Interview on Jon Foyt – author of Time to Retire

1. Tell me about yourself.

I grew up in Indianapolis and wanted to be a racecar driver at Indy, but soon gave that up to go to college to study journalism and geography, then business at Stanford. I was in the Korean War in Military Intelligence, then worked in electronics and radio broadcasting in the Pacific Northwest, before getting into real estate development, where my late wife, Lois, and I built apartments, condominiums, and single family homes. Later, I went back to school at the University of Georgia to study Historic Preservation. Lois and I then moved to New Mexico to write novels about the Southwest, archaeology, and Native Americans. My wife and I wrote together for 20 years until she passed away, and now I continue to write. I’m 81 and active in an adult retirement community in Northern California.

2. What inspired you to write Time to Retire

I wanted to try to capture the feelings, the emotions, and especially the milieu of my living among senior citizens in a separate and self-contained (fictionalized) community—Sunset Gardens—with its 15,000 people, all of whom are “old.”

All the while, I endeavored to upend the stereotypical views of aging, retirement, and “old people” that seem to be inbred in the media and, accordingly, voiced by members of the younger generations.

            These preconceived notions are most often incorrect, really and truly wrong, and, to put in bluntly, discriminatory. So I wanted to convey more accurate and appropriate concepts of senior lifestyles, elder thoughts, along with my personal observations. I aimed for readers of all ages. No author (who lives in such a community), so I believe, has ever attempted this in a literary work of fiction.      

3. What is something interesting about you not many people know?

          I’ve completed 60 marathons and many shorter races.

4. What genre do you like to write in?

          Historical fiction related to contemporary events.

5. Have you ever encountered writer’s block? If so, how did you overcome it?

          Not often, but when I do I usually go for a run.

6. Summarize your novel.

          Things are not quite what they seem at Sunset Gardens, an active adult retirement community in the hills of Northern California. An influential resident has committed suicide, directors of the Homeowners Association have questionable ways of handling money, and secret meetings are taking place at the Silent Frog, a former speakeasy.

         Local reporter, Willy Herbst, himself approaching retirement, is curious about what’s going on in the neighboring community “over the hills.” He and his eager intern, Sally Saginaw, team up to investigate. Their discoveries are surprising.

 

7. Tell me about your characters.

          Some 60 characters populate Time to Retire. Six Board members of the Sunset Gardens Homeowners Association are major to the storyline. And there are important characters in each of the various clubs. But it is journalist Willy Herbst and his sidekick Sally Saginaw (with whom he is increasingly romantically interested, who trace the arc of the novel.

8 Tell me about your publishing journey.

          Intense and committed to reaching for quality of writing and expression. Hard work, but fun. Time consuming, yet satisfying. A priority in my life.

 

Time to Retire was released on October 13, 2013 and is available for sale on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Time-Retire-Jon-Foyt/dp/1480075698

 

 

The Diary of a Queen by Tarlin Saye review

A novel about a young Princess who has to become Queen after her father died. Throughout the novel Queen Aminah writes her thoughts in a diary. This allows the reader to know her inner feelings; explaining at times why she has to be ruthless and heartless.

I enjoy the way the author portrays each character; having their own voice in the chapters, so the reader can have in-depth knowledge of the characters. Eric, the headstrong King whose true love is destined to fail. Sofia, his wife, she doesn’t come from nobility so many do not respect her; her true love a loyal friend of the king. Preston, a servant that sees all, and is always by the king’s side.  And of course Queen Aminah; a love that occurs changes her entire life.

Throughout the novel, the Queen grows stronger as a character; having the king and some of his courtiers in her walls forces her hand. Treachery is revealed. She has to fight for her people, fight against the outside forces that wish to breach their walls.

But what Aminah could not have foreseen was the King having an effect on her. Although he is married, his intense passion towards the queen reveals another side of him. The author creates intense and passionate scenes of Eric and Aminah, the lust that cannot be acted upon. Becoming very addictive and easily imagined as the author creatively depicts these images enhancing the read.

Unrequited love between two friends can never be acted upon. Although the plot has interesting aspects, constantly progressing, bringing more details, unexpected revelations, and learning more about this obscure culture of escaped slaves that established their own kingdom; it is the characters that really make this novel. Four people each entangled in love.

Even though it is a historical novel, and typically they are long, this makes no exception. It is easy to fade in and out at times, purely because there is a lot of detail, especially when it comes to the characters. Fortunately with new revelations it does bring the reader’s attention back.

It was hard to put down closer to the end. The reader gets a feel for the characters. By the end you can relate to them, care about what happens to them. Ending might have been a little expected, but still an enjoyable ending. Maybe room for a continuation?

4/5 stars

Link: http://www.amazon.com/DIARY-OF-QUEEN-AMINAH-HIDDEN-ebook/dp/B00GEFY6OQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1387315209&sr=8-1&keywords=diary+of+a+queen+tarlin+saye

The Sting by Mandy Brown review

A death triggers off a chain of events. An innocent woman that only wants to be friends may not be all that innocent. Something is off about this woman Delilah, Emma is drawn to her because of her friendship with her estranged dead mother. And wants to help this woman connect with her estranged daughter.

 

The characters are easy to connect with and understand.  Emma’s kindness and ignoring the warnings could be her undoing. The author gets straight to the point, progressing through the plot and the characters as you read more.

 

Throughout the novel, more is unveiled about the characters, their emotions, their actions. It was an enjoyable short read; the author does not cut short on the plot or characters, and doesn’t add to much detail, effectively creating a quick pace to the novel.

 

Turn of events reveal disturbing revelations. The ending is a bit sad, but makes you appreciate what you have and what you want to keep safe. A mother’s will to fight for her child, and how easy that can be lost.

 

3 ½ 5 stars

 

Link: http://www.amazon.com/Sting-Mandy-Brown-ebook/dp/B00F2RIX96/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1386706340&sr=8-1&keywords=the+sting+by+mandy+brown

 

The Mine by John A. Heldt review

The novel is about two friends going cross country where they stumble across an old mine shaft. First impressions, straight-forward novel, instantly getting a feel for the characters and what they are lacking in their lives.

An interesting turn as the mine shaft took Joel back in time to 1941. Surrounded by the old-fashioned attire and town, his buddy is nowhere to be found.

Another perspective is the young women that came into Joel’s life that forever changes his outlook. A woman so close it seems unbelievable.

Going back in time puts things into perspective. Meeting the people from another era, and realizing how close he is to one in particular. But the implications of knowing what happens in the past can dictate what happens in the future; knowing the future and unable to stop what is about to happen.

A fascinating insight and plot to the year before Pearl Harbour. And how this completely different era changed Joel in more ways than one.

The author does a really good job of making the characters believable and relatable. As I read I wanted things to work out for them, but knowing for some that war takes the innocent.

The sad reality of war looming of the attack on Pearl Harbour hovering over the happiness. Although World War II is going on, it does not affect this small town until one day a friend gets called to war.

It is quite an addictive read to find out what happens. It may seem a bit long or tedious in some places, but for those that enjoy a good history story then it is well worth the read. Closer to the end it is hard to put down as the events unfold. Reality sinks in, and Joel has to make decisions – his old life, or his new life?

I was surprised that the book became quite riveting at the end as Joel tries to find answers. What one thinks the book is about; the reader may be pleasantly surprised how it actually turns out.

A very sweet and unexpected ending, finishing off a great story of true love.

3 ½ out of 5 stars

Link: http://www.amazon.com/The-Mine-Northwest-Passage-1-ebook/dp/B0078S9B6G/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top