Notes From a Romantic’s Heart is excited to welcome author Anna Hamilton to talk about her new release, Boy. Since this Anna’s first visit to the blog, we asked our usual “nosey” questions.
All the stops for Anna’s tour can be found at Goddess Fish Promotions. Remember to enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway, as well. The form can be found at the bottom of this post.
GENRE: Drama/Family/Sweet Romance/Dementia
Inquiring Minds Want to Know
Is your book based on real-life experience or a figment of your imagination?
Boy is based on real life experiences, yet with characters not true to the story. I was comfortable using them as characters because I know their hearts, perfect for a story full of heart.
If you could trade places with one of the characters from your book, who would it be and why?
This is a tough one to answer because I have been on many levels a few characters in this story, at least during the process of writing it. To answer the question: Aunt Fara. She was my mother Betty’s best friend. She was an amazing woman who, oddly enough, died in a memory care unit in Ottumwa Iowa. She was my “Aunt Fara” my entire life. She was a role model for me and many others—one tough cookie. I have tried to follow in her footsteps of giving back and would like to think she would be proud of me and the work I have done.
Is the setting for your book real? If so, have you been there? If it’s fictitious, is there somewhere real that you’ve used as a model?
The farmhouse is not one I know, but there are farmhouses from my childhood that will never leave my head. Same with the barn and the chicken coop. I have relatives in Iowa and Kansas who are farmers and my favorite things were always the chicken coop and the barn....loved the smells and the miracle of finding an egg. I easily put my memories together to create the Roberts farm.
What has been the most unusual experience you’ve had that you have written into a book?
I would say in The Red Van, not yet completed, there are many experiences my sister and I endured during this real-life story of two con men who were at one point my step fathers. One of the most unusual experiences in this story was at the age of seventeen I borrowed a neighbor boy’s shotgun (something I knew not how to use) to rescue my mother from a step father’s house after he had held her against her will, luring her to his house with threats of hurting her daughters if she did not meet him. Fear and anger can make a person, even a child, bolder than they ever thought they could be.
Do you like to read in the genre in which you write? Or, are you adventurous?
I read in all genres and no, I do not read anything in Elder Care. I only sought out that type of information when desperate for answers for my father’s dementia. I hope to never go back to that genre. I prefer reading fiction over non-fiction. It is an escape, where non-fiction one cannot rationalize away. Not me anyway.
If you had to create a pseudonym for your work that poked fun at the genre in which you write, what would it be?
Again, this is tough to answer as I cannot think of any name that would fit in poking fun at this particular genre. During my father’s time in the nursing home, the residents called me the "popcorn lady," even though I spent three meals a day with these same people over a two-year period, they never remembered my name, only that I made popcorn for them.
About the Book
Boy is a story about a few weeks in the lives of Hugh and Betty Roberts, an elderly couple living alone on a family farm in Iowa. They are buried deep in grief over the loss of their only child and struggling to hang on to the only life they have ever known when dementia sneaks in. An unusual visitor brings a welcome distraction and reprieve just before the Thanksgiving holiday.
Join this couple and other unforgettable characters as they prepare to share in a memorable and much needed Thanksgiving gathering at the old couple's farm. What transpires is credited to friendship, love and the relentless power of hope. Directly or indirectly we are reminded of what really matters on this brief walk we call Life.
Enjoy an Excerpt
On both sides of the driveway there were fields of corn, now harvested. Even in the wind you could hear the pheasants running through the few stalks that remained. The distant fence lines stood like loyal soldiers waiting for the day they could come home. The air smelled wet and of dirt, the smell one becomes addicted to after having lived off the land.
As they walked the long driveway arm in arm, Hugh got a whiff of his childhood. All around him he smelled the seventy-eight years of his life. He turned to look at his wife who still clung to the small box and wondered whether she too could smell the years in the wind.
The rain looked like it was still miles away, however the wind was always strong and present. In Iowa, the wind is never far away, always sneaking around, reminding you of how pointless it was to comb your hair or wear a cap.
By the time they had reached the mailbox it had started to sprinkle. Hugh let go of Betty's arm long enough to retrieve the mail and shove it inside of his flannel shirt, when a gust of wind swept by them, taking with it the lid from the box. Across the field and into the next it tumbled, until being captured by the loyal soldiers.
Meet the Author
Anna Hamilton (1958- present) was born in Des Moines Iowa. She lives in Northern Minnesota along the Canadian border where she owns and operates a small restaurant in the village of Grand Marais. During the slower winter months she writes, preferring fiction over non-fiction. "Fiction" she says, "is much easier to create because you can be on the outside of a story looking in, rather than on the inside, fighting your way out." Hence her first novel 'Boy'.
When she is not working or writing, her time is spent mentoring children in need and advocates on behalf of both children and the elderly. She and her sister Sarah are currently working towards building 'affordable' housing for their community. Part of the proceeds from her first novel 'Boy' will be dedicated to help finance that project.
Enter the Giveaway
Anna Hamilton will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour, in addition to the gift card, the author will offer a prize to a second winner: a store coupon from Between the Lines Publishing/Liminal Press (half price print book or free ebook).
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It’s been my pleasure hosting Anna Hamilton for today’s visit. Please come back all week for more great authors, books, and giveaways!