The winner of a copy of The Locusts of Padgett County is Debby Johnson -- Congratulations!!!
Are experiences in your novel based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Writers are told, “Write what you know.” (I recognize, however, it is difficult to write what you don’t know.) Much like any writer, I write what I know or have experienced; and what I don’t know, I try to make it something I do know by researching the matter.) I am blessed with a legal education and experience, a lot of it in the trial and appellate courts. Much of what I write about comes from these areas. As any lawyer will tell you, each case that lands on the lawyer’s desk is a story in itself─having setting, characters, conflict, and a resolution of some kind. I am also blessed with having grown up in the Deep South during interesting periods of American history, namely World War II (that’s “two” and not “eleven” as I understand one TV news reader put it) and the years immediately following it, years marked by their own upheavals─the Korean and Vietnam wars, the civil rights revolution, and a President’s assassination.
Did you have to travel much concerning your book(s)? If so, what’s the most interesting place you traveled?
The only traveling I do is back in time; and if I am unfamiliar with a place or entertain an uncertainty about it, I travel there electronically via the internet. For example, for use in a novel I am presently writing, the working title of which is Beyond Millstone, I searched for a 1965 road map of
Texas to fashion a route that my protagonist, a lawyer,
might follow as he travels westward toward ,
to find a missing heiress. Abilene, Texas
Which of your characters is most/least like you, and in what way(s)?
I suppose to some extent I resemble each of the lawyers I write about in my novels Harpers’ Joy (Grace Abraham 2005), The Trials of Lawyer Pratt(Publishing by Rebecca J. Vickery 2011), and The Locusts of Padgett County(Alondra Press 2012). In Lawyer Pratt, I include a number of “war stories” that grew out of my experiences as a trial lawyer and as an appellate judge. I guess the character Andrew Beauchamp, the criminal prosecutor-protagonist in Locusts, comes closest to being me and Candle Reid, the lawyer-protagonist in Harpers’ Joy, being the least like me. Both, however, make mistakes of judgment while wanting to do the right thing; but Candle can be lazy and is an alcoholic, separated from his wife and children.
Do you read reviews of your books? If so, do you pay any attention to them, or let them influence your writing?
I do read the reviews. I just wish there were more of them. They serve to encourage me to write more, if they are good, and to try to write better, if they are not so good.
What book are you reading now?
I just finished reading Empire of the Summer Moon (Simon & Schuster 2010), an account of the rise and fall of the Comanche Indians in Texas, and The Harbinger (Charisma House Group 2011), a story that explains how the judgments of Isaiah 9:10 are relevant today.
What are your current projects?
As I mentioned above, I am writing a novel presently entitled Beyond Millstone, having just finished the first draft. The plot, revolving as it does around a lawyer’s search for a missing heiress, takes the reader on a journey to Texas and introduces the reader along the way to interesting, sometimes quirky characters, such as a pair of ventriloquists, whose dummies “Kuddles” and“Sprinkles” hate one another’s operator, and a tent revivalist, Brother Jimmy Holcomb, who convinces Kuddles to become an evangelist, ministering to children. My principal focus today, however, is on promoting my recently published novel, The Locusts of Padgett County (Alondra Press 2012).
If you could have dinner with one of your characters, who would it be and why?
Of all my creations, I am most fond of Tweeve Huggins, the wife of Delaware Huggins, the narrator of Her Own Law (Xlibris 1998), my first novel, and the aunt of Skeets McLendon, the twelve-year-old narrator of Familiar Shadows (Publishing by Rebecca J. Vickery 2011). A female author friend once told me that Tweeve is her “role model.” Tweeve, a very determined, resourceful woman reminds me of my mother who, like Tweeve, though deprived of much in the way of formal education, took charge of everything and everyone around her. Tweeve, like my mom, views herself as gifted with having “walking around sense,” a gift that enables one, not only to meet any challenge, no matter what it is, but to prevail against it.
Do you have any upcoming events?
I have a scheduled appearance before a senior-citizens group at the
Church in to talk about my writing and to
promote my books, particularly my latest novel, The Locusts of Padgett
County. The latter is a historically based novel set in the Columbia Deep South when racial prejudice shaped much of its laws
and the administration of justice. The inspiration for the story is the 1909
South Carolina Supreme Court appeal from Greenville County, State v. Johnson,
84 S.C. 45, 65 S.E. 1023 (1909). The case, as does my story, involves a black
janitor prosecuted for assault with intent to ravish, a death-penalty offense
at the time. The janitor touched a white woman on the shoulder as she practiced
piano in a school auditorium.
I’ll be speaking on January 9, 2013, at the noon gathering of the Retired Officers Wives at the Officers Club at
I’ll be talking about “You Have It
Within You,” which will refer to what to write about and the sources of stories. Fort
All of Bert’s books, both novels and short-story collections, are listed on www.amazon.com and www.barnesandnoble.com. Most are available in both book and electronic formats such as Kindle and Nook. Smashwords offers three of his novels in electronic formats at www.smashwords.com.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
For a review of his latest work, see: http://www.amazon.com/Locusts-Padgett-County-Bert-Goolsby/dp/0985490918/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1352509262&sr=1-1&keywords=bert+goolsby
Bert Goolsby is a former Chief Deputy Attorney General of
(Bert wanted me to mention that I designed the book cover for his novel, The Trials of Lawyer Pratt.)
Please leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Bert's novel, The Locusts of Padgett County. Drawing will be Friday, November 23. Please leave an email address, or if you are the announced winner, contact me a email@example.com.