Interview with author Arleigh Westunlied!

Q: So, tell the readers a bit about you.

A: I am 34, married and have two wonderful sons. I’m very fortunate to have travelled a bit, and considerable influence of my writing comes from those experiences. I’m a fan of Gwangju FC, the Kolkata Knight Riders, the All Blacks, Manchester and the Czech national hockey team. I love Bollywood and every so often will spend entire weeks burning through movies of that genre. I live in the States, in Virginia Beach, although Windsor is a faraway home.

Q: How did you come up with the idea for your book, Point of the Rear Guard? How did you come up with the name of it?

A: My first book, “Point of the Rear Guard” is a biography, describing real people in a tumultuous and difficult period of history, which like so much of American lore was based in a war. The story is largely apolitical, which I found interesting as many such stories end up being used for describing one philosophy preferential to others. The subject of the book was a great admirer of Remarque’s “All Quiet on the Western Front” and I’m very happy that my book has been compared favourably to his. I had the fortune to know the person described in it personally, and his desire that it be presented to the public at some time to describe a chapter of history in which the participants themselves felt largely ignored by the world already in real time. I was happy to change that. “Point of the Rear Guard” was the title chosen by the subject, Mr. Robert Bayless of West Virginia. You’ll understand why when you read it.

Q: What is your favourite colour? (This must be read in a British accent ala Monty Python)

A: “Blue, no Green. AAAAHHHH!!!” Seriously though, my very most favourite colour is vermilion, derived from cinnabar.

Q: Do you have any special rituals or quirks when writing? Special foods or drinks? Etc.

A: I smoke, like Québécoise in church. I’m perfectly familiar with it being a deleterious habit, but it seemed to work for Hemingway and Hunter Thompson, and I’m not going to argue with men like either of them.

Q: What was the easiest part about writing Point of the Rear Guard?

A: Certainly the easiest part is envisioning the myriad of wonderful ideas. Much like Beckett claimed, I also can see almost the entire story in my mind all at once, and I experience the multitude of emotions from the various characters as it happens in my brain. For this I’m very thankful, as I believe it makes for very realistic stories.

Q: What was the hardest part?

A: Actually writing! Time management is a horrible reality, and those persons most adept for creativity, quite stereotypically are not skilful at it. I am no exception that I can see. Many times I simply cannot type quickly enough to portray the fantastical scenes that I picture in my mind’s eye perfectly; nor to convey emotions or conversation properly because there is such a backlog of information in my imagination that I want to lay onto paper.

Q: Do you like bacon?

A: Bacon is one of those food items which is wonderful and tasty in any reasonable incarnation, but which is overused by zealots like commas, interjections, and repetitive phrases. Still, I go with tasty.

Q: How long have you been writing, or wanting to write and when did you actually write your first story?

A: I first knew of the stories which would later become my upcoming series, “Tomorrow, After the End of Time” late one night while in my last few weeks in the Navy. Sometime later, I watched “Waiting for Godot” alone and in a very difficult emotional state, and found incredible inspiration and desire to write from that epiphany. In secondary school, one of my favourite courses was in creative writing, and I found that at a particularly young age I simply did not have sufficient experiences from which to draw believable, convincing stories. I went through my life doing a number of other things, until after returning from South Korea in 2009 I decided, having offered the framework of my novels to friends and coworkers for opinions, that I had finally matured sufficient to write fiction that people could relate to, and fall in love with.

Q: Do you have a favourite character from your book? If so, who and why?

A: In “Point”, I think anyone would find strong attachment to the main character, Robert. In one of my initial statements about the book, I commented that he would be correctly lauded in the musical piece, “Fanfare for the Common Man”. It is always the simple folk, the people forced into situations created by the myopia of others, who should have the admiration of the world. Without honest people, motivated by what is good in life and altruism, the barbaric qualities of the human condition would invariably take hold of the planet and keep humanity in bondage. With the thought that, “All which is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing,” the world should be grateful to those who, even occasionally, say, “No more”.

Q: Are you working on anything else right now? If so, can you tell us anything about it?

A: I mentioned a series of novels I hope to be presenting in the near future, which truthfully were the first I ever conceived. Stay tuned for updates in that direction! As to their content, I suppose the best way to describe them would be a magical world in which magic itself was not a “deus ex machina” to fix the world’s problems. I will post more about that when I am closer to completing the first of the series.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to tell the readers of this interview? (This is a great place to put your links!)

A: My author page on facebook is https://www.facebook.com/Author.ArleighBison and I would appreciate any traffic to it. I have twitter at @AuthorArleigh and I’m always happy for fan mail. I have all kinds of advice, but I will paraphrase to say that no life is long enough to justify doing something for work that does not satisfy the soul. With your assistance in the world out there, I may soon be able to tend to writing wonderful books myself, like I want to do! Cheers.

***********************

Thank you Arleigh for the interview! I don’t normally read non-fiction such as Point of the Rear Guard, I’m not a fan of war books or war movies, however, I had the pleasure of reading this book and I can honestly say that I loved it! I would read it more than once, and have! To read about the life of a common man from Appalachia, about his youth, his wartime, his love, his losses (rather than reading a story from the perspective of some important official type person) really was heartwarming. I even cried at some points! There were some absolutely hilarious stories and this book takes the reader there, to WV, to Korea where one can SEE the battles, the camaraderie, the struggles and I think a lot of people could relate to this book, even if they’ve never been to war.

Point of the Rear Guard should be out just in time for Independence Day, July 4! Watch here, facebook and twitter for more updates!

 

Love & Books,

~Serenity

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  1. Pingback: Cover Art! | Serenity Valle~Author & then some...

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