New Update!

Hello everyone. All of my Reviews, that I have yet to write, will be posted sporadically during the summer. After the end of this summer, I will not be posting on here anymore, as you will see the info on the right side of the blog.
Thanks for your understanding.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Sun, The Moon, And Maybe The Trains By: Rodney Jones *Guest Post & Giveaway*

*To Check Out The Tour Schedule & The GIVEAWAY, Click On The Cover!* 

Book Description Via Goodreads

What would it take to convince you that the woods you just left is a hundred and forty-four years distant from the one you entered?

Ten years have passed since the Civil War broke up John Bartley’s family. Living with his aunt and uncle in the tiny village of Greendale, Vermont, isn’t filled with excitement for a seventeen-year-old.

Until John walks into the woods one day and stumbles into 2009…

Fortunately, he chances upon the outspoken Tess McKinnon. To earn her trust, he must first convince her that he is neither a lunatic nor a liar. The proof he needs is buried at the end of a mountain road, where the ruins of Greendale lie just beneath a layer of dead leaves and moss.

What became of his home? Why is there no record of its existence?

Guest Post By: Author Rodney Jones

What was your inspiration for writing The Sun, the Moon, and Maybe the Trains and how did you get started?

One day, I was out hiking around Lowell Lake, near Londonderry, VT, when this question came to mind: If I lived in the nineteenth century, say 1875, and, while walking these same woods, was suddenly transported to modern time, how would I know? I began looking for signs: a short piece of surveyor’s tape tied to a tree branch, a discarded beer can, a cigarette butt, the faint murmur of distant traffic, and the thunder of a far-off jet. What would a person from 1875 make of these things? I returned to this idea on subsequent hikes, taking it a little further each time, having fun with it, making a game of it, and then decided to develop a story around it. I started carrying a little pocket-sized note pad with me on my hikes and jotted down any and every idea that popped into my head.

How would my 1875 character respond to seeing an automobile whizzing down a road? It’s impossible to know for certain, but I would have to surmise they’d be completely and totally freaked. If I were to stick to this likely reality, I’d end up with chapter after chapter of repetitive stuttering and senseless babbling—kind of boring. I’d have to find a readable compromise.

How would the forests differ? What changes have occurred in the local landscape since 1875? I toured the Custer Sharp House, headquarters of the Londonderry, Vermont Historical Society, and there studied photographs taken in the area just after the turn of the twentieth century. I was surprised to see that the mountains were nearly treeless and crisscrossed with stone walls—the boundaries of sheep pastures. Through research I did online, I found that within the period between the Civil War and WWI, Vermont’s mountains were about 85% cleared of trees. Today, the Green Mountains of Vermont are covered with forests, though you’ll not find but a handful of trees that are over a hundred years old. The trees of modern day Vermont are young compared to those my main character, John Bartley, would have known. So, this is the first thing he notices when he slips from his time into 2009.

I found the perfect setting for the story right in my own backyard. I first learned of the village of Greendale from an old-timer in Londonderry whose account of the abandoned village was so intriguing I had to immediately go off and explore it. Greendale, as I’d described in my story—fragments of dishes, pottery, old dilapidated stone foundations, the ruins of a mill—is precisely what you’d find there today. There’s still a mystery around what happened to the village. I could not find an answer. The account I give in my story of Abby Hemenway, the Vermont historian, is, I believe, accurate. The only recorded history of Greendale that may have existed (that I’m aware of) was destroyed in a fire before it could be published. Very weird, I think, and also good material for a story.

About The Author

While a past resident of Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Florida, New York, and Vermont, Rodney Jones now resides in Richmond, Indiana, where he whiles away his days pecking at a laptop, riding his ten-speed up the Cardinal Greenway, taking long walks with his daughter, or backpacking and wilderness camping.

His list of past occupations reads like his list of past residences, though his life-long ambition was to be an artist until he discovered a latent affinity for writing.

“In art,” Rodney says, “I was constantly being asked to explain images constructed from a palette of emotions and ideas, which usually required complex narratives to convey their meaning, if there even was a meaning. In writing, the words are creating the images, images are telling a story, the story is evoking feelings. I like it. There’s nothing to explain.”

Rodney’s interests include: art, science, politics, whiskey and chocolate, music (collecting vinyl records), gardening, and travel.

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