20 November, 2015

Longworth by J.Russell Smith Virtual Book Blog Tour with Guest Post and Giveaway!

 Today, it is my pleasure to have author of Longworth, Rusty Smith at Celticlady's Reviews.

I have been asked on more than one occasion just how one goes about writing a novel or, in general, how does a writer approach his/her work?  I would suggest to all that it is very much an individual endeavor, though there are certain things in common to all……….research, a good deal of time devoted to each volume, character development, story line development (as opposed to a formula), and a host of other items.  I recall many, many years ago that the writer Mickey Spillane (the writer of the “Mike Hammer” detective novels.  Please note I use the term writer and not author) was asked how he went about his writing.  First of all, this particular interviewer used the term author to describe Mickey Spillane.  He was quick to point out that he was NOT an author, but merely a writer.  The difference, he noted, was in the content and how one goes about writing.  In his case, he had a formula in place that deviated very little from one book to another.  He was not creative, he pointed out, in the sense that, say, Hemingway or Steinbeck were, because he did not create anything beyond that which was already created/borrowed from others at one time or another.  That is, he had his formula down, massaged that genre/formula from book to book, and was able to crank out his next “formulaic” book in as little as three days.  It is exceedingly difficult to imagine a dedicated “author” cranking out something in that amount of time.  It can take years to write a single book and that is if the author spends a good deal of time working and re-working his manuscript until he feels it is ready (which most never do). 

Certain authors have a story to tell.  They tell the story and move on.  Many suggest that the best work by most novelists of any consequence whatsoever, though I believe it applies to most authors, is their first endeavor.  If it is a novel, it tends to be at least semi-autobiographical, thus the author certainly has something invested in his/her first work.  Many, including myself, had a story to tell as much for themselves as for the audience, thus it truly comes from the heart as well as the head.  Examples abound of authors who were never able to top that first novel, but they continued to write, with varying degrees of success.  In my particular case, it is very true that I had to write Longworth as much for myself as the audience.  What it did, as one might expect, was to serve as an appetizer for additional writing.  While I needed to complete that first work (Longworth) for many reasons, the result of that endeavor was to whet my appetite for more.

My next novel has absolutely nothing to do with Longworth nor does it resemble the genre.  It is, however,  no less compelling to me simply because of the way the notion arrived on my doorstep so to speak.  It is a science fiction novel, generated by a dream/nightmare I had, that has as its basis the disconnect between reality and one’s perception of reality.  If one grows up expecting certain things or that one behaves in a certain fashion based on a set of rules and that is completely upended, then how does one react to that or how does one face what appears to be the “new normal”?  I have not quite decided if I am going to attach significance to this “new normal”, treating it in the same fashion as H.G. Wells did with  his famous work “War of the Worlds”.  This was a thinly veiled depiction of the outreach/overreach of the British Empire at the turn of the 20th century.  My work is as surreal as, at times, the policies of the United States have been toward other countries.  The general ignorance of our citizenry about the conduct of life in other countries is absolutely appalling, but we continue to motor along in our ignorance.  We get away with it, because we are powerful and wealthy.  That allows our monumental screw ups to have some gravitas, though most see right through them.  The problem is we are just too powerful a nation not to be taken seriously.  And that is a shame.  It is causing way too much unrest and outright damage.  Do I move in this direction or allow my thoughts to continue as they are right now?  I will likely make that decision as I am in the midst of actually writing rather than as a preconceived plan.

About Longworth:

Carson Longworth seem to have been born under a lucky star. Handsome and athletic, with a certain mystique that both intrigues the people around him and keeps them at a distance, he drifts through his high school years, focusing on music, dancing, dating, and having a good time. But while he is pursuing these easy pleasures, the world around him is changing. Carson leaves the warm cocoon of his family to go to college where he gets his initial dose of reality along with his first realizations that his peripatetic childhood has left him unprepared to relate deeply to the people around him. As the Vietnam begins to escalate, Carson is drafted into the Army, but instead decides to join the Marines. His experiences in the Marine Corps will begin to provide both the discipline he so desperately needs and the framework of domestic and international politics against which he will begin to rebel, defining and shaping his character in ways he could not have imagined.

While traveling form one duty station to another before leaving for Vietnam, Carson meets Kathy Wilkerson, a brilliant and beautiful young woman whose devotion provides the support and grounding that Carson needs in order to find his version of the truth. As a helicopter pilot in Vietnam, Carson will witness atrocities and absurdities that will reveal who he truly is: a formidably intelligent and ethical man with a need to understand the world and to stand up for what is right. Longworth is a unique coming-of-age story with a strong educational component, as well as a tender and inspiring love story. Broad in scope and beautifully detailed, Longworth is a deeply satisfying novel with thought-provoking themes that continue to resonate long after the last page is turned.

About Rusty Smith:

J. Russell Smith has spent a lifetime fighting for a sense of moral justice, on both a personal level and on a broader stage. His experiences in the Vietnam War and his graduate studies in intellectual history and political theory allow him to bring both an intimate perspective and a scholar’s analysis to the writing of Longworth. Smith is currently at work on his next two novels.

Social Links:

Webpage:        http://www.jrussellsmith.info/
Twitter:           https://twitter.com/j_russellsmith

Where to Purchase Longworth:

Amazon.com:  Kindle, Hardcover and Paperback:   

Barnes&Noble: Paperback, Harcover and NOOK Book: 


1st Prize: Kindle Fire 7” WiFi 8GB Black plus ebook or paperback copy of Longworth

2nd Prize: $50 Amazon Gift Card and ebook or paperback copy of Longworth
3rd Prize: ebook or paperback copy of Longworth

a Rafflecopter giveaway

1 comment:

  1. Hello Kathleen,
    On behalf of Rusty Smith and Book Marketing Services, I would like to thank you for hosting Rusty on Celtic Lady Reviews. If anyone has any questions and/or comments they would like to share, please leave them in the comment box. Rusty will be by later in the day to respond.
    Rusty is having a giveaway during his tour. 1st prize: Kindle Fire HD 7” WiFi 8GB Black plus ebook or paperback copy of Longworth; 2nd Prize: $50 Amazon Gift Card and ebook or paperback copy of Longworth; 3rd Prize: ebook or paperback copy of Longworth. Click here to enter: http://gvwy.io/zo9sour
    This is the last day of Rusty’s 10 day virtual book blog tour. If you missed any of the postings you can find the direct links on Rusty’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/authorjrussellsmith or on his website http://www.jrussellsmith.info/10-day-virtual-book-blog-tour-schedule.
    Best regards, Della



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