Poet and novelist, Trish Stewart, debuts in wonderful form with the deeply philosophical, yet hilarious and poignant, TAKING LESSONS FROM ERNEST. AuthorScoop is fortunate to snare her right out of the starting gate for a look behind the story.
We’d like to thank her for taking the time to be part of our “5 Minutes Alone” interview series.
AuthorScoop: What was your very first publication credit?
Trish: This is my first published fiction, but I believe AuthorScoop gets credit for my first published poetry in the Midnight Poetry feature.
AuthorScoop: Tell us about your latest release.
Trish: TAKING LESSONS FROM ERNEST is about a young man named Eric Bastien; his job is unfulfilling, his girlfriend is controlling, his family has disowned him, and a loan shark is circling. Then, as a work day ends on a high, his love life hits the skids, and he gets the phone call from his estranged mother that changes everything. “Your father’s dead.”
Life hands Eric a great opportunity, an awkward family reunion, and an ultimatum — if he wants his inheritance, he has to take a road trip to see his father’s old Army buddy, Oliver. For most, it would be no problem. Hop in the car, placate the family, get your money: no problem. Then again, you have not met Eric, have you? Armed with his father’s journal and a first edition of Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast, Eric decides to make amends to his family and get his life back on track. What he doesn’t expect is to have Ernest Hemingway’s ghost along for the ride. With intentions of helping Eric get it right, Hemingway manages to complicate the situation, resulting in an unforgettable road trip.
Help comes in many forms. In this case, it is Hemingway’s ghost who is determined to make Eric’s first draft at life a good one. With any luck, he’ll succeed before Eric loses a kneecap.
In all, it’s about making changes one never dreamed possible, and making amends even after it seems too late. Eric’s father had a plan; it’s up to Eric to find a way to fulfill it.
AuthorScoop: Aside from your own hard work, who (or what) else do you feel has contributed to your success?
Trish: Oh so many people have contributed: my beta readers, members of the AW Poetry Forum, my family, and a great little group of cheerleaders I call friends. Whether it was tough love, honest critique, praise, or a shove from any or all of the above, it all helped keep me on track.
AuthorScoop: At what time of day or night do you do your best writing?
Trish: With a full time job, and a family, my writing time is “when I can”, but I always have preferred the wee hours of the morning when the house is quiet and the brain is fresh. It’s also ideal because my internal editor isn’t awake at those hours to judge and stifle me.
AuthorScoop: Finally, what advice would you give to new or unpublished writers?
Trish: Don’t quit. Join a group of like minds either online or in your community, learn from the rejections but don’t let them beat you, read a lot, and practice. That last one is probably most important. Practice is so very important, whether you practice with poetry, short fiction, or novels. There is a reason this book took four major drafts; the story was fine, but I needed the practice in order to tell it properly.
TAKING LESSONS FROM ERNEST is available now through the publisher and also for delivery or Kindle from Amazon.com. Find Trish Stewart on Facebook and get to know even more on her website, www.trishstewart-author.com.