Friday, July 21, 2017

SPOTLIGHT - Whirligig: Keeping the Promise by Richard Buxton

Whirligig: Keeping the Promise
by Richard Buxton
Publication Date: April 22nd 2017
Ocoee Publishing
eBook & Paperback; 496 Pages
Series: Shire's Union, Book One
Genre: Fiction/Historical

The first novel from multi-award winning short-story writer Richard Buxton, Whirligig is at once an outsider's odyssey through the battle for Tennessee, a touching story of impossible love, and a portrait of America at war with itself. Self-interest and conflict, betrayal and passion, all fuse into a fateful climax.

Shire leaves his home and his life in Victorian England for the sake of a childhood promise, a promise that will pull him into the bleeding heart of the American Civil War and through the bloody battlefields of the West, where he will discover a second home for his loyalty.

Clara believes she has escaped from a predictable future of obligation and privilege, but her new life in the Appalachian Hills of Tennessee is decaying around her. In the mansion of Comrie, long hidden secrets are being slowly exhumed by a war that comes ever closer.


During the Blog Tour we will be giving away one paperback & one eBook of WHIRLIGIG! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form Whirligig. Giveaway Rules – Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on August 7th. You must be 18 or older to enter. – Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY. – Only one entry per household. – All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion. – Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen. 
Author Info
Richard lives with his family in the South Downs, Sussex, England. He completed an MA in Creative Writing at Chichester University in 2014. He has an abiding relationship with America, having studied at Syracuse University, New York State, in the late eighties. His short stories have won the Exeter Story Prize, the Bedford International Writing Competition and the Nivalis Short Story Award. Whirligig is his first novel and the opening book of Shire’s Union trilogy. Current projects include the second book, The Copper Road, as well as preparing to publish a collection of short stories.

How would you describe your style of writing to someone that has never read your work?
A friend of mine described it as somewhere between the 'storytelling skills of Bernard Cornwell with the lyrical prose of Charles Frazier.' Now she was being very kind, as she knows I love both those writers, but I think it does sort of position me. As a writer you tend to move towards the styles you admire.

I like Bernard Cornwell's direct storytelling, but I adore the easier pace, character depth and beautiful imagery of Charles Frazier. Place is very important to me and often my starting point. It's no coincidence that large parts of Whirligig are set in Appalachian Tennessee, not a million miles from Cold Mountain over the state line in North Carolina.  

What are some of your writing/publishing goals for this year?
Initially, it was to publish Whirligig in April. Tick! There was a lot to do during the winter in terms of cover design and book production. I'm really happy with the result. At the same time I was advancing the sequel, The Copper Road, and I'm still on track to complete the first draft in August. Depending on other commitments I'd like to get most of the second draft done this year. I've also completed a short-story collection themed on the Civil War, although you are never sure if it's really completed because there's always just one more story you want to write. Many of the stories are already published but some are out in competitions, as is the whole
collection with a view to it being published.

Do you feel that writing is an ingrained process or just something that flows naturally for you?
I have certainly learned to be a better writer through study, so that tends towards the process argument. Producing a novel needs some planning and I can be very systematic in the editing process. But when there's a scene I've had in my mind for a while and I've been itching to write it, and I have a little time and space, then the writing flows and often the words surprise me. 

Do you have a character that you have been working on for a long time that still isn't quite ready, but fills you with excitement to work on the story?

If you could spend one-week with 5 fictional character, who would they be?
Huckleberry Finn - Just for his joy of life.
Zaphod Beeblebrox from 'The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy' - for the parties.
Scarlett O'Hara - I'd like to put her right on a few things (although a week might be a bit much).
Wally from Lake Wobegon - As I would like to have a Wendy's beer in the Sidetrack Tap.
Inman from 'Cold Mountain' - He could use some straightforward company.

Where would you spend one full year, if you could go ANYWhere? What would you do with this time?
You always feel you're lacking something in life until asked a question like this. Then you don't know what you would do. I like my road trips to
America but I'd like to take my wife, Sally, with me. We fell in love in California and got engaged in New York. So I think we'd spend the year in an RV visiting everywhere in between.

Can you share you next creative project(s)? If yes, can you give a few details?
I guess that would be the sequel to Whirligig, which is The Copper Road, as it's certainly not complete yet. It takes the characters that survive book one and uses Sherman's Atlanta campaign of 1864 and the 125th Ohio as it's backbone. The Copper Road used to run from Cleveland, TN, up to the copper mines at Ducktown in the Appalachians. It's an obscure place, but I fell in love with some of the folk lore when I discovered it. I flew to America and went walking there last year to help the writing. I'm there in my head most of the time just now.
Author Links:
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Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, July 11 Feature at A Bookaholic Swede
Wednesday, July 12 Interview at Let Them Read Books
Friday, July 14 Feature at Passages to the Past
Monday, July 17 Review at Pursuing Stacie
Tuesday, July 18 Feature at CelticLady's Reviews
Thursday, July 20 Review at Historical Fiction Obsession Feature at What Is That Book About