Interview with historical fiction novelist Ardyce Durham

chatting with author Ardyce Durham
about her historical fiction novel, Promises,
Ardyce Durham lives in South
Texas and is retired after spending many years of her life in careers ranging
from teacher to big rig truck driver to minimum-wage employee at a plant

though she’s supposed to be retired, she stays busy working on her
ninety-year-old house as a “shade tree” carpenter, plumber, and electrician.

She also
tries to keep the yard looking like someone lives there who cares about the way
the place looks. 

someone asks her if she’s retired, she replies, “Not really. I’m self-employed.”

She is a
widow with three children, three grandchildren, six dogs, and a cat.
Please tell us about your current
release. What inspired you to write this book?
I worked
on Promises for the biggest part of 2
years. Stories about my paternal great-grandfather’s participation in the Civil
War were passed down from one generation to the next and had been discussed for
decades. Family members knew 1)that he and his best friend joined the
Confederate Army at the same time; 2) that his best friend died on the first
day of the Battle of Gettysburg; 3) that he walked home when the war ended;
4)that he married his best friend’s widow when he returned. Through research
into family history, a cousin and I learned that the “rest of the story” was
much more interesting than anyone in the family could have imagined. Naturally,
a great deal of what is in Promises came
from my imagination, but all of those
imagined people, places, and events are wrapped around facts.
clicking on “Look
” on Amazon, you can read the first 10 chapters of Promises.
What exciting story are you working
on next?
At the moment,
I’m not working on a story, exciting or otherwise. I have several ideas rolling
around in the back of my mind but haven’t been able to string anything together
that makes sense. Perhaps it’s a simple case of writer’s block. If so, I’m sure
I’ll get over it, hopefully sooner rather than later. I have notes that I
occasionally look over for inspiration.
When did you first consider yourself
a writer?
When I
was a freshman in college, our English professor gave us an assignment to write
a short autobiography. I received an A on mine and have always remembered what
the professor wrote in the margin: You have great potential as a
. That’s when I
realized I could write well and have spent the rest of my life saying that
someday I would write a book. Finally, here I am.
Do you write full-time? If so,
what’s your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do
you find time to write?
No, I
don’t write full-time. I’m not sure I write part-time either. I write whenever
an idea presents itself. As a retiree, I do what I want, when I want. Most of
my writing is done at night because there’s usually nothing on the TV that’s
worth watching. I keep notes on a word document that I keep handy on my computer’s
desktop. I add ideas to that document almost every day.
What would you say is your
interesting writing quirk?
I don’t
know if it’s a quirk or not but people who have read any of my writings always
compliment me on how easy it is to read my work. They say it’s as if I’m right
there, talking to them. I think it may be because of my use of contractions.
Rarely do I write anything of any length that doesn’t contain contractions. No one thinks or talks without using
As a child, what did you want to be
when you grew up?
When I
think about it, I don’t think I ever pictured myself growing up! I was the
consummate tomboy and to this day would rather be outside working on something
and getting dirty than be inside. I know what I didn’t want to be. I didn’t want to be a teacher. Ultimately, I
spent almost 40 years of my adult life in education at one level or another. So
much for what I didn’t want to be.
Anything additional you want to
share with the readers?
I want my
readers to take their time when reading Promises.
A great deal of colloquial dialogue is used in it. Anyone who is not familiar
with the characters’ dialect will have issues with the conversations between
them. If a reader tries to read the conversations too fast, much of it won’t
make sense. The reader needs to put him/herself in the shoes of the person
talking and listen to what they are

Thank you for being here today, Ardyce!

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