Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Interview & Giveaway: John A. Heldt

   John A. Heldt is a reference librarian who lives and works in Montana. The former award-winning sportswriter and newspaper editor has loved reading and writing since writing book reports on baseball heroes in grade school. A graduate of both the University of Oregon and University of Iowa, he is and avid fisherman, sports fan, home brewer, and reader of thrillers and historical fiction. He is married to his college sweetheart and has three beautiful children. THE MINE is his first novel.

Favorite reads?
My favorite authors are Vince Flynn, Ken Follett, Nelson DeMille, and James Patterson, but I aso enjoy the works of Daniel Silva and Alex Berenson.

Inspirations for the book?
More than a dozen movies, books, and short stories inspired THE MINE, including "Back to the Future," "The Time Traveler's Wife," "A Walk in the Clouds," "Time and Again," and "A Sound of Thunder."

Did you know you wanted to be an author when you were little?
A writer, yes. An author? That cam a little later. Writing a novel, however, has always been on my bucket list.

Any Pet Peeves?
There are still many formidable obstacles facing new authors. The recent movement toward ebooks and the mainstreaming of indie literature are breaking down some, and I think that's a good thing.

Chocolate or Peanut Butter?

The weirdest thing you've ever done?
Allowing my preschool-aged daughters to put barrettes in my hair on my 35th birthday. They had thrown me a tea party, with miniature teacups and plates, and afterwards insisted on beautifying daddy. It wasn't pretty.

Is there a soundtrack to the book/Favorite music?
I listened to a lot of 1940s music while writing the book, particularly hits by the Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorse bands. One of the Miller songs, "Chattanooga Choo Choo," is performed in a fabulous film clip for the 1941 movie "Sun Valley Serenade." I encourage any fan of music from that era to look it up online. The music helped me mentally prepare for writing about the era.

Do you need anything to write?
There is no substitute for a spacious table and peace and quiet.

How long do you write on any average day?
Two to three pages.

Give us the number one reason to read your book.
There is something for everyone in THE MINE: adventure, time travel, humor, history, and romance. My primary goal when writing the book was to entertain. Not to preach or even educate, but to write a story that people of all ages could enjoy. My protagonist, a college student named Joel Smith is an everyman who stumbles, laughs, cries, and falls in love as he navigates his way through the very difficult year of 1941. He confronts choices and challenges that will prompt readers to think.

Author Info:
Blog- John Heldt
Goodreads-John A. Heldt

   In 2000, Joel Smith is a cocky, adventurous young man who sees the world as his playground. But when the college senior, days from graduation, enters an abandoned Montana mine, he discovers the price of reckless curiosity. He emerges in May 1941 with a cell phone he can't use, money he can't spend, and little but his wits to guide his way. Stuck in the age of Whirlaway, swing dancing, and a peacetime draft, Joel begins a new life as the nation drifts toward war. With the help of his 21-year-old trailblazing grandmother and her friends, he finds his place in a world he knew only from movies and books. But when an opportunity comes to return to the present, Joel must decide whether to leave his new love in the past or choose a course that will alter their lives forever. THE MINE follows a humbled man through a critical time in history as he adjusts to new surroundings and wrestles with the knowledge of things to come.

(Ends 7/17)
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