My special guest today is Larry Higdon. We’re chatting about this psychological drama, The Storms of Deliverance.
Born in 1947 in Atlanta. Served in Vietnam as an English language instructor. I’ve traveled abroad to Canada, Mexico, and Australia. Following my enlistment in the Air Force in 1974, I returned to Atlanta, and I’ve lived here ever since. I practiced law for the Department of Veterans Affairs for approximately ten years. Subsequently, I worked as an elementary school counselor for approximately ten years. I’ve been a writer since retiring from the public schools. The Storms of Deliverance is my first novel. I’ve never married. I lost my last parent when my mother died in December 2013. I inherited her cat, who was the joy of my existence. Unfortunately, however, Missy died in August 2014 of kidney disease. I hope to get another cat someday.
Welcome, Larry. Please tell us about your current release.
An alcoholic whom people call “Bad News” Johnson due to his violent temper wastes his life after his incipient baseball career ends with a diagnosis of arthritis in his pitching arm. Following a tragic automobile accident, Johnson believes that he has leapt forward 27 years. But is it time travel or amnesia? Has he traveled forward 27 years or lost 27 years of past memories? Either way he doesn’t like the man he’s become. He doesn’t like “Bad News” Johnson. He sets out to try to win back his ex-wife and daughter.
What inspired you to write this book?
Most of my life I had a variety of scenes in my head that didn’t seem to fit together. Then one day they did. Everything came together, and I realized that I could write this book. Once I embarked on it, the book practically wrote itself. I felt as though I were taking dictation.
Excerpt from The Storms of Deliverance:
Suddenly Ellen looked back at the smashed vehicle. “Where’s Rags? Where’s Taffy?”
His words wheezed out of him. “They’re in the car. I’ll get them. Don’t worry.”
“No!” she wailed. She ran down to the car, waving her arms. “Rags! Taffy!”
“No!” screamed Johnson. “Ellen! Stop!”
He wobbled to his feet and attempted to run after her, but stumbled immediately, his legs crumbling.
Ellen scrambled through the front window. The backseat burst into flames.
“Ellen!” Johnson screamed again.
No voice, human or animal, emanated from the Volkswagen. The only sound was that of the deathly lapping flames, yellow tinged with red, sharply pointed wicked fingers reaching out of the windshield and the small opening in the driver’s side window. Johnson stood up again, and fell down again. “Ellen! No! My God, no!”
The engine exploded. What had before been a motor vehicle containing a little girl, a kitten, and a shaggy dog, was now but a huge, roaring ball of fire, like a portion of a fiery meteorite that had slammed into earth.
What exciting story are you working on next?
Katy Nguyen, Johnson’s ex-wife from my first novel, narrates The School from Hell. An elementary school counselor, Katy is assigned to Horseshoe Farms Elementary School, a high poverty school in the north Georgia mountains. Overhead pipes leak, forming pools of water in the hallways, windows are busted out, the heating and air conditioning don’t work, and the school is infested with rats. Moreover, Katy has demons of her own. She suffers from Bipolar II and her daughter Zoe is addicted to crystal meth. On more than one occasion Katy is tempted to take her own life. Her involvement with a first-grade girl, however, leads her to a new perspective. Although not exactly a sequel, most of the major characters in my first novel appear in this one. It should be released within the next couple of months.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When my first novel was published.
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?
I write in the mornings. I go to Starbuck’s or a fast food restaurant, get some coffee, and open up my MacBook. Sometimes I also write at my dining room table at home. When not writing I’m reading. I consider reading to be Continuing Education.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Writing in noisy restaurants.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A baseball player.