

Favorite movie?  “It’s a Wonderful Life”

Favorite dish?  Enchiladas

Favorite color?  Whatever color the Houston Astros are wearing this year

Favorite quote?  “I wish I had been clever enough to put into my writings some of the things that people have found there.” –CS Lewis

Your best trait?  Determination

Your worst trait?  Getting too easily sidetracked from what I just said was my best trait.

Author Samuel Ben White
Samuel Ben White (“Sam” to his friends) is the author of the national newspaper comic strip “Tuttle’s” (found at www.tuttles.net) and the on-line comic book “Burt & the I.L.S.” (found at www.destinyhelix.com). He is married and has two sons. He serves his community as both a minister at a small church and a chaplain with hospice. In addition to his time travel stories, Sam has also written and published detective novels, a western, three fantasy novels and four works of Christian fiction.

Connect with the Author

Blog Tour Giveaway
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Ends 12/18/12
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First Time: The Legend of Garison Fitch Tour Schedule:

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for publicizing my book(s) and for conducting this interview! May we meet soon on the bestseller list!